MyKitchenInHalfCups

Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …

img_1695


8 Comments

BBB ~ Fouace Nantaise

How can baking bread continue to fascinate, intrigue and surprise?  How can there be so few and so simple ingredients and continue to be new?  How can I continue to fool my self starting a recipe with “I can’t imagine I’ll like this?  I really don’t want to make much effort to find orange blossom water.” and end with “This is brilliant.  I do like orange.”  I tried the grocery stores for orange blossom water, even a little heath food store in town.  It’s a small place.  Rose water but no orange blossom water.  Only because Gorn makes such an effort to see that I have ingredients did we make the trek into San Luis Obispo to … Whole Foods!  Wow and I found all kinds of sprouted flours!

I have avoided using orange with chocolate forever and I think that may never change.  But this bread … gorgeous.

I had trouble with this rising.  Seemed to give several of us trouble.  Some of the issues I believe I understand and can easily change.  Karen used SAF yeast and she’s right it works better with these heavily enriched doughs.  I just didn’t have any here.  I would use a full teaspoon next time.  And I would use the sugar which I forgot in this bake.  I think I will search out some orange blossom honey for baking this again.

fullsizeoutput_760d

I tend to have a heavy hand with flavor and didn’t actually measure the orange blossom water.  I thought about Elizabeth saying the orange was not pronounced when she baked this.  Now I realize it doesn’t make sense, me saying I don’t like baking with orange and then telling you I doubled the orange blossom water … but for whatever reason that is what I did and that was why I also did not omit the orange zest.  I think I must have gotten the idea from Elizabeth, this bread was suppose to be about orange.

Orange.  Orange juice.  Orange sunshine.  Brilliant Orange January Sunshine.  I think that is as it should be.

Jamie ~ Life’s a Feast ~ will paint you a brilliant word picture of Nantes and this bread.  This recipe will not appear in her book coming out this fall but I’m sure it is representative of her glorious writing and attention to creative recipe development.

Elizabeth ~ Blog from OUR Kitchen ~ our brilliant Kitchen of the Month.  Always creates a wild cacophony when we gather round her kitchen table … heck, there’s always glorious chaos when she’s in the kitchen.  And always something wonderful comes to the table from that chaos.  Wonderful like Fouace Nantaise.  Elizabeth talks about this being a flower, I think it’s more like January sunshine.

img_1691

BBB ~ Fouace Nantaise

Elizabeth ~ Kitchen of the Month

50 grams (3+1/2 Tbsp) unsalted butter
60 grams (60ml) milk
3 grams (3/4 tsp) active dry yeast
7 grams (~1+1/2tsp) orange blossom water
45 grams Rum
2 eggs, body temperature, lightly beaten
250 grams flours divided
» 50g (6 Tbsp) sprouted spelt
» 185g (1+1/2 c) unbleached all-purpose
15 grams wheat germ
zest of one orange, optional
25 g (2 Tbsp) sugar
4 g (~1/2 tsp fine) sea salt
milk or cream, for wash on shaped loaf

1. MIXING: Melt butter.

2. Whisk milk, eggs, orange blossom water, rum and orange zest with melted butter.

Why did I opt for rum?  The only thing I’ve ever made/cooked/baked that Gorn said he did not like was a Grand Marnier Souffle.

3. Elizabeth’s directions:  Pour milk into a largish mixing bowl. Add the melted butter to the milk to raise the temperature to body temperature (check with a thermometer OR by placing a drop on the inside of your wrist – if the milk feels cool, it’s too cold; if it feels hot, it’s too hot; if it feels like nothing, it’s ju-u-u-st right). Add yeast and whisk in until it has dissolved.
Adding them one at a time, whisk in eggs, then pour in orange liqueur and orange blossom water. Place flours, sugar, salt, and orange zest (if using) on top. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the flour has been absorbed. (Traditionally, the bread is made with rum rather than orange liqueur. The first time I made this, I did use rum, but I really wished that the flavour was more orangey so decided to use orange liqueur instead.)

4. Whisk together the yeast, salt and flours.
Pour liquid ingredients into dry and mix.

5. KNEADING: Using one hand to turn the bowl and the other to dig down to the bottom to lift the dough up to the top, turn, fold, turn, fold, etc. the dough until it is smooth and elastic. As you knead, resist the temptation to add more flour or water.

6. Once the dough is kneaded, cover the bowl with a plate and allow the dough to rise, until almost completely doubled, on the counter in a non-drafty area.

7. SHAPEING: When the dough has doubled, it’s time to shape. (To check to see if it’s ready, poke a hole in the top of the dough. If the hole fills up, it hasn’t risen enough. If there is a whoosh of air and the dough deflates a little, it has risen too much. If the hole stays in exactly the same configuration and the dough remains otherwise intact, it is ju-u-st right.) Turn the risen dough out onto a very lightly floured board (just the smallest dusting will be enough). Divide the dough evenly into 7 pieces.
img_1693

8. Shape each piece into a ball. Place one ball in the center of a parchment-lined cookie tray. Arrange the other six balls of dough loosely around the center ball – to form a flower. Cover with a damp (clean) tea towel followed by plastic grocery bags and leave to rise until almost doubled. (To test, using a floured finger, gently press against the side of the shaped bread. If the indentation immediately jumps back, it’s not ready; if it stays indented, it has over-risen; if it gradually fills in, it’s ready to go.

9. I pulled off a large ball and made that the center.  Divided the remaining dough into 8 balls for the flower petals.

10. BAKING: Preheat the oven to 350F. Gently brush the top of the risen bread with milk (or cream). Put the tray onto the top shelf of the oven (to prevent the bread from burning on the bottom) and bake for about 30 minutes until the bread is a “deep golden brown”. Jamie also writes that the outer “petals” of the flower “will have just started to pull away from the center ball”.

Are you in need of January Sunshine?  Here it is.  Bake this loaf!  It’s brilliant and you can be too.  Elizabeth will have all the details of how to be a Bread Baking Buddy before the end of the day.
img_1701
We all need sunshine in January.  Bake.  Make sunshine.

fullsizeoutput_760c
img_1435


8 Comments

BBB ~ Sourdough Red Beet Braid

Wild hairs … they aren’t called that for nothing are they.  That’s why we have brushes.  Right well, who knows why but I started thinking I didn’t like the sound of sweet in this beet bread.  I first considered that I had over a quart of liquid pickled beet juice that I would love to have used.  I guess I thought about that too long and just couldn’t get my head around it.  Then I searched out some other flavoring to tone down the earthy aroma of my beets because my beets were earthy.  Beets pair well with cloves, ginger, allspice, apples and walnuts.  That sounded really good.  Sounded like Christmas, festive.  I really liked the walnut idea.  My walnuts were rancid.  Apples, if I used apples, that would be a perfect sweetener … adding too much liquid.  In the end, I brushed all that aside (perhaps for another time) and went with Cathy’s sugar and vanilla and honestly it was just perfect.

Cathy from Bread Experience is our hostess this month and I really did enjoy her kitchen table.  Cathy I thank you deeply for all your testing/experimentation.  Raw beets  will now be my go to red!

I do love adding sprouted wheat as it gives a heady wheat aroma to any bread and it seemed to work well here.

I’ve done lots of Bread Braids.  Most have come out looking fabulous.  This one … not so much.  Still this bread braid has much going for it.  I’ve learned how beets work in dough and how red you can go with bread.  It has a wonderful crumb and is delightfully moist and soft.  A bread well worth baking and learning from … and definitely worth eating.  That’s why we bake after all.

img_1436

Sourdough Red Beet Braid

Cathy (breadexperience)

Yield: 2 to 3 loaves

Ingredients:

Overnight Levain:

25-30 grams sourdough starter (or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast)

100 grams bread flour (or all-purpose)

40 grams water

Final Dough:

700 grams bread flour or all-purpose flour (divided 450, 200, 50), 250 grams of the 700 was sprouted wheat the remaining was AP)

2 tablespoons sugar, I used brown sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 tablespoons oil

1 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

40 grams water

338 grams raw beets cut into small chunks, blend until smooth

1 teaspoon vanilla, optional

Chia seeds, optional

Egg Wash:

Leftover eggs whites mixed with a little water

Directions:

1. Puree the beets in a blender, adding the water gradually. Puree until the mixture is completely smooth.  This will take a little while unless you have a high-powered blender.  Weigh the beet puree mixture, if it weighs more or less than 380 grams, you’ll either need to add more or less flour.

The beet I had weighted 438 grams. I added 40 grams water.  I used 400 grams of the beet and water blended mix.

2. Mix the flour (reserving 100 grams), sugar and salt together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the pureed beets, beaten eggs and egg whites, oil and vanilla, if using.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir slightly.  Add the sourdough on top and mix thoroughly.  My mixer remains packed in a box somewhere.  I mixed by hand with no issues.  I did add additional flour.

img_1440

Mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated and there are no bits of dry flour.  Let it rest for 30 minutes. 

3. Remove the mixture to a floured surface or you can continue doing this part in the mixing bowl.  Gradually add 75 – 100 grams of flour while kneading the dough.  It should become very supple and workable.  Resist the urge to add too much flour.  Unless you change the hydration, you shouldn’t need too much more flour.  I think since I added the extra beet blend, I needed about an additional 1/2 flour.

4. Clean out the bowl, or scrape it down really well. Shape the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel.  Let it proof for 4 to 5 hours.  Perform a fold after the 1st hour, place back in the bowl. Repeat at the 2nd hour.  Let rest for 2 to 3 more hours.  Perform an additional fold if necessary.

Ah, I only did one fold.

5. After the bulk fermentation, divide the dough for braiding. I divided the dough in half and made two loaves with double braids.

Roll out the ropes for the braids, shape the braids and tuck the ends under. 

img_1445

6. Place the braided loaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash.  Let them proof 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until they have grown to about 1 1/2 times their original size.

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (or 325 degrees F. for the double braid) and place the oven rack on the middle shelf.

Brush the loaf again with egg wash and sprinkle the top with poppy seeds.  No poppy seeds here, I used chia seeds.

Bake the loaf for 20 minutes, rotate the pan for even baking, then bake an additional 20 to 35 minutes depending on the size of the loaf. It should register 190 degrees in the center.

Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let it cool for 1 hour before slicing.

img_1446

Can you believe how RED!  Red is my color.

Beets and goat cheese are a natural and it is a spectacular combo with this … oh yes and a glass of red is alright as well.  Serve with goat cheese, red wine and a good friend. 

img_1453

Cutting it loses its red intensity but I very happy with the color and the good eating!

I just know you want to bake red and bake with us!

Cathy of Bread Experience is the host kitchen for December and your challenge is to make beet bread. You can use any color beets and make any shape loaf you like, however, I think the braid makes a spectacular presentation.

Just bake some beet bread and post about it on your blog and on the Bread Baking Babes FB page by the 30th of this month.  If you don’t have a blog, please post a photo of your bread on the BBB FB page.

Send an email to breadexperience at gmail dotcom with BBB December Beet Bread in the subject and I’ll send you the Buddy Badge to display on your blog.

All the Babes look forward to seeing  your beet bread.

Baking makes us ALL happy!

IMG_0968


6 Comments

BBB ~ Bialys

I first saw Bialys in London.  I don’t know why but Bialys have never really called my name.  Bagels I always found interesting; because they have an involved process that makes them a challenge perhaps.  I haven’t really avoided Bialys but for whatever reason, I’ve never burned to bake them either.  Now that I’ve baked them, I know I’ll be baking them again.  The are really simple to bake and every time Gorn puts one in his mouth it’s “These are really good.”

Our host kitchen this month is Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats.  Thank you for getting me to finally bake Bialys!

This recipe made 15 for me.  We’ve had them plain, Gorn put jam one one, I put cream cheese and jalepeno jelly on one, we put hamburgers on two, toasted two and topped them poached eggs and finally peanut butter.  They are just good.  I have to bake them again to try the bagel traditional lox on them!

Bialys
Recipe By: Judy(Gross Eats) inspired by The Hot Bread Kitchen: Artisanal Baking from Around the World.
Yield: 16
Recipe #1 from Elizabeth Faulkner
Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 onion minced, per bialy
Dough
17 ounces bread flour
9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (white whole wheat)
30 grams flax meal
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar, omitted
4 ounces starter or poolish*
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 ounces warm water
14 1/2 ounces cold water

Directions:

1. I fear I played really loose with this recipe.  No starter for me …
I simply combined all dough ingredients together except the salt.
Mixed.
Knead for 6 minutes.
Add salt and knead for another 2 minutes or until dispersed.

2. Set aside to rise for 2 hours.
Ah, I put it in the fridge overnight …

3. Roll into a log on a flour dusted surface. Scale out dough at 3 ounces a ball (about 16 bialys total) Mine were more like 3.5 ounces.
Press each out to shape without overworking and leaving 1″ lip around edge.
Proof dough balls (allow to rise again) in warm spot covered with a clean dish towel for an hour or until soft and airy.

IMG_0977
4. Sauté onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until light caramel in color but at higher heat.

Without a stove top, I caramelized my onions in a crock pot.  Works like a charm.

5. Make center depression in each one and fill with the filling.  I used a scant teaspoon of onion.

IMG_0982
Sprinkle bialys lightly with poppy seeds and salt.  I looked high and low but no poppy seeds here.
Bake at 450 degree oven, preferably on a pizza stone, for about 12-15 minutes.  Mine took 17 minutes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bake’m Be a Buddy.  Make some bialys and share your experience and photos by emailing Judy a link to your blog or, if you don’t have a blog, email Judy a photo and a brief description.  Send to jahunt22 [at] gmail [dot] com by July 29.  Once you have posted, Judy will send you a Buddy Badge for baking along with us.  Expect a roundup of all of the BBBuddies posts a few days after the close of submissions.

BBB logo June 2016


7 Comments

Lien’s Bran Bread ~ BBB

BBB Bran Bread ~ 100% Whole Wheat

Recipe From Lien: from the sisters Margherita and Valeria Simili

Yield: 2 loaves or 1 pullman

While this is a tricky bread to explain; it is an easy bread to enjoy.  Lien’s goal with this bread, I think, was a super healthy bread that tasted really good.  I think she succeeded exceedingly well.  There is a lot of bran in this bread and you really never really think “bran” while you’re eating it.
I believe I did a number of very small things wrong that together left me feeling this loaf missed something, missed a spark and yet we both of us kept going for another slice.  The loaf was gone in three days.  This loaf had great texture and very good crust.  I short changed on raisins and nuts, use more next time.  I very often cut down and often eliminate sugar, I think perhaps this was the spark that I missed; use some sweetening next time.

Would I make this again … I’ve got my ingredients ready to mix a starter tonight.

STARTER FOR SLOW RISE
250 grams whole wheat flour
450 grams water
75 grams wheat bran
2 pinches active dry yeast
DOUGH
110 grams whole wheat flour
150 grams whole sprouted wheat flour
20 grams rye flour
160 grams water, used water raisins soaked in

30 grams honey (omited first baking** must add next baking)
2 grams active dry yeast
30 grams butter
9 grams salt
50 grams instant skim milk powder
1 tablespoon diastatic malt flour
75 grams walnuts (next time make at least 100 grams)
75 grams raisins (next time make at least 100 grams)

Directions:

1. STARTER:  Mix white whole wheat, wheat bran and yeast with water.  Cover and let sit over night.  (Elizabeth used crushed malted rye berries also; I wish I’d had some.Next time: try some rye flour, rye flakes or malted something.)

IMG_0858

Starter after the overnight rise.

2. NEXT MORNING: Soak dried fruit in water.  My initial call was to use cranberries but Gorn wanted raisins (98% of the time).  I should have used at least 100 grams of either.  Another time I might use apricots.

Mix starter and all dough ingredients – holding back walnuts and dried fruit.  I used the water I soaked the raisins in – why throw away flavor?

3. KNEAD not really.  I mixed and let it sit about 20 minutes.  I added a little more flour and it still didn’t really knead.  I wasn’t willing to add more flour, in retrospect I probably should have because it never reached kneading consistency.

4. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and press or roll it out flat in a big oval. Add nuts and/or raisins over the dough, fold the dough in two, press or roll out again and sprinkle on the remaining nuts/raisins. Roll the dough (jelly roll style).

5. Heavily butter pullman pan and sprinkle liberally with walnut crumbs.

6. I rolled the dough roll into my pullman pan.  Sprayed the top with water and put the pan cover on sliding it closed short of half an inch.

IMG_0866

7. 45 minutes later I had a really nice rise.

8. Preheat your oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
9. Make slashes in the dough (maybe if I’d added more flour).  Check the temperature of the bread (95ºC/200ºF) to be sure it is cooked.
Baked uncovered 50 minutes.  Internal temp at 201 when taken out of oven.
Take the loaves out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

There is no bitterness in this bread so often associated with all whole wheat breads.  I never felt like I was being made to eat this bread because it was good for me; this is easy eating bread.

IMG_0872
GOOD EATING.
IMG_0883
Do you see the big smily face upper right?  He’s telling you to get into the kitchen and Bake!
It would be great if you could join this challenge, how much bran can you add to still make good edible bread?  Get your bag of bran, knead, post and let us know how it went. And join us as a Bread Baking Buddy, send your results and what you thought of this to the Kitchen of the Month (that’s Lien this time!) type BBB Brab Bread as subject to notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot) com and you’ll be sent a Bread Baking Buddy Badge that you can add to your blogpost if you like. Deadline the 29th of June. Take on the challenge and let’s bake!
IMG_0638


10 Comments

BBB Rolls ~ NOT Cinnamon Rolls

What can I say … They are angel light even using white whole wheat flour.  They are marvelous but then they had a fabulous breakfast filling, which included bacon.  Maybe the rest of the filling ingredients weren’t traditional breakfast fare but they were great for our breakfast yesterday and today.

The part that I don’t get is the yield/serving size.  This was my biggest mistake.  I divided by 2 and only made half the recipe.  I still got 19 rolls … ah, well, when I have guests, I’ll certainly make the full recipe and then bake a fresh batch the next two mornings.  Because I always tend to want to share, I may make the full recipe when it’s just the two of us anyway and share parts of each baking.

BBB logo april 2016

BBB Wacky Rolls and NOT Cinnamon Rolls
Babe Kitchen of the Month: Karen of BakeMyDay
Serving Size: 21
Yield: 21 rolls

480 ml [2 cups] milk
120 ml [1/2 cup] butter
30 grams brown sugar (my modification)
2 – 2.5 teaspoon yeast
520 grams [4 cups] KA white whole wheat flour
45 grams ground flax seed
65 grams [1/2 cup] AP flour (extra, reserve to add later)
1/2 teaspoon heaping baking powder
1/2 teaspoon scant baking soda
1/2 tablespoon salt
melted butter
190 gr [1 cup] sugar, I omitted

1. Oven: 375F / 190 C

2. Room temperature milk, butter, brown sugar and yeast in a bowl.
Add 4 cups of white whole wheat flour. Stir until combined, cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

3. Next, remove the cover and ADD baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1.2 cup of flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Oops!  I already did that in step one ~ why read when you can breeze along …

4.  Roll out the dough in a rectangle or refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 3 days. (Probably need to keep an eye out for overflowing dough, so punch down if it rises to the top). Relatively slack dough so it probably is easier to work with when chilled!
IMG_0678
I did chill my dough BUT the best thing I see here is:  Make all the recipe, DO NOT divide by 2.  Mix entire recipe; bake half one day and the other half a day or 2 later!  Joy in the morning!

5. Proceed as you will with any other rolls you make; roll dough into a large rectangle on a floured surface. My first batch were thicker than the second day with colder dough.  I liked both.

6. To make the filling, use your imagination… go sweet, go savoury, go wacky. Make it yours and make it good!

OK Karen:
butternut squash roasted tiny cubes
bacon chopped
apple chopped
spinach fine chopped
garlic fine chopped
walnuts, roasted and chopped

(pecans didn’t make it; I think cranberries would be marvelous; happily even though I worried I was adding too many different things, this was a great combo!)

7.  Start rolling, I always start with the long side closest to me and roll away from my body. You could do it the other way round, I am easy like that! Just keep a tight roll.

I think I roll about the same as Karen but I need to work on a slightly tighter roll.

Once you have your roll, pinch the seam and roll it once over so the seam is on the bottom. Slice into 1.1/2 inch thick slices. Cover and set aside to rise for at least 20-45 minutes before baking.  15 minutes worked for me both times.

IMG_0680

8. Bake fo 15-18 minutes in a preheated oven (375F/190C)
White whole wheat flour required 24 to 26 minutes.

Rolls - Not a cinnamon roll

And so we have Breakfast Rolls.  NO cinnamon, NEW tradition!

9. Make these rolls all your own.  Cook with what you like to eat and you should be able to create a lovely high and light roll you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Just remember:  NO CINNAMON.

What Karen ask was why the leavening? Why not use just yeast, or only the other two?

So yes, you need to use all three in this recipe!

You will probably want to see what Elizabeth who did extensive research on the results with the three rising agents (yeast, baking powder, baking soda) had to say.  I’ll try to link to her page as soon as she posts.

My take on these rolls is all three rising agents aren’t used in Angel Rolls for nothing.  These rise like there is no tomorrow or no top to your bowl unless you use a really big bowl.  The dough is beautiful, light and supple.

IMG_0693

I so wanted this egg to be runny … but it stood still

10. Proof positive once again: ” Bread just wants to be bread. ”  Wisdom from Babe Elizabeth.

Notes:

The original recipe starts with heating milk/oil/sugar to just below a boil and let this cool. Karen didn’t do that and neither did I. Also, the recipe tells you to sprinkle on the yeast and let it sit for a minute to bloom. I never do that… didn’t do it this time and neither did Karen.

Basically this recipe follows the rules for making rolls, as in: make the dough, bulk rise. Roll out in a rectangle, add filling of your choice, roll up from the long side and cut into slices. Proof and bake in a moderate oven.

Now the difference lies in the leavening combo and that comes to show in the rising method.

IMG_0686

I do love cinnamon rolls and these would make excellent cinnamon rolls but to NOT make them cinnamon rolls presents an excellent opportunity and I definitely think you should join us on this one.

Join us as a Bread Baking Buddy.  Karen is our host this month. Bake these “Not-a-cinnamon-roll rolls” according to the recipe on Karen’s site and post it on your blog before the 30th of this month. Please make sure you mention BBB April 2016 in the subject line and link to this BBB post in your own blog post. If you don’t have a blog do not hesitate to bake and email me at bakemyday at gmail dot com with your name, a 500px wide image of your bread and the link to your BBB post. I will then send you a BBB badge for this bread that you can then add to your post on your blog. The round up can be expected around the 2nd of May.

BBB logo march 2016


Auberge Walnut Bread

Nuts.  Do you love nuts?  Walnuts, toasted. Do you love walnuts toasted?

Elizabeth was our lovely hostess for the March 2016 bread ~ I guess I’m a little late it now being April 7.

So, what did I change … I didn’t have to add ground flax!  I didn’t have vital wheat gluten; I did use organic bread flour (no all purpose).  I used powered ginger but there was also fresh ginger sitting on the counter and I gave that several swipes on the microplane; any ginger flavor or aroma was in the background, I didn’t really identify it.

Butter – salted or unsalted.  Before I moved to the woods, I always had both salted and unsalted on hand and used unsalted when called for.  Now, there is a place called Country Dairy   http://www.countrydairy.com/about    just 8 miles from us.  I love this place!
IMG_0610
You may ask what does butter (salted or unsalted) have to do with ice cream.  You can ask that.  Here’s my story, why I don’t buy salted butter anymore:  Growing up I was a lover of ice cream.  What kid isn’t!  In my world as an Air Force brat, I had ice cream from all over this country.  But for me the very best ice cream, the only ice cream worth eating was only to be found in a little mid-west town where we spent all holidays, many other times and actually lived one year while my father was stationed overseas.  My favorite aunt loved ice cream and watermelon as much as I did and so she was always willing to take me into Central Dairy for a cone.  That was childhood when I was always into ice cream.  As we struggle with waist lines in what some might call my “adulthood” (I don’t call it that even into my 70’s because it just doesn’t seem likely that I could be an adult even now.) ice cream is something for rare occasions.  Even so, I did one day find myself in Country Dairy and allowed a treat … that would be ice cream.  I don’t really remember which flavor it was but the first lick … I was suddenly 5 years old again, back on those small black and white floor tiles in Central Dairy.  People, this was ICE CREAM like it is supposed to be.  This was the real deal.

When you have that kind of a moment in a place where the people are terrific, your husband says this is the best skim milk ever, they do wonderful panini breakfast sandwiches and there is terrific cheese and sausage in the counters along with that ice cream, you can count on a VERY loyal customer – that would be me.  They only have salted butter.  Sorry, I just don’t buy unsalted butter any more.
IMG_0609

I brushed the mostly baked loaf with half and half.

Recipe From Elizabeth as found in Auberge of the Flowering Hearth by Roy Andries de Groot
Yield: 2 loaves

TWO LOAVES ~ Amounts
253 grams walnut halves, divided
»    200 grams 200g (2 c) whole walnut halves
»   53 grams 53g (0.66 c) walnut halves, finely chopped
420 grams (1.75 c) boiling water
34 grams (0.5c) skim milk powder
36 grams (2.5 Tbsp) unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
12 grams kosher salt (2 tsp table salt)
0.5g (0.25 tsp) powdered ginger
84 grams (4 Tbsp) dark honey
634 grams (~5 c) flour (de Groot’s recipe calls for 3c white bread and 3 c whole wheat, but that seems like too much. I switched to the equivalent of 2c white and 3c whole wheat.)
»   250 grams 250g unbleached all-purpose flour
»  9 grams 9g vital wheat gluten
»  15 grams 15g flax seed, finely ground
»   360 grams 360g whole wheat flour
29 grams (0.25 c) wheat germ
60 grams (0.25 c) water at ~98F
6 grams (2 tsp) active dry yeast
milk or cream for brushing during baking (de Groot’s recipe calls for egg yolk and milk)
HALF RECIPE ~ Amounts
ONE LOAF
170 grams walnut halves, divided
»   100 200g (2 c) whole walnut halves (I ended up using just 100g)
»   70 53g (0.66 c) walnut halves, finely chopped
210 grams (1.75 c) boiling water
17 grams (0.5c) skim milk powder
18 grams (2.5 Tbsp) unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
6 grams kosher salt (2 tsp table salt)
1/4 teaspoon 0.5g (0.25 tsp) powdered ginger, used powdered & fresh
42 grams (4 Tbsp) dark honey
267 grams (~5 c) flour (de Groot’s recipe calls for 3c white bread and 3 c whole wheat, but that seems like too much. I switched to the equivalent of 2c white and 3c whole wheat.)
»  125 grams 250g unbleached all-purpose flour
»    9 grams 9g vital wheat gluten, omitted
»    15 grams 15g flax seed, finely ground
»   185 grams 360g whole wheat flour
15 grams (0.25 c) wheat germ
30 grams (0.25 c) water at ~98F
1 teaspoon (2 tsp) active dry yeast
milk or cream for brushing during baking (de Groot’s recipe calls for egg yolk and milk)

IMG_0611
1. Walnuts: In the morning of the day you plan to bake the bread, spread the walnut halves in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast them in a 400F oven for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn! They’re done just at the moment you begin to smell them. Set aside 200g (2 c) onto a plate to cool. Using a very sharp knife, finely chop the other 53g to produce about 2/3 cup.

2. Mixing the dough: Pour just-boiled water into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in milk powder. Immediately add butter, honey, salt and powdered ginger and whisk until the butter has melted and the honey is incorporated.

3. Add flours, wheat germ and finely chopped walnuts (de Groot suggests grating them(!)) on top of one side of the large bowl.

4. Warm the water for rehydrating the yeast to around 98F, a little over body temperature. Or are you allergic to a thermometer? Heat it until it’s the temperature safe to feed to a baby: a few drops on the inside of your wrist feels warm but not hot. If it’s too hot, add cold water. (Tap water is okay, but please do NOT use water from the hot-water tap! You don’t know how long things other than water have been festering in the bottom of that tank.) Pour the warmed water into a small bowl and add the yeast. Whisk until the yeast has dissolved. Check to make sure that the milk mixture is not above body temperature (do the baby-bottle test on the inside of your wrist again) and then add the yeasted water to the milk mixture. Stir everything together with a wooden spoon to created a rough dough.

5. Kneading: Knead in the bowl (or use your electric mixer’s instructions for kneading) until the dough is smooth, “elastic and no longer sticky”.

6. Proofing: Cover the bowl with a plate and allow to proof in a draft-free area (oven with only the light turned on is ideal) until the dough has doubled.

7. Prepare the pans: Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.

8. Walnuts and Shaping: Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide in two. Roll each piece into a ball. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes. After their rest, flatten each ball into a disc and even divide the rest of the walnut halves on top, “pressing the nuts in slightly”, then roll each piece of dough to form a log. Joining the ends to make a ring, place each log seam side down on the parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a draft-free area until the rings have almost doubled.

IMG_0612
9. Baking: Preheat oven to 375F. Just before putting the bread in the oven, spray the tops liberally with water. Put the bread into the oven and immediately turn the thermostat down to 350F. After 35 minutes, brush the tops of the loaves with milk or cream (de Groot suggests using an eggyolk whisked with milk to create this glaze) and continue baking for about 10 more minutes until the loaves are nicely browned and have reached an internal temperature between 200F and 210F (the bread sounds hollow when knuckle-rapped on the bottom). Remove the bread from the oven. Don’t even think about touching that knife!!

IMG_0615
10. Cooling and Finishing: Allow the bread to completely cool on a footed rack before cutting into it. It’s still baking inside! Of course you may want to serve warm bread: reheat it after it has cooled completely. To reheat and/or rejuvenate Unsliced bread, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.

You probably have already seen Elizabeth’s post and know all the fun things she put up about this bread.

IMG_0618
This was a delightful loaf.  Gorn requested it until it was gone … on the 2nd day.  We can really go through a loaf!
This is what we bread heads call a “keeper loaf” meaning I’ll make this one again and again.  I will say this is a keeper of the first order.  The determining factor of when that remaking may occur probably depends on when will the BBB’s run out of great keeper breads to bake.

I hope you found this bread early enough to bake it and make the Buddy list but if not, not to worry, you should still bake this one.  It is just too good to miss.

IMG_0620

Don’t miss out.  Bake this one.

BBB logo feb 2016


9 Comments

Eight Years ~ BBB Caramelized Onion Bread

Can you believe EIGHT years?  I can not.  Eight years times twelve months equals ninety-six breads!  Even missing a couple, it has been an incredible journey.

I think I felt pretty good about baking bread back then.  I wasn’t a total novice; yeast didn’t bother me any more.  But I realized in the big picture, I’d hardly baked much bread.

Eight years and about ninety breads later plus more than that in-between Babe breads how is it with me?  I still find the mystery in yeast, water and flour ever fascinating and the challenge of bread enthralling.  Shape may always be a fascinating challenge.  I love new techniques but I don’t always push myself to them; I should try harder in that area.  Reading … I love reading with my 8 year old grand son.  I see how we read words without needing to know anything like an exact definition.  I see how we can read and skip big parts of a sentence and how it can then be nonsense and still we push right on.  Read, yes, I see that is often how I read recipes and miss key elements.

When I presented this recipe to the Babes I copied it exactly as it had been written.  I’ve rewritten all but two parts of it below.  I’ve tried to put in “alerts” where one of us missed seeing something.  I’m not saying I wrote it better, I’m saying I tried to change somethings that would allow me to read the recipe better and follow the direction more completely the next time.

Next time: yes this bread is good enough and interesting enough to bake again.  I want to aim for that scoring pattern on the book cover one day.  I hope you like it and want to bake along with us in our journey finding good breads.

 

CARAMELIZED ONION BREAD

Recipe By: Bien Cuit by Zachary Golper, Peter Kaminsky & Thomas Schauer
Yield: 2 medium loaves
Total Time: about 3 days (but most of that is dough resting)

IMG_0358

STARTER
125 grams (3/4 c + 21/2 tbsp) white rye flour (I only had dark rye)
0.3 gram (generous pinch) instant yeast
125 grams (1/2 c + 1 tsp) water at about 60°F (15°C)

DOUGH
425 grams (3 c + 21/2 tsp) white flour, plus additional as needed for working with the dough
75 grams (1/2 c + 11/2 tsp) buckwheat flour

35 grams ground flax seed
15 grams (21/2 tsp) fine sea salt
1 gram (generous 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
350 grams (11/4 c + 31/2 tbsp) water at about 60°F (15°C)
50 grams (21/2 tbsp) honey
25 grams (13/4 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
50 grams (1/4 c) Caramelized Onions (you know how to caramelize onions, yes?)
DUSTING MIXTURE for the linen liner and shaped loaves
1 part fine semolina flour
5 parts white flour

1.   STARTER: ROOM TEMPERATURE 10 TO 12 HOURS

Whisk flour and yeast together.  Pour water over.  Using wooden spoon or your hand mix carefully to insure all the flour is wet.  Cover the container and allow to sit on the counter at room temperature for 10 to 14 hours.  The starter will peak around 12 hours.

2. THE DOUGH
Whisk together white and buckwheat flours, salt and yeast.
Use approximately a third of the water to pour around the starter edges to release it from the sides of the bowel.
Mix remaining water and honey in large bowl and add the starter; mix starter into water with wooden spoon.
Because you may not need all of the flour, reserve a small amount (arbitary, maybe 1/2 cup).  Mix the dry ingredients into the starter to combine then switch to a plastic bowl scraper.
The dough will now be sticky to the touch.
Note: At no point in this process of resting did my dough double in size.
3.  ROLL AND TUCK
Some Babes, like some Buddies, are sticklers for following directions and amounts.  Perhaps, over the years I’ve become jaded by too many crazy mis-reads and just down right mistakes and breads that are just good.  When I read this recipe roll and tuck just morphed into stretch and fold for me which is what I did.  You’ll find several Babes who were very particular and followed the technique.
*** TUCK in my experience has always been cupping hands around a dough and tucking/pulling the dough under.  The result you’re looking for is a strong smooth finish.

“Push the dough to one side of the bowl. Roll and tuck the dough (see Rolling and Tucking), adding the reserved flour mixture and a small amount of additional flour to the bowl and your hands as needed. Continue rolling and tucking until the dough feels stronger and begins to resist any further rolling, about 10 times. Then, with cupped hands, tuck the sides under toward the center. Place the dough, seam-side down, in a clean bowl, cover the top of the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.”

IMG_0363
4.  FIRST STRETCH AND FOLD ~ TOTAL OF 4 times

Dust the counter and your hands lightly with flour.  Release the dough from the bowl and place it seam-side down on the counter.  Stretch into a rough rectangular shape then, as you would fold a letter to place into an envelope, fold the rectangular into thirds.  Using cupped hands again tuck the sides under toward the center of the dough ball.  Give the ball a slight turn with each tuck and work your way around the ball at least once.  Return the dough ball seam-side down back to the bowl and cover again with the towel.
Allow to rest again for another 45 minutes.
5.  SECOND STRETCH AND FOLD
Repeat the step 4 and return the dough to the bowl, cover with the towel, and let rest for 45 minutes.

IMG_0366
6.  THIRD STRETCH AND FOLD ~ ADDING ONIONS AND BUTTER

Third stretch and fold encorporates butter and onions.  Stretch the dough into a rectangle.  Drop small pieces of butter across the top the rectangle.  Spread the butter across the top then top the smeared butter with the onions.
Roll the dough tightly and press to flatten slightly.  Turn seam side down.  Fold into thirds and roll again; roll and fold until the butter and onions are completly incorporated into the dough.  Mine took about 7 times.
Turn the dough seam side down and tuck around the ball.
Cover with the towel and let rest another 45 minutes.
IMG_0369
7.  FINAL STRETCH
Fourth and final stretch, repeat step 4, then return the dough to the bowl, cover with the towel, and let rest for about 20 minutes.

8.  SHAPING  ~  12 TO 18 HOURS REFRIGERATED

Lightly dust the work area and hands with the dusting mix.
Divide the dough in half.  I divided mine unequally as I wanted one loaf larger than the other.   Roll into two loose tubes.
Let rest 5 minutes.  Press each again and shape how you choose.
Quote from Bien Cuit:  “Transfer to the lined pan, seam-side up, positioning the loaves lengthwise. Dust the top and sides of the loaves with flour. Fold the linen to create support walls on both sides of each loaf, then fold any extra length of the linen liner over the top or cover with a kitchen towel.
Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill for 12 to 18 hours.”
I placed my shaped loaves (seam side down – oh dear … ) onto parchment paper and covered.  Let them rest for 15 hours in the refrigerator.
IMG_0378
9.   PRE-HEAT OVEN WITH BAKING STONE
Pre-heat oven with baking stone and cast-iron inside to 500°F (260°C).
Cast-iron skillet is for creating steam with ice cubes; it really works well.

IMG_0398
10.  SCORING  ~  OVEN

Because my loaves were on parchment I simply lifted the parchment onto the baking peel. If you followed Bien Cuit directions above you’ll need to turn the loaves seam side down at this point.
Score the top of each loaf.  The cover of this book pictures a gloriously scored loaf that I hope to one day truely capture, until then this is a good try.
Transfer the loaves to the baking stone.
Add 3 cups ice cubes to the hot cast iron skillet.
Immediately lower the oven temperature to 460°F (240°C).
Bake, rotate the loaves 3/4 way through the baking time, until the surface is a deep, rich brown, with some spots along the scores being very dark (bien cuit), about 25 minutes.  My loaves registered 205° at that time.
IMG_0383

11. Using the baking peel, transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. When the bottoms of the loaves are tapped, they should sound hollow. If not, return to the stone and bake for 5 minutes longer.
IMG_0394
Let the bread cool completely before slicing and eating, at least 4 hours but preferably 8 to 24 hours.

About this book:  I understand this book has a very unusual binding and the pages are printed on black paper.  Since I am currently on the road, I ordered the iBook.  I’m very happy with it.  There are many fabulous looking recipes I look forward to trying.  This recipe turned out excellent.

I hope you’ll want to be a Buddy with us.  This bread won’t disappoint.  If you want to be a Buddy, we’d be overjoyed to have you join us.  Bake the bread, post it to your blog (no blog: send we a photo of your bread (my e-mail is comments my kitchen at mac dot com) and what your experience was) before the 29th of this month, I’ll send you a Buddy badge and put you in the round up on as close to the 2nd of March as I can manage.
IMG_0399
You will find Kelly is now a Babe.  I think you’ll find her to be a very enthusiastic Babe.  She’s baked a beautiful loaf this month as have many of our other Babes listed in the right column.  We’re without our link tool this month but I’m going to try and get that back into operation as soon as possible.
Happy Bread Baking to all!