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Olive Oil Wreath ~ BBB

Since I have a good friend who was 2 weeks past her second vaccine and I was a month past my second vaccine, we baked together in my kitchen.  It was a celebration!  We didn’t wear a mask but I did let my HEPA air filter run.
Originally I was going to do this sourdough, Karen gave us permission – like a Babe would need permission.  Since I planned to do this with my friend Mary, I felt it would be easier for her if we did a biga with the yeast.  I’ll try the sourdough at a later date.
We started with an Olive Oil tasting. Just three so it was mini but still fun and instructive.

Our Mini- Olive Oil Tasting

I did a search for the best baking Olive oil and Monini came up, I ordered it from Amazon.  From the local small Montegue Foods store, I picked up Lucini on a whim. A few days earlier, we were in Muskegon and we stopped in at the Cheese Lady. Had there been no pandemic, I would have tasted  a batch of their many olive oils.  The Hojiblanca was recommended as between mild and robust, so I tried that one. 
We both found the Monini robust, bitter, and spicy at the end.  We liked it.  The Lcini would have been our second choice; it had a strong olive oil flavor and was spicy especially at the back of the tongue at the end.  The Hojblanca we felt was so mild it wouldn’t have added anything to the bread flavor.  We went with the Monini: Mary’s son described the bread tasting robust, a little bitterness and spicy at the end! Wow, I felt that was nice confirmation of our choice.
Karen recommended a hearty fruity flavored extra virgin olive oil.  I will return to the Cheese Lady shop and request a more robust olive oil to try next.    I love her cheeses!

Olive Oil Wreath

Recipe By: Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories adapted the recipe from the book Della Fatoria Bread by Kathleen Weber
Yield: 1 loaf

Biga
125 grams AP flour, (3/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) 
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
83 grams water, 75 to 80 degrees F (1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) 
Olive Oil Wreath
100 grams of the biga, (1/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons) 
285 grams 75 to 80 degree F water, (1 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons) 
60 grams  extra virgin olive oil, (1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons)
10 grams instant yeast, (1 tablespoon)
500 grams all purpose flour, (3 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon) 
2 1/2  teaspoons salt

Directions:

BIGA: Mix the biga ingredients until combined. It will be sticky. Place it into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let sit for 10 to 18 hours. 

Leftover biga can be refrigerated for up to 3 days to make more loaves. Or if you bake with a friend, divide in half and you each have a loaf!

FINAL WREATH DOUGH In the bowl, add the biga, water, olive oil, and yeast and mix until the biga is broken up. 

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add it to biga mix until moist, then knead about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and briefly knead by hand. Place it into an oiled bowl our dough rising bucket and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot to proof for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours until really puffy, more than doubled. 

Turn the dough back out onto a floured work surface and deflate the dough. Gather up the edges and preshape the dough into a ball. Flip the ball and place it seam side down on the work surface. Push the dough against the work surface in a circular motion to tighten the top. Pull the dough toward you to elongate the dough into an oval and let rest for 10 minutes. 

Shape the dough into a 1 1/2 inch by 42 inch long piece. To do this, turn the dough over, seam side up and pull the dough into a rectangle shape. Wrap the longer sides over each other like an envelope. Gently rock the dough with your hands to elongate the dough. Let it rest for about 10 minutes if the dough resists. 

I used parchment and a peel anticipating sliding the formed loaf onto a hot baking stone.

We put Mary’s on parchment and in a box to keep cold air drafts off as she was transporting her ring in the car to bake in her oven at home.

Gently place the dough on the pan or parchment and form it into a circle, overlapping the ends. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and set the dough in a warm spot and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

 In the meantime, heat your oven, with a rack on the lowest level with a steam pan, and a rack in the middle above the steam pan and fitted with a baking stone. OR what I did was mist the oven before and 2 minutes after the loaf went into the oven.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. 

Using scissors, cut partially through the dough at a 45 degree angle from the top and move the cut dough to one side. Cut almost but not all of the way through. Continue to make more cuts, every 3 inches, and move the cut dough pieces to alternating sides until you go around the wreath. Don’t cut from the sides, cut from the top. 
3 inches is arbitrary to some extent, closer or farther apart will give you smaller or larger pieces to pull apart.

Mary did a perfect episode cut on her wreath!
Mary’s perfect epi cuts!

Place the pan or parchment (using a peel) with the shaped dough onto the stone and add 1 cup of ice cubes to the steamer pan. Immediately close the oven door and reduce the heat to 400 degrees F. 

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. 

Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and let cool completely. 

I am super proud to say both Mary and I got beautiful bakes.  While the dough rested and rose, we went for a beautiful walk in the woods.  I was getting late in the day so she took both her loaves home to bake in her oven. (The second loaf we each bake was the BeeKeeper’s Pain De Mie).

I hope you’re planning to bake with us. This is simply a perfect celebration bread ~ surely you have something to celebrate: It’s Friday – the sun is shining – it’s raining so the spring flowers will bloom – heck celebrate Great Olive Oil Wreath! This is certainly one to bake. 

  • Mary did a perfect episode cut on her wreath!

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ April 2021 olive oil wreaths:

I hope to bake the BBB May bread with Mary in a week or so…


9 Comments

BBB ~ Green Tea and Orange Loaf

Saint Patrick’s Day or Spring this is the CELEBRATION BREAD to CHEER!!

This is a naturally-leavened loaf made with matcha green tea powder and flavored with candied orange peel and orange blossom water. It doesn’t include any extra sweetener which neither Cathy nor I thought it needed.
It is a beautiful green color before baking and becomes a lighter green after baking.  

LEARNED: 
Again: homemade is better.
DO NOT wear your favorite white while messing with matcha … unless you want it to be green which is fine for St Patrick’s Day.
150 grams of orange peel will probably make prettier loaves but with less orange sweetness.
Allow the homemade orange peel to dry at least 24 hours or more.  Plan ahead to made it several days in advance.  I used Cathy candied orange peel process found here (https://www.breadexperience.com/making-candied-orange-peel/)  

My first bake I used a total of 510 grams flours made up of 255 grams organic AP, 100 grams white whole wheat and 155 grams bread.
My second bake I used 260 grams organic AP and 250 grams white whole wheat. 
While both bakes gave me dense loaves, I believe the bread flour bake gave me a slightly less dense loaf. 


CANDIED ORANGE PEEL: 
When I was in high school, I remember my mother making candied grapefruit peel to give as Christmas gifts one year. Her comment was it was spectacular, certainly the most spectacular thing she had ever made and she would never do it again…and she didn’t. I will tell you I cursed most of the five hours it took for me to remove the pith from the rind.  I followed Cathy’s candied orange peel recipe HERE. The orange peel I bought was dramatically fatter (contained lots of pith). It was bitter when tasted alone and much less sweet when baked in the bread.  Still, the friend I gave a loaf of the second bake loved the bread.  Would I do it again … maybe, it would depend on how gracious I was feeling.
When I used the homemade orange peel, I baked with it the following morning. Kneaded in, it caused the dough to come apart and took considerable time to come back together. 

Cathy admonished us not to cheat on the orange peel. Being the Babe I am of course I had to increase what was called for in the recipe. Yes I used 200 grams. The increased amount made it harder to incorporate it into the dough and probably caused a more rustic and rougher surface (less pretty) but I think the addition was worth the exponential increase in taste.
The first bake I added the matcha with the salt. It took considerable kneading to get an even distribution. The second bake I added the matcha with the flour.  I will add it to the flour from now on and have changed the directions to reflect that.

Green Tea and Orange Loaf

Recipe From: Cathy (breadexperience) Adapted from The Larousse Book of Bread by Eric Kayser
Yield: 4 small loaves 
Levain
50 grams all-purpose flour
50 grams water
25 grams sourdough starter (I used 100% hydration starter)

Final Dough
500 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
250 – 300 grams water, divided 125, 125, 50
10 grams salt + 15-20 grams water
30 grams olive oil
25 grams orange flower water
10 grams (2 tsp) matcha tea powder
150 grams candied orange peel, chopped or finely diced

There are two ways to incorporate the starter in this bread. 
1) Feed your sourdough starter the evening before you plan to bake, let it rest overnight at warm room temperature, then use 100 grams of the fed sourdough in your loaf.   If you choose do use the fed starter without creating a levain, you may need less water. Cathy actually used more water with this method.  
2) Create a levain.  This method is presented below. 

Levain

In the evening of the day before making the bread: Place the starter, flour and water in a small bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is stirred in well.
Cover the bowl with a plate, or bees wrap, and let it rest overnight in a warm place.

Final Dough


1. Pour 125 grams water, orange blossom water and olive oil over the levain.  
Mix completely to break up the levain.

2. In a large bowl, add the flour and matcha.  
Pour the levain/water mixture over the flour and mix to incorporate.  Add the rest of the water, gradually, and as needed to fully hydrate the dough.  I used the 300 grams.

Cover, and let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes, then sprinkle the salt over the top and dissolve it with 15 grams of warm water.

3. Cover, let rest for 30 minutes, then fold in the candied orange peel and knead the dough until it becomes smooth, and elastic.   
Add more water if the dough starts to tear.  My dough tore horribly and required more kneading to come back together.
Note: Cathy’s dough was sticky after adding the candied orange peel and almost too dry up until that point. My dough never seemed dry.
Shape into a ball, cover, proof for 2 hours.  Stretch and fold the dough after 1st hour.  Let rest for final hour.  It should increase in volume by the end of the final proof.

4. Remove the dough to a lightly dusted work surface.  Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, about 300 grams each.  Cathy’s divided into 260 grams each.  
Shape into balls, cover with a dish towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

5. Roll the dough pieces between your hands to create tension, and form smooth and well-rounded boules.
Place the loaves, seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Cover with a damp cloth and let proof for 1 hour 15 minutes.  I allowed mine to proof for 2 hours. I put the four loaves on parchment and covered them with a large stainless steel bowl that also then was used to cover them in the oven. 

6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. with a baking stone on the bottom shelf . 
Score the loaves in a crosshatch pattern (or the pattern of your choice).
Transfer the loaves on the parchment to the preheated oven.  Then place covering pan/bowl on top.  
Bake for 18 minutes.  Mine took an additional 16 minutes to come to an internal temperature of 200°F.  Whole grains take longer to bake.  Don’t burn them.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Would you like to bake with us?

Bread Experience is the host kitchen for March, and would love for you to make this Green Tea and Orange Loaf with us!  You’ll get your own Buddy Badge!  Plus a delicious bread to enjoy.

Bread Submission Guidelines:

  • Just bake your version of this bread and post about it on your blog (by March 29th).
  • If you don’t have a blog, no worries, just post a photo in the Bread Baking Babes Facebook Group
  • Mention Bread Baking Babes with a link to the Kitchen of the Month, that’s – Cathy of Bread Experience.
  • Then send an email to breadexperience (at) gmail (dotcom) with BBB Green Tea and Orange Loaf, and Cathy will send you your Buddy badge to display on your blog.

If you make your own or buy the candied orange peel, I know you will enjoy this bread!! Go for it.


13 Comments

BBB ~ Non, Naan

BBB ~ Non, Naan, Tashkent Obi Non

Recipe From: Samarkand: recipes & stories from Central Asia & the Caucasus by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford

Yes.  This is our Baker’s Dozen Anniversary!

Amazing that this little group of Bread Baking Babes has been around on the internet for the incredible Baker’s Dozen years!  I’ve missed very few of the breads the group has baked. There’s not been one bread in all those years that I haven’t learned from and enjoyed.  Most of the breads I’d enjoy baking again.  There have been simple breads.  There have been scary breads. When I started baking bread sometime in the 70’s, there was nothing easy about it and failure seemed to always be a possibility.   Baking all these breads over all these years has brought me to the startling conclusion that really dough just wants to be bread. Some dough will be more successful bread than others but generally, it will be better than anything that would come in a plastic bag and plenty of loaves will be as good as or better than the gourmet bakeries.  More than ever during this pandemic baking bread brings me sanity.

Traditionally this bread is never cut – a knife is an instrument of war. Docking the rim with an onion cutting tine makes it easy to break off sections.

How did I come to this bread? A long time ago I came across this thing called a bread stamp on Amazon. I’d never seen one, never seen a bread that used one, had no ideas why I should have one but I ordered two of them. They were beautiful but I had no idea what I should do with them. I took them to a baking class and ask if anyone had seen them used. Nope. …  Maybe a year ago, I saw a picture of bread stamps in a book I had and then I found the recipe for the bread.  SEVERAL MONTHS AGO, Elizabeth ask about doing this recipe and improvising or using the bread stamp. The idea seemed to take hold and I was way past due to try my bread stamps.  

Sealing wax! My bread stamp came in brown paper with sealing wax!


I think I baked my first loaf on 19 September 2020 and the second loaf on 20 September 2020; at this point I truly would only be able to count if I had taken photos of each loaf and I am pretty sure I didn’t take every bake.  
This truly is an everyday loaf. Easy to put together in the evening to rest overnight in the fridge and bake first thing in the AM. Easy to mix first thing in the AM and have coming out of the oven for lunch.  Easy to mix after lunch and serve with appetizers and/or dinner. I have not baked this three times in one day. No, I have not.

I really played with many combinations of flours but always totaling 200 grams.

When I put this up for the Babes I was really thinking it would be a great try to make it into a sourdough.  We were able to do that and it was nice bread.  In the end, for me at any rate, I felt the allure of this bread was the ease and everydayness of it and I went with the straight yeast version.  I know it will come to my rescue many times in the future. 

I also recognize that this bread has been made for centuries (many centuries), after all it is mentioned in the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’.  
For the best article I found on this bread try http://www.aramcoworld.com/articles/July-2015/The-Fabled-Flatbreads-of-Uzbekistan .  There are multiple uTube videos. Two of the best we’ve found are:
this one shows you how to use scissors and a fondue fork in place of a bread stamp
and
this one shows using a glass
Just search for bread stamp or Easy Uzbek Bread or How to make Tashkent Obi Non 
You’ll be overwhelmed. but in a fun way.

You can do this without a bread stamp. You already have multiple implements in your kitchen that you can use. 

Items that might be used to emboss the dough. A fondue fork was used in the uTube video, I don’t have one.

I know the world is crazy right now and goodness knows I am way past ready to be done with the virus.  At the same time mixing and kneading bread is something of a saving grace for me.  This makes beautiful and tasty bread.  You can do it.  

BBB ~ Non, Naan, Tashkent Obi Non:

ORIGINAL

1 1/2 cups   AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
3/4 teaspoons salt
oil
150 grams water
METRIC
200 grams flours
15-20 grams ground flax seed
7 grams yeast
6 grams salt
150 – 180 grams water, to make a sticky dough
oil, to knead dough on counter
VARIATIONS
60 grams whole grain spelt, total flours will =200 grams
60 grams bread
80 grams white whole wheat flour
15-20 grams ground flax seed
7 grams yeast
6 grams salt
150-180 grams water, to make a sticky dough
oil, to knead dough on counter
SOURDOUGH
STARTER Late the night before baking
100 grams rye starter
50 grams whole grain spelt flour
50 grams bread flour
70 grams white whole wheat flour
130 grams water
NEXT MORNING
3/4 teaspoon salt
oil of your choice

 STRAIGHT DOUGH Whisk together the flour(s), yeast, ground flax if using and salt.
Add water to make a sticky dough. This should not be a stiff dough.
Pour a little oil on the counter surface and knead the dough until the dough loses it’s tackiness and is silky smooth and soft. 
Cover and let rise till doubled in size.  Anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours.

2. Knock some of the air out of the dough and form it into a dome ball.  Set the dome on parchment paper and cover. The mixing bowl usually works well to cover it with. Let proof again until doubled in size.  This may only take 45 minutes to an hour.

3. Preheat the oven with baking stone.  I first baked this at 475°F. I have since baked it at 500°F.  I baked it under a stainless steel bowl but found misting the oven twice in the first 4 minutes worked best for me.  

4. Make an indentation in the middle of the bread by pressing with the heel of your hand.  I found starting the indentation with my largest ladle worked well and then I was able to enlarge it with my fingers. The indentation should be larger than the bread stamp pattern you plan to use.
Dip the bread stamp tines in flour. Pierce the middle of the dough with the floured bread stamp.  Press firmly to get a good imprint. 
Brush to top of the bread with oil, butter, egg with a pinch of salt.  Sprinkle with onion seeds or sesame seeds OR get carried away and make it your own.

5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.  The top should be golden and the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. The center will be somewhat cracker like and the outside rim light and puffy.

SOURDOUGH: The night before I mixed starter, flours and water together.  It was a very wet dough. I did not knead it.

The next morning I dusted the counter with bread flour, flattened the dough on the dusted counter, pour the salt on the dough and kneaded it adding flour until it was smooth and no longer sticky.  The salt did not break the dough as I kneaded. I can not guess how much flour I added. 

Finally I flattened the dough on a parchment round and covered it with a large bowl.  At five hours later it had risen nicely.  I oiled the top and used my hand to flattened it in the middle then used the bread stamp to stamp it.  I didn’t get a clear stamp imprint; I needed a larger flattened center.  Sprinkled sesame seeds on the oiled top.

I baked the loaf on the parchment on a baking stone covered with a stainless bowl at 500°F for 15 minutes. Removed the bowl, turned the oven down to 450° and continued baking for 4 more minutes. Internal loaf temperature was 208°. 

We would love for you to try this bread. We would love to hear about your experience.

I really think you want to give this a go! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site, post about your Naan adventure in the next couple of weeks (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before … usually its the end of the month but this time I’m extending that a week so the date will be 7 March 2021. 

Here’s how to let us know:

  • comments my kitchen at mac dot com
    » Remember to include your name and a link to your post
    » Please type “BBB February 2021 bread” in the subject heading

And check out what the other Babes had to say about this one.

Happy Baking!


10 Comments

Toasted Oats Bread ~ BBB

Celebrate!

Toast!

Raise your glasses to increasing vaccine availability and toasted oats!  

YES! Thank You Elizabeth ( blogfromourkitchen) out Kitchen of the Month! (You should know that every month, Elizabeth is the Babe who does the graphic magic to create our unique logo for each bread.) This is certainly a winner in our virus snow bound abode. 

Toast these oats in a skillet not the oven! YES!!  Oh and I do appreciate you have to stand totally at attention at the stove to avoid catastrophe but you have to keep an eye on the oven as well and the stove top for me took all of 5 minutes 30 seconds.

Toasted Oats Bread ~ BBB

Leavener

  • 60 grams whole wheat flour
  • 60 grams water
  • 40 grams starter from the fridge (about 30 grams)

Oats

  • 100 grams rolled oats, toasted
  • 110 grams boiling water

Actual Dough

  • 100 grams 100% organic whole wheat flour
  • 400 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 grams wheat germ
  • 5 grams rye chops
  • 8 grams diastatic malt
  • 325 grams water
  • all of the leavener from above,
  • 10 grams salt + 25 grams water
  • all of the rolled oats mixture from above

Topping (optional)

A rough looking dough.
  • Rolled oats
    • Leavener: In the evening of the day before making the bread: Put the starter, flour and water into a smallish bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is stirred in well. I used a bread whisk. Cover the bowl with a plate (I use a shower cap) and set aside overnight in the oven with only the light turned on. Unless it is ridiculously hot in the kitchen. In that case, leave the oven light turned off.
  • Prepare the Oats: Pour rolled oats into a dry cast iron frying pan and place it over medium high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time. It takes about about 7 minutes to toast the oats. (They smell wonderful!) (Previously when I’ve toasted oats I’ve done it in the oven.  Toasting them in a skillet, gives you much more control and resulted in a uniform darkening color and much better flavor enhancement. Henceforth, I will be toasting in a skillet.) Transfer the toasted oats into a medium-sized bowl and pour boiling water over top. Cover with a plate and leave overnight in the oven with the leavener.
  • Mix the dough In the morning of the day you will be making the bread: When a small forkful of the leavener floats in a small bowl of room temperature water (I have never tried this), you can go ahead and mix the dough: Sift the whole wheat flour into a large mixing bowl, reserving the bran for after shaping. I did not do the sifting Add all-purpose flour, wheat germ, malted wheat chops (I thought I didn’t have malted wheat chops, turns out I did, used rye chops and some diastatic malt), and 325 water to the sifted whole wheat flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. (Again I used my bread whisk)  Set aside for a moment.
  • Weigh the salt and 25 grams water, whisking it together in a small bowl. Set this bowl aside in the oven with only the light turned on.
  • Add the leavener to the large bowl. Use a dough whisk or wooden spoon to mix these ingredients together to make a rough dough. Cover the bowl with a plate (or shower cap) and leave on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  • Adding the salt: Pour the salt mixture over the dough.
  • Kneading: Use one of your hands to squish the salt and water into the dough; use the other hand to steady the bowl – this way you always have a clean hand. At first the dough might be a bit messy and seem like it’s coming apart. Persevere. Suddenly, it will seem more like dough than a horrible separated glop. Keep folding it over onto itself until it is relatively smooth. Cover with a plate and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Adding the oats and first stretching and folding: Add the oats overtop. (First time I baked this, I had already added the oats. Since the first time I toasted oats in the oven, the color was altogether different. Ultimately, I don’t think the timing of adding the oats made much difference.) Turn the bowl as you fold and re-fold the dough into the center, to distribute the oats. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter (or if the kitchen is cool like ours in winter and spring, into the oven with only the light turned on).
  • Continuing to stretch and fold: Repeat the folding step about 3 times in all at 30 minute intervals. After the final time of folding, leave the covered bowl in a draft free area until the dough has almost doubled.
  • Pre-shaping: Scatter a dusting of all-purpose flour on the board and gently place the dough on the flour. Fold the dough over in half, gently patting off any extra flour that might be there. Turn the dough a quarter turn and fold in half again. Continue turning and folding in half until the dough is shaped in a ball. Leave it seam side down on the board and cover with a large overturned mixing bowl (or a tea towel) and let rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the brotform: Liberally coat the insides of a brot-form with rice flour.
  • Shaping and adding optional topping: Scatter a very light dusting of flour on top of the round. Gently press down with the palms of your hands to create a disc that is about 4 centimeters deep. Carefully turn the disc over. Without breaking the skin on the bottom, use the dough scraper to fold the dough in half. Turn the dough a quarter turn and continue folding until a ball is created. Leave it seam side down and use the sides of the dough scraper to tighten the dough ball further. Once it has been tightened, wet your hands and rub them gently over the top. Scatter quick oats overtop. Now carefully put the shaped loaf seam-side UP into the brotform. Scatter the reserved bran evenly onto the seam area. Cover with the tea towel or an overturned mixing bowl and let sit for an hour or so to allow the loaf to almost double. “Almost” is the key here….
  • Preheating the oven: To know when it’s time to bake, run your index finger under water and gently but firmly press it on the side of the bread. If the dough springs back immediately, recover the bread and leave it on the counter for another 15 minutes of so. If the dough gradually returns back after being pressed, leave the bread on the counter. Put a baking stone on a lower shelf of the oven. Place a cast-iron combo cooker (or lidded casserole dish) on the middle shelf and preheat the oven to hot (we set ours to 450°F).  (I opted for an oval brotform, without a cast iron oval large enough to bake it in, I baked the loaf on parchment paper, pushed it onto the hot baking stone in the oven and covered it with a very large stainless bowl.)
  • Scoring: When the oven is thoroughly preheated about fifteen minutes later, transfer the round into the hot shallow pan of the combo-cooker.   I adapted scoring to the oval shape I had. Using a lame, sharp knife, or scissors, score the bread in the pattern you like.
  • Baking: Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and, without stopping to stare in amazement at the amazing oven spring actually I could not help but at least momentarily stare in amazement at the oven spring, close the oven door to continue baking for another 30 minutes, until the crust is a lovely dark golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when knuckle-rapped on the bottom. (Internal temperature probe showed 204°F.)
  • Cooling: When the bread has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on a footed rack before slicing and eating; the bread is still cooking internally when first removed from the oven! If you wish to serve warm bread (of course you do), reheat it after it has cooled completely: To reheat any uncut bread, turn the oven to 400°F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread into the hot oven for about ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust and warm the crumb perfectly.

Yes, this does look like an involved recipe. Yes, there are a number of steps. Yes, because it looks long, it looks difficult.  The actuality is the single steps are spread out over time but are simple to execute with long stretches where you do whatever you like and a single step takes only a short bit time.

Do those short steps get you to a worthwhile goal … what a very foolish question,  My answer is an emphatic YES!!!  We would love to hear your answer:

I believe you should and will want to make toasted oats bread too! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site, post about your toasted oats adventure in the next couple of weeks (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 January 2021.

Here’s how to let us know:

  • email Elizabeth
  • » Remember to include your name and a link to your post
  • » Please type “BBB January 2021 bread” in the subject heading

Now about next month…This little group started in February 2008 that means that next month we’ve been around … It’s our Anniversary! And for the first time ever I’m giving you a hint for next month’s bread. We’ll be playing around with…


9 Comments

BBB ~ St. Lucia Saffron Buns, Lussekatter

I don’t know about where you are but where I am it’s dark really early. Before 6 in the evening the sun is long gone and it’s gotten to dark. Our Kitchen of the Month, Judy, has picked a wonderful roll/bun to light up the short early dark days of December! Saffron is the spice to provide the light. These are a traditional Christmas celebration bread in Italy and Scandinavia.

I found this a wonderfully silky dough to work even using a lot of white whole wheat flour. I always try to bake with some whole grain flour.

Why did I feel compelled to convert this to a sourdough? I think just because I’ve recently gotten a sourdough going again and so I’m trying hard to keep it going. The way I did the sourdough does add considerable time to the process and I’m sure if you follow Judy’s yeasted recipe you’ll have these little bun coming out of your oven much sooner. Still I really enjoyed the longer time and am totally delighted with the end product.

My only regret is when I got to the shaping and my hands were deep into this I’d forgotten the simple shaping of making these into cats. I really want to do that next time. I think Elizabeth will be doing cats but won’t be posting yet for several days. Maybe one/some of the other Babes will be doing the cat shape but I’m sure one/some will have some variety so check them out.

The shapes are really pretty self explanatory and simple to do.

St. Lucia Saffron Buns, Lussekatter

Yield: 18 rolls

LEAVEN
60 g starter
70 g water
60 g white whole wheat
DOUGH
All of the above leaven
105 g water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3 tablespoons King Arthur dry milk powder
220 g white whole wheat
120 g bread flour
110 g AP flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
56 g unsalted butter, softened
60 g of sour cream
30 g wildflower honey
2 large eggs
Raisins, currants, dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries
GLAZE
1 egg, beaten

The night before mix together the leaven. Cover and leave at room temperature for 10 to 14 hours until bubbly.

Warm water and saffron in microwave about 20 seconds.  (I held the butter for the second fold, next time I may try adding it when I’ve finished kneading it the first time and before starting the folding).  Stir in the honey, sour cream and eggs until blended.  Let cool until about 80-90°F, or warm to the touch.

Whisk flours, dry milk powder and cardamom: I held out the salt until after the first folding.

 Make a well in the center of the flour and add the saffron-water mixture, the eggs, and the sour cream. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated.

Knead the dough: Knead to incorporate. Do this until the dough is still a little sticky to the touch, but does not completely stick to your hands when you handle it.

Let dough rise: Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover. 
Butter and salt: I added these at the second fold. The dough really came apart. Next time I will add Butter and Salt earlier: after kneading let rest 20 minutes then add butter & salt.
Let sit in a warm place for 2-3 hours, Do at least 2 fold about 45 minutes apart then let the dough rest until about doubled. This dough became silky smooth, lovely to work.

 Form dough into shapes: When the dough has doubled in size, gently press it down and knead it a couple of times. I weighed the dough and divided by 18 which required each roll to weight about 60 grams. Break off a piece and form it into a ball about 2 inches wide. Roll the ball out into a snake, about 14 inches long.
Then Curl the ends in opposite directions, forming an “S” with spirals at each end. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough. There are a number of shapes commonly accepted for these rolls.

 

Let sit for final rise:  Cover and place in a warm spot until the dough shapes double in size, mine took an hour.

Brush with egg wash, place raisins in buns: Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Using a pastry brush, brush some beaten egg over the tops and sides of the uncooked buns. Place raisins, cranberries or cherries by really poking them in deeply otherwise they may well jump ship.

Bake: Place in the oven and bake at 400°F (205°C) for about 18 to 20 minutes (turning halfway through cooking to ensure even browning), until the buns are golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before eating.

Would I do these again? In a heart beat. The shapes can be varied easily and are all interesting. The sparkling sugar gives the buns just the perfect crunch and sweetness along with the honey. I would try a little more saffron next time as I really didn’t taste or even see much of it in the bun. These are just beauties.

If you wish to bake with us as a Buddy, please submit your post and photos by December 29th to be included in the roundup and earn your baking badge.  Send to jahunt22 at gmail.com.

Visit the other Babes to check out their versions of Lussekatter.


13 Comments

Potato Focaccine ~ BBB

I will never forget my first Focaccia.  We were driving around Italy and wanted to stay in Portofino.  It got late, very dark and very rainy.  We stopped at the first hotel we came to just off the road and almost in the sea.  All night it rained and the waves washed upon to the patio just outside our room.   In the morning we discovered we hadn’t quite made it to the city.   We would have needed to stay on the road and go around one last curve.  The choice was to drive into the city and find a place to park OR cross the road and follow a path over the hill.  The path wound through olive groves and past several homes.  When we topped the hill, Portofino was at our feet.  We sent hours wondering the streets and finally ended up along the warf where there was a food market.  One of the town bakeries had tables displaying so many breads … I was in heaven.  We settled on a small flat loaf that measured maybe 9×9.  It had been slathered in olive oil and generously infused with rosemary.  That was the be all and end all of focaccias! 


Over the years I’ve baked focaccia many times.  There are many recipes, many just slightly different, all very good.  Carol Field (The Italian Baker & Focaccia: Simple Breads from the Italian Oven) has been my Italian bread geru for may years and indeed she talkes about Focaccine.  

Hard to stop eating to snap a photo!


Pat from Feeding My Enthusiansms is our Kitchen of the Month for November 2020.  She found this recipe on My Pinch of Italy.  Now, let me say this may not be the be all to end all focaccias after all we’re not in Portofino, but it is totally beautifully worthy of your baking. I’ve alread found myself baking it for the third time and know it will be coming out of my oven again soon.  The sage is excellent! The small size is wonderful.

Potato Focaccine ~ BBB

Recipe By: Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms” 
Yield: 12

150 g of yellow or white mealy potatoes
300 g of Italian flour 
100 grams Durum flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
3 tablespoons of Evoo – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
200 grams Lukewarm water
10 fresh sage leaves chopped
Maldon salt, to taste

Peel potato. Boil the potatoes in plenty of unsalted water.

Whisk together flours, salt, chopped sage and yeast. 
Add lukewarm mashed potatoes, olive oil and lukewarm water to flour mix.

Alternate shaping: My total dough weight was 820 grams. Divided by 12 makes for 12 balls each weighting about 68 grams. Mine ranged from 67 to 70 grams.

Pat the dough ball flat to about  1/2 inch – 3/4 inch thick. Use a large biscuit cutter and cut about 8 rounds of dough. The scraps of leftover dough divide and shape into about 4 more rounds. Place rounds  (stretch them out a little) on parchment lined sheet pan.  Dimple the dough with finger tips so the olive oil can collect in little puddles.  Allow to rest for another 30 minutes. 

Pour and or brush tops of disks with olive oil. Sprinkle with Maldon salt to taste.  

Bake at 180 ° C (160° C convection/fan) (350° F) for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. 
Give them a moment under the broiler to give them golden brown color.
When cooked, flavor your focaccine with a drizzle of olive oil and more salt if needed.. 

Potato focaccine are good to eat freshly baked, however you can store them in a paper bag for a day.  I found these kept very well for several days.
These were excellent split in half and toasted.

Not to worry. YES you really should bake these! They are really that good. Check out the other Babes baking. Bake them for yourself and let us know what your experience was.

If you would like to be a Bread Baking Buddy, just bake by November 29th and send Pat an email with a photo and the URL where you posted. She will post the round-up as close to Dec. 1 as possible. Send your email to plachman at sonic dot net.

I look forward to how your little Focaccine turn out!


12 Comments

BBB ~ My Runza

I often wonder: How many changes/adaptations does it take to change a recipe from traditional/authentic to something else/mine? There must have been a time in the beginning that I followed a recipe to the letter because I have none of those romantic stories of learning to cook with my mother, grandmother or aunts or even my dad. Dad was the baker – he worked in a bakery for several years starting at age 17. Mom was the cook.

I mostly grew up in the 1950’s when “convenience” for the housewife was in vogue. I best remember two food items in my mother’s cooking. An extremely frequent fast and economical meal was a can of tuna mixed into a can of mushroom soup then ladled over minute rice. Yes, my brother, sister and I not only ate that but I believe it became comfort food to us. Yes, that really was the meal. Maybe I should suggest you take a deep breath or two to get around that. The second thing I remember about mom’s cooking was the fried chicken she cooked every Sunday after church. This was fried chicken for the angels. Totally, totally then and now the best fried chicken on the planet.

Simple outside hides such glories inside.

Now what has that got to do with the BBB Runza recipe that Kelly from AMessyKitchen brought to the kitchen table this month? Kelly gave us a great beginning story about Runza Rolls, brought to Nebraska and Kansas by immigrants, and the Runza Restaurant in Nebraska that is now on my Please can we go there list. Elizabeth from BlogFromOurKitchen then jumped repeatedly down rabbit hole after rabbit hole and really fluffed out a detailed story of Runza.

Bring two sides together.

I am going to refer you to Kelly and Elizabeth for the full Runza history. Here … well here I’m going to tell you my Runza is probably in name only, not traditional and not authentic. My rational for My Runza is I think immigrant cooks from 100 or more years ago probably made Runzas with what they had on hand many times and only got really set in stone when modern supply chains took over. That’s my rabbit hole and I’m in it.

Leave it thicker in the middle.

Gorn & I are absolutely in love with these. First, for the dough recipe I used an eBook, Shauna Sever’s Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland. This dough is a dream.

Runza Dough
makes 12 rolls

2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
380 g unbleached bread flour
340 g sprouted wheat flour
45 g King Arthur Special Dry Milk
20 g ground flax
20 g brown sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
380 g warm water (110° to 115°F/43° to 46°C)
113 g unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Oil for bowl

Ground turkey, onions, sauerkraut.

Whisk yeast, flours, flax, dry milk, sugar and salt together.

Warm water then add melted butter and two eggs and mix.

Mix the dry with the wet ingredients and knead until you have a smooth silky dough.

Mincemeat upside down. Dessert.

Allow to rest and rise in a covered oil bowl for 30 minutes. Gently give the dough a stretch and fold, return it to the oiled bowl covered for another 30 minutes.

Push the filling in at ends, pinch together gently and pull a little, fold into the middle.

My dough weighted 1368 grams; divided by 12 made each dough ball 114 grams. Yeah, I’ve gotten comfortable with weighting and pinching dough to get same size dough balls. That does not translate to all the rolls looking the same when baked.

Roll the dough ball to about a 6 inch circle. Thanks to a hot tip from Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories to leave the center of the circle thicker, I ended with a nice roll on the top and not a super thick bottom!

Use 1/3 cup filling for each roll. I pulled two sides together and then pushed the stuffing into each end and pulled the dough slightly then folded it to the center. Placed each roll on sheet pan lined with parchment.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Mine took about 23 minutes.

The first batch were ground turkey, onion, and sauerkraut! WOW they were great. I gave four away. We ate the remaining over the next four days. They reheated beautifully.

Yesterday, I made the dough again. I only made 3 (remaining dough overnighted in the fridge). Two rolls I filled with beet tops and one I filled with mincemeat.

Rainbows … the promise …

Tomorrow I have another plan entirely for the remaining dough…

Really you knead to knead these! Have you ever had a runza?  What is/would be your favorite filling?  Bake along with us this month and try it out!  No blog is necessary to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished flatbread to Kelly by the 30th of this month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants’ baking results during that time.


9 Comments

BBB ~ Matar or Chola Kulcha

Really, who knew I didn’t understand I really love chutneys! Yes, I really know now I do enjoy at least Apruna’s chutney she had us make for this Indian flat bread Kulcha! Wow this was marvelous. OK, I will confess, I wasn’t expecting much from the chutney so the first time I made the Kulcha we had it with some wonderful chicken and it’s accompanying gravy. It was wonderful. Then I thought, OK, maybe since I have most of the ingredients I should give the chutney a try. The one ingredient I didn’t have the Tamarind; a search suggested lime juice as a substitute and perhaps in my lack of experience it worked for me. Aparna’s looks very liquid and she told us it should be liquid … but mine was thick and chunky, just like I like it. I made both the Green Mint-Coriander Chutney and the Sweet and Sour Tamarind Chutney. Both the Chutneys were terrific but the Green Mint-Coriander was gone the fastest. I will try to do the Kulcha again as I rolled mine very thin and didn’t get the puffy that most Babes did. I call this a success even though it’s not authentic … we really enjoyed!

Tradition says I should be round but dough most often has a mind of its own.

Aparna is our Kitchen of the Month so do check out her site for more authenticity than you’ll find here.

KULCHA (Flat Bread)

For the Khameer or Pre-Ferment :

1/2 tsp instant dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 cup flour – I used 1/2 cup white whole wheat + 1/2 cup all purpose

1 cup water

For Kulcha Dough :

All of the Khameer/ Pre-ferment 

1/2 tsp instant dry yeast

1 1/2 cups flour – I used 1/2 cup white whole wheat + 1 cup all-purpose

2 tbsp plain yogurt 

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp ghee (or soft unsalted butter)

More water, if needed for a soft dough

For the Topping :

Nigella seeds or black sesame seeds

Chopped fresh coriander leaves/ cilantro

Ghee or unsalted butter for cooking the Kulchas

METHOD :

For the Khameer/ Pre-ferment (previous night) :

Mix together the yeast, water, sugar and all-purpose flour till smooth in a big bowl. Cover and leave on the kitchen counter overnight to ferment. 

For the Kulcha Dough (some time next morning) :

The Khameer/ pre-ferment should have risen well and will appear quite stringy. Mix in the other 1/2 tsp of yeast, all-purpose flour, yogurt, salt and a little water. Knead till you have a soft, sticky and loose dough. You don’t need a mixer for this. Your hand or a dough whisk is enough. This dough came together easily and was smooth.

Add the ghee or soft butter and knead once again till well incorporated. Shape into a round and leave in the bowl. Cover loosely and let it rise till almost double in volume.  This should take between an hour and two. 

Knead the dough lightly to de-gas it. Then divide into 6 equal portions. I divided my dough into 8 portions. Lightly flour your working surface, if required, and roll out each portion into a circle or oblong of less than 1/4 “ thickness. Sprinkle some Nigella seeds and dried fenugreek leaves or coriander leaves/ cilantro and lightly press into the rolled out dough. 

Heat a griddle or flat pan and place the rolled dough on it. Sprinkle a little water on the sides of the griddle/ pan (not on the dough) and cover. Cook the flat bread for a minute or so. Now remove the cover and cook on the other side as well. If not serving immediately, cook till here and keep aside. When ready to serve proceed further with cooking in ghee or butter as follows.

Now I know I should have made the Matar/Chola (White Peas Salsa) … but I didn’t. That means I still have something to add to this and look forward to.

GREEN MINT-CORIANDER CHUTNEY

Grind together a handful of fresh coriander/ cilantro leaves and tender stems, equal amount of mint leaves, green chillies, salt and a dash of lime juice with very little water till smooth. 

This chutney should be savoury, on the spicier side with a little tang and a bit watery in texture. Adjust all the ingredients to taste. This will keep in the fridge for a week.

SWEET & SOUR TAMARIND CHUTNEY 

(Makes 1 medium jar)

INGREDIENTS :

1 cup tamarind pulp thick

3/4 – 1 cups powdered jaggery 

1/2 cup dates loosely seedless , finely chopped packed

2 tbsps golden raisins, chopped

1 1/2 tsps chilli powder (or to taste)

1 tsp cumin powder

Salt or black salt to taste

METHOD :

Put the lime juice and sugar in a pan. Over medium heat, stir the mixture till the sugar (jaggery) dissolves. Now add all the remaining ingredients and cook till the chutney thickens a bit and takes on a shiny appearance. Allow to cool and use as needed. This chutney keeps in the fridge for a while.

The amounts of tamarind, jaggery, chilli powder and salt may be adjusted as required. This chutney should be sweet, sour and spicy.

I highly recommend both these chutneys even if you don’t have tamarind.

These are so good and really simple to put together. As you can see, we enjoyed these first with a chicken dinner before I made the chutneys. But, the chutney is the way I do them from now on.

Check out Aparna for the Matar/Chola Salsa, I know that is in my future. She’s made it look too good to miss.

We’d love for you to join us this month for our bake!  No blog is necessary to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished flatbread to our host kitchen by the 30th of this month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants’ baking results during that time.