MyKitchenInHalfCups

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


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BBB Granary Style Loaf

As Kitchen of the Month I welcome you to the BBB Sandbox for Granary Loaf.

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I always dreaded those essay exams at university and in graduate school. Gad, you really had to know your stuff.  Written was awful: you had to know it, organize it in your head and get in down on paper. Then in graduate school you had to be able to write it AND talk it.  Now, contrast that with how things work in the sandbox.  In our sandbox, the kids (that would be the BBBs and now you) all come together to “play”.  When kids play in a sandbox, they have fun, they experiment and they learn.  That learning can some times move into unexpected areas.
How did I come across Granary Bread?  A friend in Seattle showed me a bread book she’d gotten for Christmas and I came across Granary Bread.   I looked at several recipes for Granary Bread on the internet and settled on a trusted source, King Arthur.  But this bread sandbox is not so much about the recipe as about playing with a concept with creativity, independence all the while sharing and inciting discovery … even if that discovery takes us into the past where we learn again: there really is very little new under the sun.

In the Granary Loaf, I felt I’d found a classic, simple, conservative recipe with a potentially unobtainable ingredient for most of us: Granary flour is a proprietary blend not available unless you are in England or order it from them. Since we can’t get that special blend, that would require us to play together and come up with ideas that would allow us to create a Granary Style Loaf.
Along the way I explored barley extract, malting process (requires sprouting and drying the grain), malt (diastatic and non) and baking undercover.  I don’t feel comfortable putting up all that I scanned from Elizabeth David’s book but if you are interested I can e-mail you some copy  if you don’t have the book and would like to read some of it.  King Arthur is an excellent source to read up on malt extract as well.

When I started playing in this sandbox, I figured I would not be able to find the proprietary flour the Brit’s have.  I was thinking whole grain flours.  Sprouted would be a plus.  Toasting whatever “wheat flakes” would add some extra flavor in the neighborhood of malted.  I think if wheat flakes can’t be found, I’d try oatmeal.  Think whole grain and malty undertones.

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Almost immediately Heather came up with “I just ordered the flour from Amazon.”  Then I had to too … but coming from across the pond gave it a delivery date of March 12 … unless you were willing to pay some $70 to expedite delivery!

The only change I made here is using potato water and adding the ground flax meal.

The only change I made here is using potato water and adding the ground flax meal.

Mine came on the 12th and I baked using it on the 13.  I followed the directions on the label substituting only potato water for the water and adding in 30 grams of flax meal.  The Hovis flour was my second play in the SandBox.

Made with the Hovis Granary Flour.

Made with the Hovis Granary Flour.

Use your imagination.  Remember when you were little and made mud pies.  We’re playing around here.

Update Sunday night 15 March: King Arthur has what looks like a sort of updated/more recent Granary style loaf called Malted Wheat Flake Bread that I’m going to be starting tonight.  I very much like that it soaks grains overnight.

Authentic is not the goal, good tasty bread is. I leave it to you: loaf or rolls.

Just so not to leave you hanging, Elizabeth David in her “English Bread and Yeast Cookery” was writing about “baking bread undercover” in 1977.  She had “discovered” the idea from talking with and reading baker’s from the 1920’s.  Now, what does “baking undercover” make you think of?  Well, it makes me think about the first time I came across it was when Karen & I turned up baking (after midnight) the New York Times recipe put up by Mark Bittman from Jim Lahey in 2006.  Cast iron pot heated very hot and a lid put on it.  I thought that was revolutionary.  Turns out, not really that new under this sun.

Granary-Style Loaf

This is a bread beloved by the British. King Arthur calls it “granary-style” loaf because Granary Flour is a proprietary brand sold by a specific company in England.  A full-flavored bread with a hint of sweetness and a bit of crunch.
Recipe from King Arthur
Yield: 2 loaves
2 cups lukewarm water
1 to 2 tablespoons barley malt extract
1 cup malted wheat flakes
2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
1 scant tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 to 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose or Unbleached Special Bread Flour*
Flavor and texture come from those malted wheat flakes!

Flavor and texture come from those malted wheat flakes!

1. Pour the 2 cups of water into a mixing bowl. Stir in the barley malt, wheat flakes and white wheat flour. Mix in the yeast, and allow this sponge to work for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Stir in the butter or oil, salt, and about 2 1/2 cups of the all-purpose or bread flour. Add flour slowly until you have a shaggy mass hat begins to hold together and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
*You’ll use less flour if you use Special(meaning bread flour) instead of all-purpose, due to its higher absorption capacity.”

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or lightly greased work surface, and knead until it’s cohesive. Give it a rest while you clean out and lightly oil your bowl. Continue kneading for several minutes, adding only enough flour (or oil) to keep the dough from sticking to you or the work surface.

4. Return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat all sides, cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until it’s double din bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Gently deflate the dough, cut it in half, and shape each half into a log. Place the logs in two lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans. Allow the loaves to rise, covered, until they’re about three-quarters of the way to doubled.

5. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, remove it from the pans, and transfer it to a wire rack to cool.

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First Sand Box Play:
I cut the recipe in half because I wanted to bake again soon with different ingredients.
1 c water (260 g)
1 T barley malt extract became 8 grams brown sugar
1/2 c malted wheat flakes (from King Arthur)
30 grams golden flax meal
1 c white whole wheat became 75 grams sprouted wheat and 75 grams white whole whole
1/2 T yeast
1 T butter
1/2 t salt used 2 grams
150 grams bread flour
used about 1/3 cup more bread flour kneading

Mixed water, br sugar, wheat flakes, white whole wheat and sprouted wheat; allowed to sit 1 hour
Whisked yeast, salt, flax meal and bread flour.
And baked following KA recipe.

Gorn & I both found these two loaves to be excellent.  Good as toast; great for a sandwich. A background whisper of malt … sweetness … but just right.  The Hovis Granary flour made an excellent loaf but I think there was not a substantial difference from the King Arthur recipe when I baked the two.

I do hope you’ll want to play in the sandbox with us, maybe you will find something new under the sun that we’ve missed.

***  To be a bread baking buddy, post your bread (on your blog, on our FaceBook group, or send me a photo and comment on the bread).  In order to receive a BBBuddy Badge and appear in my round-up post at the end of this month you MUST e-mail me at comments my kitchen at mac dot com – you know no spaces and the @ sign – AND use BBB or SandBox on the subject line.

It’s not a fancy shape, just super good bread. BBB logo March 2015 See you in the SandBox!


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Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

I know it’s hard to believe but this is not for the Babe’s, not an early BBB bread at all.  I hope that’s not too disappointing.  I will tell you I did the Babe bread for this month and did squeal and even jig a little dance – sorry Ilva.  It’s really very good, very fun and even though the thought made me shake in my boots, it was very easy .
I saw this first on David Lebovitz’s blog and was of course over awed by the look and sound. Do you ever buy a cookbook because of one recipe?  How many cookbooks have you bought without at least thumbing through the actually book or looking at a sample as an e-book.  I may have hesitated five minutes before hitting the buy button on Amazon … I may not have.  At any rate, the book is now in my library.
Now that I’ve read it cover to cover, I’m delighted and have considerably more than the one recipe that I’m over joyed with.
The bread is milder than I expected but still has a lovely rye aroma and flavor.  It’s a dense bread and so is perfect to slice thin and serve with appetizers.  I may try it next with a little caraway and when I unpack that special loaf pan to bake cocktail rye in, I’ll be trying that. Until I find that pan, wonderful with just butter and with every cheese we put on it last night.  We’ve planned to have it toasted with an egg some morning before it’s all gone. I’m right with David on the avocado and strangely enough there is one waiting on my counter … it won’t be waiting long.

Below you will find first my measure, second David Lebovitz’s measurement in parenthesis found on his blog, and finally Hans Rockenwagner’s measurement.  You can note that my grams and David’s are fairly different.  In comparing photo’s of each, it seems like the measurements worked about the same in the final bread.  Flour is a dramatically different entity around this globe.   I was baking from the book where Hans uses cups. When I use a recipe written in cups any more, I do the measurement, weight it in grams (and yes I know liquids are measured in ml, I just do it in grams and it works for me) and write in in the book or into my MacGourmet program. Next time I just scale things.

Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

Recipe By: Das Cookbook by Hans Röckenwagner
Yield: one loaf


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my measure    David Lebovitz’s measurement,     Hans Rockenwagner’s measurement
400 grams (375ml) lukewarm water, 1 1/2 cups (12 oz)
1/4 cup (80g)  honey, 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon ( I used agava syrup)
2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast (not instant)
450 grams (330g) whole-wheat flour, 2 3/4 cups
45 grams flax meal
1 teaspoon King Arthur Rye Bread Improver
155 grams (110g) rye flour (dark or light), 1 cup
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 cup (125g) lightly toasted sunflower seeds
Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan – I used butter

1. I deviated from the recipe here and simply added the yeast into the flours.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the whole wheat and rye flours with the salt. I used a wooden spoon. Stir the 1/4 cup (80g) honey into the flour mixture. If necessary, add an additional bit of flour if the dough is too wet, or another tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry. It should feel soft and moist, and when you touch it, your finger should just barely stick to it.

3. This is a stiff but fairly smooth dough at this point.  I don’t think I kneaded more than about 5 minutes.  I also moistened my hands fairly often by putting one palm in a bowl of water.  I can’t guess how much water this added.

4. Here I deviated from the recipe and covered the dough and placed it in the refrigerator over night.

5. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead in the sunflower seeds thoroughly, making sure that they are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.  Again I moistened one palm in a bowl of water.
Return the dough to the mixer bowl, I covered the bowel with a moist towel and then a shower cap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, took 2 hours.

6. Punch the dough down with your fist, cover, and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.

7. Lightly grease a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured countertop, shape the dough into a elongated rectangle, and place the dough in the pan. Cover and let rise 1 hour. (Note that it won’t rise much.)

8. About 15 minutes before you plan to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

I preheated my convection oven to 340°, placed the loaf in the well preheated oven, sprayed the top of the loaf well with the water and then gave the oven a good squirt. I turned the oven up to 350°F for 10 minutes and then back down to 340° for the last hour of baking.

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My total baking time was 70 minutes.

9. Storage: The bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. It can be frozen for several months.

Notes:

My experience with dense whole wheat loaves tells me they are best left to cool to room temperature. It requires a great deal of patience.

Out of the oven at 1:51pm  104.4°;  at 2:45pm 141.1°F;  at 4:50pm  90.1°F;   at 7pm  72.6°F;  at 9pm  66.7°F room temperature.

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For the whole wheat flour, I mixed King Arthur whole wheat flour (fairly finely ground) with half Bob’s Red Mill white whole wheat (more coarsely ground).

Of course the flax seed was added by me not the real chefs.

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David Lebovitz:  Please note that this bread requires three risings. Fortunately, there isn’t any work to do between those risings. But allow yourself time when you make the bread. I started it the minute I woke up, and it was ready by lunch!

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I was thinking that next time, I may swap out a bit of the honey – perhaps 2-3 tablespoons – with mild molasses. Do make sure you toast the sunflower seeds. To do so, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and spread the seeds on a baking sheet. Baking them, stirring once or twice, for 6 to 8 minutes. Some people like to toast nuts and seeds in a hot skillet on the stovetop, which you can do instead. I tried my own idea of brushing the bread with water and topping it with seeds before baking and most of them didn’t stick. So I didn’t include that suggestion here.

I found this bread even better toasted. It made a nice lunch with ripe, mashed avocado on top, which I mixed with red onion, red pepper powder, a bit of olive oil, and some flaky sea salt.

Two days and we’ll be up with the BBBs  😉

Happy Baking!


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Nutella Brioche Flower – Bread Baking Babes Bright Star

Nutella Brioche Flower aka in my house as Chocolate Peanut Butter Brioche Snow Flake

Such an easy bread to make. Such a stunning bread to put in the oven. Such a spectacular bread to take out of the oven.
I mean this is gorgeous visual! even not perfect.

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Cathy, Bread Experience, is our Kitchen of the Month and you REALLY want to be a Buddy this month and make yourself a star … or snowflake. Cathy called it a flower. Titled it a flower.  I thought it looked more like a star but then Lien changed my mind when she called it a snow flake.  I say thank you Cathy.

Every month when the Babes bake, Katie rounds the Babes all up. Makes us look great. Many months even though we were given the same recipe, there’s a great variety in the way we look. I’m going to step out on that limb and say I think this month we may have a very similar look to our breads. More alike than usual I think is likely. So far I’ve only seen Cathy’s but I still think we’re going to share in the looks department.
UPDATE: even before I hit publish, an e-mail from flickr just came across my desk, Lien’s is even much more like a star than mine. The limb just broke.
Now, fillings. I’m thinking that’s where we may part ways this months. But, hey, that’s very normal for us. After you and I have checked out all the Babes, we’ll know. You’ll have a great many new ideas for fillings, maybe even come up with one we didn’t.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brioche Snow Flake
Recipe By: Cathy (breadexperience) who
Adapted it from:
Poor Man’s Brioche in Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Yield: one round loafFor the sponge:
65 grams bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
134 grams (4 ounces) whole milk, lukewarm (90 to 100 degrees F.)
For the dough:
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
140 grams bread flour, 1 cup
300 grams white whole wheat flour, 2 cups
30 grams flax meal
40 grams sugar – brown
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
116 grams unsalted butter, melted
1-2 teaspoons milk, if necessary to form a smooth dough
For the filling and glaze:
peanut butter
bitter chocolate grated
whole milk
1 tablespoon milk plus 1 tablespoon water for glaze
Icing (confectioner’s) sugar
***** Where ever you see those five stars, that’s me giving you my comments.
I am a real convert to my kitchen scale. When ever I get a recipe written in cups or ounces, I use cups the first time but measure that in grams and write it down. The result is the next time I bake, I’ve got the grams. I don’t usually calculate/convert cups to grams based on any formula. I just do the measure myself then I know if it works or how well it works for me and adjust accordingly.1. To make the dough, add the eggs to the sponge and whisk (or beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment) until smooth.  In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Add this mixture to the sponge and eggs and stir (or continue mixing with the paddle on low-speed for about 2 minutes) until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to begin to develop the gluten.  Then mix in the melted butter by hand, using a wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk or with the mixer on medium speed using the dough hook. Add in a couple of teaspoons of milk if the dough is too dry.Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.  It shouldn’t be too sticky to handle.Form the dough into a ball and place it in a clean bowl.  It doesn’t need to be oiled.  The butter should keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.  Let the dough bulk ferment in a warm place (70- 75 degrees F.) for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.IMG_7588****** When I finally did find the morning to get the sponge mixed, it was fully 7 hours later before there was some signs of life so I added a pinch more yeast and mixed and kneaded nicely silken dough.
I covered it and left it to rise. Several hours later, you are adding these hours now aren’t you, I checked the rise. “I can’t deal with this any more tonight.”
I said a sweet goodnight to my dough ball as I tucked him into the cool overnight.
Next day, the dough ball did not raise to my consciousness until 3PM.2. Meanwhile, cut out a circle of baking or grease proof paper about 30 cm (12″) in diameter. Place the paper on a baking sheet.

To shape the snow flake, once risen, turn the dough out onto a surface, knock it back knead for 3-4 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each piece into a ball.

Roll a ball of dough out into a circle measuring about 25 cm (10″) in diameter. The dough should be about 3-4 mm (1/8″) thick.

Place the dough onto the baking paper and spread on a layer of Nutella, leaving a small gap at the edge. Don’t make the layer too thick but be sure to evenly cover the dough.

Roll out a second ball of dough, place it on the first layer and spread with Nutella. Repeat with the third and fourth balls of dough but do NOT spread Nutella on the final layer.

***** Don’t you just love that “meanwhile” thing. In the meanwhile, I was working like a dog helping Gorn with paper work, worked out at the gym and spent many many hours making gifts for the four grandchildren. Meanwhile, haha. Actually, somewhere in that meanwhile I did cut out a 12 inch circle of parchment.

So, meanwhile I came to that part about the shape the snow flake !! Yes, I watched the video Cathy put up on the website long ago but remembering what I saw was coming up blank. Tom Terrific HughesNet was down … OK how many cuts Cathy?  Read on.

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3. Cut the brioche into 16 segments but leave a small (3 cm/1½”) area in the centre of the dough uncut.

Take a pair of adjacent segments. Lift and twist them away from each other through 180°. Lift and twist through 180° again, then twist through 90° so that the ends are vertical. Press the edges together firmly. Repeat this process for all pairs of segments.

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***** Fancy that, it says right there in the directions “16 segments”.  Leave an uncut circle area in the middle … I went with the middle size ramekin to act as a guide.

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I do remember the video showing a very even nutella spread just short of the edges and the baker timing the dough to a nice clean circle. My chocolate peanut butter was difficult to spread and had a fair amount of unevenness. I might trip the circle next time just to see if more of my edges would stay closed and look neater. But, I don’t think you have to obsess about this part being perfect. It works.

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4. Place the brioche in a large plastic bag or cover with lightly oiled film. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours to prove.

***** Well, I just covered it with a big bowl.

And I waited 2 and a half hours … finally said phooey, this is coming out of the oven at 10 and I’m going to bed. Be prepared, this is not a fast riser at any stage of the game. It showed most rising in the oven.
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5. Brush with the milk glaze then bake at 160°C/320°F fan oven, 180°C/360°F conventional oven for 20-25 minutes.  I baked it at 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes, then turned it down to 350 and baked it another 5 minutes or so.

***** I baked it at 375° F for 15 minutes then at 350°F for another 15 minutes – thinking that the whole wheat flour would take more baking time.

6. Place the bread on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, dust lightly with icing sugar.

***** I wanted to turn the bread around at 15 minutes knowing that my oven is hot in the back but it was just too awkward as I had used my baking stone and things were just too heavy to move it gracefully. So you’ll see it’s darker on one side than the other.

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It was out of the oven by 10PM.

***** Now, my filling. For my birthday last month, I treated myself.

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***** I treated myself to an 11 pound bar of this chocolate. Holy moly!! This is such good bitter chocolate, I love eating it just like it is. Never done that with another bitter chocolate.
Anyway, the filling: I micro-planed grated a lot (you know like your Nona always measured) and then mixed that with peanut butter. It was dry. I added whole milk. It was dry. I added 2 tablespoons of butter. It was dry. I added more peanut butter – yes chunky.  It was dry. I microwaved it for a minute on 10% power and repeated that about 6 times, stirring in-between times. It got soft and oily. I went with it.

I hope it was good because I gave it to a friend.

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So, no crumb shot.

Whether you call it a flower, a star or a snowflake, you really want to make this one. Do it. Pop yourself over to Cathy’s, get the details and tell her what you think. She’ll send you a badge and get you in the round-up at the end of the month. Really it is easy. You can’t get more bang for your kneading than this gorgeous shape. Filling: what can you dream up for us?

I’m thinking Christmas morning and coffee.

Merry Christmas, Be Merry and Bright.


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Dhakai Bakharkhani/ Baqeerkhani (Crisp Flatbreads from Dhaka, Bangladesh)

I do know there’s a tremendous amount to be gained by following a recipe to the letter … and then there is old fashioned “just have to make do”.  I truly enjoy doing a recipe to be authentic.  I also realize there are those times when it just isn’t meant to be … and this was one of them.  Perhaps in the long run there is as much to be gained/learned from one way as the other.

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Aparna (My Diverse Kitchen) very kindly invited us round her kitchen table this month to bring us a love story and a bread to fall in love with.  She hoped to find a different bread, a challenging bread and a fun bread for us to bake.  In my book she succeeded in spades.  This is one of those breads I think you will find an endless number of ways to top it and I think it can be one of those stellar breads to use for special times.  These breads are cracker like – they benefit immensely by crisping  them up in the oven before serving.  We’ve been invited to friends for Thanksgiving and I’m thinking these might be a perfect little bite to take with a smoked salmon spread.
Now … about that mawa … did you really hear me whaling … yes, that was me.  No stove top, no hot plate.  I tried the slow cooker … didn’t taste bad but it was so dark and all the babes were getting this lovely light yellow creamy color, I just couldn’t use what I took out of the crock pot.  The substitution that seemed most likely was ricotta cheese.
You will see I used all whole grain/wheat in this recipe.  The only white I used was when I dusted the rolled out dough and put on the ghee.  Yeah, I even added my trademark ground flax seed meal.  I used all the liquid called for … and I changed the water to milk.  Why?  Why milk? I don’t really have an answer, it just seemed the right thing to do.  Because I used the whole grain and the flax, I mixed this dough up the night before to allow all the whole grain to hydrate with the idea this would keep the bread from being dry.
These create a wonderfully buttery aroma coming out of the oven.  Easily a welcome aroma around holidays.

Dhakai Bakharkhani/ Baqeerkhani (Crisp Flatbreads from Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Recipe By: Aprana:  Adapted from Honest Cooking ( )

For the mawa/ khoya:
1 litre full fat milk (2% will also do) – makes approximately 3/4 to 1 cup mava
For the Bakharkhani:
170 grams white whole wheat flour, (plus a little more for rolling it out the dough)
135 grams sprouted whole wheat flour
1/4 cup mawa, substituted ricotta cheese
1/4 cup ghee* (plus a little more for spreading on the dough while rolling it out)
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 grams brown sugar
2/3 cups skim milk (a little less or more if needed)
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)
walnuts , chopped

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1. *ghee is nothing but clarified butter and should be available readymade in Indian stores. It is quite easy to make your own at home. Since you are making the effort you can make a little extra and store the rest for later use. Ghee can be stored at room temperature and keeps for a while.
Melt 500gm of unsalted butter and let it cook until the milk solids in the butter start turning golden brown (do not burn them) and the liquid fat is a golden color. You should get a rich aroma from it.
Let it cool to room temperature and then decant or strain the golden liquid into an airtight jar.
I managed this very easily (carefully monitored) in the microwave.

2. Make the mawa/ khoya:

Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring it on and off, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking the milk until reduces to about a quarter of its original volume. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half.  The important thing during this process is to watch the milk and stir it frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the pan and get burnt. The danger of this happening increases as the milk reduces and gets thicker.

Once the milk it has reduced to about one fourth, 1/4 quantity, lower the heat to low and let cook for a little while longer. Keep stirring regularly, until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance.  There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be a bit moist and not stick to the sides of the pan.

Let it cool. Once it has cooled, it should still be a little moist but you should be able to crumble it.

Make it in a crock pot:
http://www.indiacurry.com/dairy/khoyaslowcooker.htm

1. On stove top or in a microwave oven heat milk between 180ºF to 190ºF.
2. While heating milk, put about 2 quarts of water in the slow cooker, cover with lid and turn it high for 20 minutes. You are basically preheating the the insert, so that it will not crack.
3. When the milk has reached, the 180ºF, drain the water out of the slow cooker insert. Transfer the hot milk to the insert.
4. Cover the insert with the lid, leaving about 1″ crack. This will allow the steam to escape during evaporation. Turn the cooker to ‘Low’
5. Every 30 minutes or so, stir scraping the sides and the bottom. In about three hours, you should have about 5 cups of Chikna Khoya.

3. Making the Bhakarkhani:

In a large bowl,  put the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Crumble the mawa into it and mix in. Then add the ghee and use your fingers to rub it into the flour.   Add the water, a little at a time, and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough that can be rolled out very thin.

Please see this video to get an idea of how the dough is rolled out, layered with ghee and flour and folded. The language in the video is Bangla but the visual is quite descriptive. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyiOLuJywHQ )

4. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying. Let it rest for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then lightly coat the dough and then let it rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 170C (325F).

5. Lightly coat your rolling pin and board (or your working surface) with some ghee.
Now divide the dough into two portions, working with one portion at a time. Roll out one portion of the dough as thin as possible into a rectangle, without adding any flour. It should be thin enough for you to see your work surface through the rolled out dough!

Brush some ghee (not too much) all over the surface of the rolled out dough with your fingers. Sprinkle some flour evenly over this, enough so that the ghee is absorbed when spread out. The flour layer should be thin. Brush some more ghee, again, over this and then sprinkle some flour over this like previously.

Fold the dough into half and once again repeat the process of brushing the ghee and sprinkling the flour over this twice, as before. Fold the dough for the second time (see the video) and repeat the brushing with ghee and flouring, twice.

Now roll up the dough into a long cylinder and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

6. Pinch off lemon sized balls and roll each one into a small, round flatbread. Sprinkle sesame seeds (optional) and lightly press into the dough. Make three cuts on each flatbread using a knife. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until they’re light brown on top. Do not over bake.

7.
Let them cool and serve with coffee or tea.

So you’ve read the recipe and you’re shaking your head thinking “that’s beyond me.  I tell you it’s not.  Really, go for the ricotta like I did if you want to really cheat – but all reports are if you have a stove top and use your widest pan to create the largest evaporative surface area for the mawa.  Watch the rolling out video – I watched it once and then just winged it. This will work for you and you’ll  have a wonderful rich, crisp flatbread under your belt, your kitchen will smell devine and somebody may even love you as much as Aga Bakar loved his mate (you did read the love story on Aprana’s blog didn’t you?).  Well, go read it and bake this bread.

To Join Us and become a Bread Baking Buddy, bake some Bakharkhani and post it on your blog before the 28th of this month or on our Facebook page.  Make sure you mention Bread Baking Babes and link to Aprana’s post in your post.
Then e-mail Aparna at aparna(at)mydiversekitchen(dot)com with a link to your Bakharkhani post and a photo of your bread that is a 500px wide.  Subject line should read “Bread Baking Buddies”.  Aprana will send you a badge to add to your post and she’ll include you in her round up at the end of this month.
Get baking!

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13 Comments

BBB – Robert May’s French Bread

Our Kitchen of the Month, Ilva – LuculianDelights – introduced this bread saying “I thought you might find it interesting to use a recipe (adapted by Elizabeth David) that was published 354 years ago.”

No, no Ilva, Elizabeth David was writing in the 50’s, that’s nothing like 354 years … haha, lucky for me I didn’t say anything and thereby show off my very sloppy reading skills. I googled The Accomplisht and then did an iBook search for Robert May … and lo and behold there was the 354 year old recipe!

How much thought have you given to how a recipe is written? What do you expect from a recipe?

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Here’s the recipe: Excerpt From: Robert May. “The accomplisht cook / or, The art & mystery of cookery.” as I found it in iBooks.
“To make French Bread the best way.
Take a gallon of fine flour, and a pint of good new ale barm or yeast, and put it to the flour,
with the whites of six new laid eggs well beaten in a dish, and
mixt with the barm in the middle of the flour, also three spoonfuls of fine salt;
then warm some milk and fair water, and put to it, and make it up pretty stiff, being well wrought and worked up,
cover it in a boul or tray with a warm cloth till your oven be hot;
then make it up either in rouls, or fashion it in little wooden dishes and bake it, being baked in a quick oven, chip it hot.”
Now, I ask you, could you bake bread from that recipe?  Elizabeth David seems to have made it possible for us.IMG_6989This struck me as a most unusual way to come up with a bread recipe and Elizabeth David’s recipe seemed almost too simple and straight forward to produce good bread. My expectations were very low.  I can assure you this is in fact a very simple bread to make. These are the breads I call fast. There’s no fiddling, no folding, no temperature taking, no long rising time. You mix it, let it rise, shape it, let it rise, bake it and you have gorgeous, glorious and fabulous tasting bread in easily under 4 hours. While I love all the fancy bread baking and I’ve never been bothered by a recipe that may take days and days, this is the kind of recipe that reminds and renews the joy of the simple.

What did I change? Who me? Change a recipe? Add things? Would I do that!?
Right, I did or at least this is what I did.  I used 250 water and 100 milk, 30 grams flax seed, and … half King Arthur’s Sir Lancelot for the unbleached white flour and a mix of Sprouted Wheat and white whole wheat for the whole wheat.  This was so fast, so easy … my expectations were VERY low.  This turned out to be exceptional! Wonderfully fragrant and chewy! … and the crowd went wild …

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Since Ilva’s challenge here was to give this a special shape, I went for simple – simple recipe, simple shape – but wanted to try something I hadn’t done before.  When I formed the dough into a round, the shape sort of spoke to me.   I took scissors and snipped it around turning the plate as I snipped. Raw it looked like a Christmas tree but it smoothed and flattened some in the pie palate that I baked it in. Had I not shaped rolls with a third of the dough, I believe it would not have spread out and flattened as much.

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I loved the rolls. I thought to make little sandwiches but just toasted and buttered was as far as I got.

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Bake it! you won’t regret it, I promise.

BBB Robert May’s French Bread from 1660

Recipe From as Kitchen of the Month Ilva: from Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery

500 grams half-and-half mixture of unbleached white and wheatmeal, 1 lb 2 oz
15 grams  yeast (fresh), 0,5 oz
2 egg whites
280-340 grams water and milk,preferably 3/4 water and 1/4 milk, 0,5 pint to 12 oz
15 grams salt, 0,5 oz

1. – Warm flour and salt in a very tepid oven. (you can skip this but I did it) … yes, I skipped this.

2. – Pour in the yeast creamed in a little of the warmed milk and water mixture. Add the egg whites, beaten in a small bowl until they are just beginning to froth. Pour in the remaining milk (but not all at once like I did, I had to add more flour to get the right consistency). Mix as for ordinary bread dough.  Oh, good grief, I did dump all of it in at once.

3. – Leave to rise until spongy and light. This will take 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature of the ingredients when the dough as mixed.  My took an hour.

4. – Break down the dough, divide it into two round loaves-or long rolls if you prefer. (I made one oval loaf). Cover with plastic or a light cloth and leave to recover volume. About 30 minutes should be enough.

5. – Decorate crust with cuts or not. Bake in a pre-heated oven (230°C/450°F) for the first 15 minutes. Then to prevent the crust to get too hard, cover the loaves with bowls or an oval casserole. In another 15 minutes the l0aves should be ready. (I did not cover my loaf because I had nothing of that size of shape that I could use so I lowered the temperature to 175°C/350°F and left it in for another 15-20 minutes.

 

As an aside, not bread related, I ask: Just how wild do you think the American west is today? Let’s say in Montana.

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We took these photos as we drove through Montana from Seattle back to our cabin in the woods.

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Maybe not so wild.  Sign said do not approach the animals.

 

Want to become a Bread Baking Babe? and get glorious bread in the process, here’s how Ilva tells it: You have to take look at what the other Bread Baking Babes have made and if you want to bake this bread and become a Bread Baking Buddie,  please bake and send me the link to your blog post about it before midnight Saturday 28th of September to luculliandelights AT gmail DOT com, please write Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line so that I don’t miss it!

Now you’re ready for bread!

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12 Comments

BBB Polenta Bread: August 2014

BBB Polenta Bread: August 2014

Recipe from our Kitchen of the Month, Elizabeth (Blog from OUR Kitchen) used Della Fattoria’s Polenta Bread on p.118-119 in “Artisan Baking Across America: the Breads, the Bakers, the Best Recipes” by Maggie Glezer as her inspiration for this bread.
Yield: 2 loavesIMG_6772

There is just no way you’re not going to want to bake this one … especially if you let  it rise in a brotform and cut circles in the top for the slash like it’s really suppose to be and like Elizabeth, Kitchen of the Month, and all the other Babes will show you how it should be done.  They’ll probably follow the recipe a little closer than I did as well. Since I had several open bags of flour I’m trying to use before we take off from here, I didn’t use all purpose, I used Sir Lancelot flour, 9-grain blend, white whole wheat and sprouted whole wheat all from King Arthur Flour.  I had no vital wheat gluten so that wasn’t used.  I think using bread flour or any flour with higher gluten content would eliminate or at least reduce the need to add gluten to the dough. At least that was my reasoning and the bread rose very nicely.

All my taste testers were very happy with this one; asking for “the loaf you have to cut”.  With beautiful summer tomatoes this bread was really glorious for sandwiches!

In the directions below, my comments/changes/actions are noted in blue.

 

BBB Polenta Bread

The afternoon before:
tiny Biga
9 grams water at 95F
2 pinches active dry yeast
11 grams Sir Lancelot flour from KAF

The evening before:
Starter
60 grams water at 95F
2 pinches active dry yeast
20 grams fermented sourdough all of the Biga
100 grams Sir Lancelot flour from KAF
The morning of:
Polenta
35 grams cornmeal aka polenta, coarsely ground
175 grams cold water
The morning of:
Dough
390 grams water at 80F
4 pinches active dry yeast
265 grams 9 grain blend from KAF + sprouted whole wheat
16 grams 5g(1.5tsp) flax seeds, finely ground
335 grams 135 grams Sir Lancelot flour from KAF + 200 grams white whole wheat
all of the starter
1 tablespoon salt
all of the cooled polenta
cornmeal, for garnish
1. Tiny Biga: In the early afternoon of the day before you are baking the bread, whisk the yeast with warm (~96F) water in a smallish bowl until it has dissolved. Or do what I do, whisk the yeast into the flour that will be used.  Using a wooden spoon and/or your hands, mix in the small amount of flour until it is smooth (I kneaded it in my fingers for a few minutes). Cover the bowl with a plate or shower cap and leave on the counter, out of drafts, to ferment.
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2. Starter: In the evening of the day before you are baking the bread, whisk the starter yeast with the starter flour, add the water and add the tiny biga that should be bubbling nicely. Using a wooden spoon and/or your hands, mix in the starter amount of flour until you have a smooth lump of dough.  I kneaded it in my fingers for a few minutes.
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3. Polenta: In the morning of the day you are baking the bread, pour cold water into a small pot on the stove at medium high heat. Add the polenta and using a wooden spoon, cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick – about 5 minutes.  It only took 4 minutes total to cook in the microwave. Spread on a shallow plate and allow to cool. As you can see, I left my polenta to cool in the bowl, stirring it from time to time while I had my breakfast … of polenta & peppers.
4. Mixing the dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dough yeast with warm water. I’m sorry but I pretty much always whisk the yeast into the flour I’ll be using and that’s what I did here as well. Mix until flour & liquid have dissolved.
Add the starter (that should have doubled and be quite bubbly). Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flours, ground flax and salt. “It might be pretty sloppy. Or not. It might just be shaggy.” I had to add more water to get a slightly shaggy moist dough … probably a half cup.  
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Kneading: Lay the cooled polenta on top of the dough. Plunge in with your hands to turn and fold the dough in the bowl, kneading until it’s smooth (5 to 10 minutes). When the dough is smooth, decide to continue your radical behaviour learned from wayward BBBabes and skip the washing and drying the mixing bowl step. Simply cover the bowl with a plate to rest. In my case, I cover a dough bowl with a shower cap because I don’t travel with my rising bucket with lid.
After about 20 minutes, turn and fold the dough a few times. Notice that it is significantly smoother. It was significantly smoother.
Cover the bowl with a plate or shower cap and set it aside – I put it in a cool spot in the basement as it was time for running errands, the fridge seemed too cool as this was looking like a slow riser –  to rise until it has doubled. Don’t worry if it is quite sloppy. If it rises earlier than you expect, simply deflate the dough and allow it to rise again. This will just strengthen the dough.  With that direction in mind, I folded the dough just as I was headed out the door.
5. Shaping: When you are ready to shape the bread, turn it out onto a lightly floured board and divide it into 2 pieces. Trying not to disturb the bubbles too much, shape into two rounds.  Liberally spray the tops of the shaped loaves with water. Cover them with cornmeal. (Glezer suggests rolling the sprayed shaped loaves in the cornmeal placed on a plate.) Put each loaf seam-side up in a brotform, tightly woven basket or colander – my traveling kitchen does not allow for a brotform therefore that lovely swirl you’ll be seeing on the other Babe’s breads is not to be found here.  I simply shaped mine into loaves and again used the shower cap to cover each loaf pan.  Cover each one with a mixing bowl and allow them to rise on the counter (or in the oven with only the light turned on) until almost double.
6. Preheat: Put a baking stone on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 375°F.  Slashing: Turn each loaf out of its container onto a square of parchment paper. Using a very sharp knife (or a razor of lamé if you have one), starting at the center of the loaf and holding the blade almost horizontally, carve a spiral into each loaf. Try not to freak out if the spirals look like vicious circles.
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Baking: Liberally spray the tops of the loaves with water. Using a peel, slide them onto the hot stone and bake for about 40 minutes, turning them around once half way through baking, to account for uneven oven heat. The crust should be quite dark and the internal temperature should be somewhere between 200F and 210F.
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Allow the baked bread to cool completely before cutting into it. It’s still baking inside! (Even if you’ve ignored the instructions about using hot water from the tap, please do not ignore this step.)
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 Please bake along with us and be a Buddy! For details see Elizabeth’s post – oh wow did she ever get those swirls on her bread.
The all important crumb shot.

The all important crumb shot.

 

BBB logo August 2014


10 Comments

BBB – Panmarino – Italian Rosemary Bread

{ I’d like to think you could just keep what I’m going to tell you to yourself. Can you do that? … Should I really be honest here? I know Babes are independents but really I think I may have gone too far this time. Pat (Feeding My Enthusiasms) said it so perfectly(now I can’t find it) but something about it’s not worth it if you don’t make it your own. Mother always said honesty is the best policy so I think I really must come clean on this one. }
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Cathy (Bread Experience), our Kitchen of the Month, brought us a glorious Italian recipe from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking. Beautifully, she gave us directions and an image for slashing and creating diamonds on the top of the loaf. I hang my head in ultimate shame while I confess to you and Cathy: Oh how I not only added flax to the dough but good golly I substituted 374 grams King Arthur’s Sprouted Whole Wheat flour for the bread flour called for in the recipe. Yes, there’s more … I used potato water for the water … and even a tablespoon … ok maybe two tablespoons of the mashed potato. I would say I’m sorry for playing so loose with the recipe Cathy … BUT since it really is just gorgeous eating bread I can only say Thank You.
Make sure Rosemary is chopped very fine ...

Make sure Rosemary is chopped very fine …

Panmarino – Italian Rosemary Bread

From – The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking from The French Culinary Institute Yield: 4 loaves

Time: 20 hours

Biga:

143 grams Bread flour 143 grams/5 ounces 122 grams

Water 122 grams/4 1/4 ounces

Pinch of instant yeast

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Final Dough:
884 grams Bread flour 884 grams/1 pound 15 ounces, Of that 884 grams of bread flour, I used 374 grams of King Arthur’s Sprouted Whole Wheat flour
25 grams flax seed meal, optional
477 grams Water 477 grams/1 pound 1 ounce, I used potato water
30 grams mashed potatoes (my addition so very optional)
44 grams Milk 44 grams/1 1/2 ounces, I used skim 265 grams
Biga 265 grams/9 1/3 ounces
23 grams Salt 23 grams/3/4 ounce
Pinch of instant yeast
88 grams Olive oil 88 grams/3 ounces
9 grams Chopped fresh rosemary 9 grams/1/3 ounce
Total weight: 1800 grams

1. Preparing the Biga: Combine the bread flour, water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended.  Scape down the edge of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest at 75 degrees F. for 14 to 16 hours.

***Because of the way my day was scheduled and that I had no other option for another day baking, I mixed the bigs early one morning and couldn’t bake till mid-morning the next. I refrigerated the biga over-night.

2. Making the Final Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread flour, water, mashed potato (***optional), milk, and biga. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until blended. 

*** Who knows why other than I do like to try bread kneading by hand; I think it’s relaxing and in this case it was so much a work out it justified probably 10 slices of the bread. So where you see instructions for the stand mixer, know that I did it by hand. I also thought this dough needed more water and so I added for a long time by dipping my hands in water and kneading it into the dough.

3. Add the salt and yeast and mix on low-speed for 5 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for about 7 more minutes, or until the dough is smooth.  When the gluten is fully developed, mix in the olive oil and rosemary on low-speed. 
***I’m here to tell you kneading all that oil in by hand was a challenge!
4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Scrape the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for 45 minutes.
***Now this next part of my playing around was not by design but rather I was just worn out and in a sweat from the kneading … so I took a break and let the dough “rest” with me. Me in front of the fan for a while, the dough in the refrigerator.
5. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide it into four 450-gram /16-ounce pieces. Shape the dough pieces into rounds. Cover with plastic wrap and let them bench rest for 15 minutes. Place two couches on a separate work surface or bread board and dust them with flour.
***Remember I’m traveling and couches are not in my bread traveling kit. I covered my loaves with bowls. Uncover the dough and, if necessary, lightly flour the work surface. Gently press on the dough to degas and carefully shape each piece into a tight and neat round.  Place one loaf on one side of the couche, fold the couche up to make a double layer of cloth to serve as a divider between the loaves, and place a second loaf next to the fold.  Repeat the process with the remaining two loaves and the second couche.  Cover with plastic wrap and proof for 1 hour.
6. About an hour before you plan to bake the loaves, place a baking stone (or tiles) into the oven along with a steam pan (underneath) or iron skillet (on the top rack) and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Uncover the dough and score the top of each loaf in a star pattern using a lame or sharp knife. This particular formula doesn’t say to do this, but you can sprinkle sea salt into the crevices as the original baker did to make it “sparkle with diamonds.”
***I somehow got it in my head that two slashes made a star … three slashes is actually much more of a star and I think creates more of a pop (or point) to the bread shape when baked. Here is an image of the star pattern (from http://sourdough.com/recipes/panmarino-italian-rosemary-bread) just so you know what it looks like.
7. Carefully transfer the loaves to the preheated baking stone using a peel or the back of a baking sheet. To make the steam, add 1 cup of ice to the iron skillet or steam pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is light brown and crisp and the loaves make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
***Mine registered 200°F when they came out of the oven and I think they were done. I did allow 3 hours for cooling.
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Remove the loaves from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
There were some Babes who thought the recipe had too much salt. I was very happy with this and I really enjoyed the salt diamond topping.  Check out what all the Babes have to say about this bread, they’re all there on the side bar. 
Bake along with us and be a bread baking buddy.  You know you want to. 

Here’s how:

Just make the Panmarino, then email Cathy your link (or email your photo and a bit about your experience if you don’t have a blog). My email address is breadexperience (at) gmail (dot) com.  Submissions are due by July 29th.  Once you’ve posted, you’ll receive a Buddy badge for baking along, then watch for a roundup of all of the BBBuddies posts a few days after the close of submissions.

I hope you’ll join us this month!

IMG_6587I do hope you’ll bake along with us!  I know you want to bake this bread.
BBB logo July 2014


11 Comments

BBB – Beaujolais Bread

The books pictured here are what I call my nomad bread baking library.

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I could list all the recipes for bread I looked at in a number of these books. I could list several reasons that I shouldn’t have picked the bread I did. But I won’t. Instead I’m going to give you the reason I picked the recipe for Beaujolais Bread from A Passion for Bread.

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Perhaps the picture says it all and you can figure out your own reason why this is a Babe’s Bread.  Now the book’s picture is much more impressive but still this bread certainly called my name.
The book, A Passion for Bread, written by Lionel Vatinet, is amazing. I would encourage you if you can get your hands on a copy to read the introduction. I particularly liked his description of how he came to be passionate about baking bread and the apprenticeship way of learning.

Beaujolais Bread

454 grams white bread flour, unbleached, unbromated, 16 oz; 3.5 cups(I used half bread flour + half spelt and 9 grain blend from King Arthur)

35 grams ground flax seed
7 grams fine sea salt, .24 oz; 1 1/8 teaspoons
5 grams instant dry yeast, .18 oz; 1.5 teaspoons
21  grams honey, .75 oz; 1 tablespoon
320 grams Beaujolais wine, 11.2 oz; 1 1/4 + 2 tablespoons
113 grams salami cut into 1/4 inch cube; room temp, 4 oz; 1 cup for the 1st baking
for the 2nd baking I used 4 slices bacon and wished for another 4 slices
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped finely

Directions:

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1. Scale all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Add the honey to the dry ingredients and using your hands bring loosely together then form a well in the center.
(Confession: I mixed the honey and the wine together … )
3. The wine should be between 82° F and 84°.

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(Confession: I had no thermometer.)
4. Add the wine to the well in a slow steady stream as you rotate the bowl with one hand while simultaneously mixing the wine into the dry ingredients with your other hand.
Frequently scrape your fingers and the bowl to gather all ingredients into the dough ball. The bowl should be quite clean.
The dough will be soft, slightly wet and extremely sticky.
The dough should be just coming together. (taste to be sure salt was added)
Turn the dough out onto the counter.
The dough will be very sticky; do not give into the temptation to add more flour.Kneading wet dough:
(Confession: My dough was silky and lovely almost immediately, I don’t think I kneaded even 10 minutes and certainly it didn’t require any of the following fancy moves. I measured carefully both times and believe I was following the amounts.)
Hold hands, palms facing up, at opposite sides of the dough mass. Slide your fingers under the dough and lift the dough an inch or so from the surface. Squeeze your thumbs and index fingers together to form a tight OK sign through the dough. While holding the OK sign, continue to curl thumbs and index fingers tightly together to pinch off a portion of dough. Working as quickly and smoothly as possible, moving the dough mass in approximately 1 to 1.5 inch increments, until the entire dough mass has been worked through. You should begin to feel the dough coming together.
“Remember, your hands are your memory-pay attention to the feel of the dough as it comes together.”Turn dough a quarter turn and continue lifting, pinching and turning until it begins to take on an identifiable shape and becomes less and less sticky; taking anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.  Resist the urge to add flour. A scraper is useful in collecting all the dough off the work area. Consider the dough kneaded when it forms into a ball. The dough should be soft, pliable and hold it’s shape; it should not be stiff and dry.Form dough into ball: using both hands, lift front and fold over, quickly dropping it down to the counter. Repeat 4-5 times until a ball is formed. Use the scraper to ensure all the dough is gathered.Using the palms of your hands, flatten the dough ball into a rectangle. Scatter the salami evenly down the middle. Wrap the sides up and over salami, pinch dough together, turn and repeat until the salami is incorporated.IMG_6212

This is the bacon and rosemary I kneaded in on the 2nd baking.

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This is the salami I used in the 1st baking.

Form into a ball. Again lifting from the front, fold it over onto itself in one movement then dropping dnow onto the counter. Repeat 4 to 5 times until ball forms. Using your scraper to be sure all the dough is gathered.
The dough should no longer be sticky. If it continues to be sticky repeat the folding process until it is no longer sticky.

5. First fermentation
3 hours Total time, fold each hour
The dough should register between 72° and 80°F Record the time you finish this step in your log noting the required time for the first bulk fermentation. The wine will extend the fermentation, probably to about three hours.
Use a container, either a large glass bowl are A clear rising container large enough to allow the dough to rise without coming in contact with the lid. Taking care to maintain the round shape, transfer the ball to the bowl or rising bucket. Cover the container.
Fermentation will take about one hour in a warm 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit draft free place.
Does the counter lightly with flour. Place the dough onto floured counter. Pat into a thick square. Lift the two right corners and fold into the center patting the seam lightly. Lift the left two corners and fold into the center lightly patting the seam down. Repeat with the top two corners and the bottom two corners meeting in the middle patting down the seams.
Return the Dough to the bowl seam side down cover return to A warm draft free place for about an hour. Record the time in your log.
Repeat this process one more time Record each time in the log returning the ball to the warm draft replace. Total Time three hours.

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I wished for a more vine like stem but it eluded me.

6. Dividing
Flour the counter. Scrape the dough onto the counter and allow to rest 30 seconds.
If the dough is very sticky at this point dust your hands with flour but do not add additional flour. Use the bench scraper to lift the dough if it sticks to the counter but do not pull and do not stretch the dough. Press the dough into a rectangle 12 inches by 4 to 5 inches wide. Be sure the dough is not sticking to the counter by lifting it to gently up. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces with the bench scraper.

7. Shaping
Use parchment paper or a silicone liner in a baking sheet.
Roll 15 pieces into a small ball shape for rolls, the last piece Will become the grapevine. Create a triangle by setting for balls together in a line followed by a line of three balls then two balls and finally one ball. Angle the remaining four balls to one side of the triangle so that the entire piece resembles a large cluster of grapes with the smaller one to the side.
With the last piece of dough roll it into a rope about 10 inches long and shape it into a curve grape vine shape that you attach to the top of the grape cluster. Dust with flour.

8. Final fermentation
Final fermentation may take from 60 to 90 minutes. If it over proofs but dough will be unusable. Set the timer so that you can record the time it takes for the final fermentation. Place the baking sheet in a warm 75 to 80°F draft free place. Final fermentation will take from 60 to 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450°  with a baking stone about 30 minutes before you are ready to bake. An effective and cheap way to achieve a crisp crust is to cover the bread with a stainless steel bowl when it is first placed in the oven on the lowest oven rack.
Determine the dough is ready to be baked by uncovering and making a small indentation in the center of the role with your fingertip. The dough is ready to be baked if the indentation slowly and evenly disappears.

9. Baking
Slide the baking sheet into the oven onto the pre-heated baking stone.
Here the directions call for using a stainless steel mixing bowl to cover the grape cluster in the oven. My daughter-in-law had the perfect stainless steel bowl which I used. I believe it’s more likely you may have a  rectanglular
pan that would fit over the grape cluster. What ever you find to fit over it, bake it for 10 minutes with the dough covered and then remove the bowl. Continue to bake until the bread is golden brown has a thick crust, total additional time 15 to 20 minutes. The total time baking then would be 25 to 30 minutes. The bread will be fully baked if it registers 185 two 210° F.
When fully baked transfer to cooling rack for at least one hour to cool.

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Notes:

If you don’t want to use wine perhaps for juice would be the best substitute. Another addition that might give some of the wine color would be fairly finely ground walnuts.  I am very open to any creativity you may have with this bread; feel free to use a touch of sourdough if you wish. I should have cut my salami smaller. I’m really looking to make this with rye and then again with sprouted wheat. If you’ve not baked with sprouted wheat, I encourage you to give it a try if you can find it. I’ve found  it really gives a beautiful aroma of wheat to everything I’ve used it in.

You should note: the yeast here is not proofed, it is not dissolved in liquid before being mixed in with the flour.

If the wine needs warming, place the bottle in a bowl of warm water.

Lionel Vatinet introduces this bread in the following way: “I spent much of my youth at my grandparent’s beautiful stone house, which is surround by a vineyard in the Rhone region of France. This bread pays homage to the first grape harvest of the year. Once again, this recipes uses the Basic Country French Bread  (see page 75) and then, with just a little slight of hand, turns into something unusual and spectacular. Using wine as the liquid slows the fermentation process, so you have to allow extra time. Since the bread is shaped into a grape cluster, it is the perfect centerpiece for an appetizer buffet to celebrate the arrival of November’s Beaujolais Nouveau. Guests are encouraged to pull off a “grape” to enjoy with their glass of wine. A wonderful way to celebrate the harvest!”

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I baked this first with salami. We took it to dinner at friends house and it was good but I felt I should have cut the salami even smaller.
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The second time I baked this with 4 slices of bacon and wished I’d had four more. We took this grape cluster to an end of school picnic. Loved it.
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Yes, I had to have the last roll with an egg for breakfast.
Bake along with us and be a bread baking buddy.  You know you want to. To be a Buddy let us know all about it, by sending your details and results to Tanna (as kitchen of the month this time). Send a mail with Buddy June 2014 in the subject line and please provide your name, blog url, post url and attach your favorite picture of the recipe. Send it to CommentsMyKitchen at mac dot  com. Deadline is the 29th of this month. We want your breads!!
Round-up will be as close to the end of June as possible!


8 Comments

BBB Modern Lardy Cake Bread – can cake be bread?

Lien at Notitie Van Lien our lovely Kitchen of the Month has brought Babes and Buddies just a wonderful new but old bread: Modern Lardy Cake … not don’t get up in arms, this is really not cake, it is bread. I will tell you it is a delight as a sweet dessert like bread (or cake if you like) after dinner and it is equally delightful at breakfast! Call it bread or call it cake or call it cake bread but I can tell you it’s so good. The bonus is it is Christmas Holiday perfect.

Thank you Lien in so many ways.

Thank you Lien in so many ways.

Among the Babes, we talked wildly and I think radically about lard, butter, goose fat, duck fat: as possibilities for use in this recipe. If I’d been in a full kitchen and been able to find fresh lard (not hydrogenated like the grocer tried to sell me) and duck fat, I’d be baking this with each. As things worked out all I could come up with for the fat was salted butter from my local dairy. I used all the salt called for in the recipe and the salted butter as Lien and several others thought it needed more. And I’d seek out a special dried cherry mix that Gorn really enjoys. Pick a dried fruit or dried fruit combo that you enjoy and this bread will be spectacular. I might even go really crazy and put in a few walnuts. You know I really enjoy savory but this is just the right sweet. We loved it.

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Check out all the Babes, you’ll find all sorts of variety but I think you’ll find we all enjoyed this bread and you’ll want to get in the kitchen and bake!

Lien found this recipe in “Warm Bread and Honey Cake” by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra. I have the book and it is everything you want in a warm baking kitchen.

Lardy Cake: Modern

Recipe By: Lien from “Warm Bread and Honey Cake” by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra
Yield: 9 inch round springform

Lardy Bread Cake

Dough
375 grams strong white flour – bread flour, I used half white whole wheat/whole grain
20 grams flax seed meal
1 ½  teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
35 grams butter, melted and cooled
200 milliliters milk, warmed

I love this container. It's so easy to tell when a dough has doubled in volume.

I love this container. It’s so easy to tell when a dough has doubled in volume.

Filling
100 grams butter, softened
75 grams soft dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, I used 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
50-75 gram currants or raisins (or a mix), I’ll try closer to 100 grams next time
beaten egg, to glaze

 

1. Put all the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead  (preferably with a dough hook in a heavy duty mixer) until smooth and supple. Bring the dough together in a ball and return to the bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  That heavy duty mixer … oops it’s still in it’s box. So I’m here to tell you “Don’t give a worry, you can do this without a mixer.” I did need to add a little more water than recipe called for. Toward the end of kneading I would dip my hands in a little water until I got a supple dough.

2. To make the filling, mix butter, sugar and spices together until creamy.

An easy mix when the butter is room temp.

An easy mix when the butter is room temp.

3. Knock the risen dough back and re-knead it briefly. Roll it out to a rectangle  about 50 x 25 cm (20 x 10 in). Spread the filling evenly over two-thirds of the dough sheet, leaving one outer third empty and about 4 cm (1 ½ inch) on all sides. If using, sprinkle the dried fruit over this and press down to embed. Fold the empty third over the middle third and the remaining third over this. Pinch all the edges well to seal the filling in. Cover with a sheet of clingfilm and leave to rest for about 5 minutes to relax.

4. Give the parcel a quarter turn and roll it into a rectangle about 30 x 15 cm (12 x 6 in). Fold into thirds again and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Repet this procedure three more times, turning the dough by a quarter turn and rolling and folding. If you find you are losing too much filling, omit the final turn.

5. This is a delicate, difficult and messy work as the filling oozes out in weak spots. You might want to read that again: This is a delicate, difficult and messy work as the filling oozes out in weak spots. Don’t get too caught up in leaks, just go with it.

Patch them up as good as you can and continue to work. All the oozing bits will caramelize nicely as the cake bakes. Oh my did we ever get some smart remarks on our bottoms! But you don’t want to lose too much filling as the laminating effect. Grease the tin and put the dough packet in it, then flatten it with your hand to fit it in as well as possible. Cover with clingfilm and leave it to rise until almost doubled.

6. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

Who knows where the springform was, into the oven it goes.

Who knows where the springform was, into the oven it goes.

7. Brush the dough with beaten egg, then lightly score a cross-hatched pattern onto the surface. Don’t cut into the filling. Bake for 25-30 minutesj or until brown. Remove from the oven, but leave in the tin for about 5 minutes. Carefully release the clip and turn the cake upside down on a wire rack. Remove the bottom of the tin, which will probably still be attached to it, and leave to cool further. Eat lukewarm or cold, cut into wedges or slices.

Bottoms up and out of the oven.

Bottoms up and out of the oven.

Don’t be shy … I know your busy but really this was very friendly dough and would make a treat for anyone special on your list at any time but probably most especially now.  Tell us what your experiences were with this bread and send Lien (notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)come) your details so she can include you in a round up. Deadline 29th of December.

Does it make good toast? Oh my heavens yes! Good for breakfast, afternoon snack and dinner treat! Now BAKE!

Does it make good toast? Oh my heavens yes! Good for breakfast, afternoon snack and dinner treat! Now BAKE!

 


7 Comments

Pecan Pie Cake … now please sit down!

Right I am being WILD!!

So sit down and don’t let this unbalance you.

This is not about bread or yeast or the BBB. No this is an honest to goodness … and trust me there is goodness here … an honest to goodness post about CAKE that was once a pie and has some idea of still being sort of pie on your taste buds.  If your favorite pie like mine is pecan pie, then this might just make your heart sing in harmony with mine.

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I saw a post for pecan pie muffins. Since I really think the only pie worth eating … ok along with mince meat pie … is pecan that sounded really fun to me.  So I googled pecan pie cake/muffins and discovered a multitude of recipes for the same.  Most were very similar. I took what I liked that sounded good to me and put together the following.  I was really pleased and my man was pleased as well.

In my present make shift kitchen with no cabinet space, the odd tables used for counters, any thing that I really need/use everyday sits out  with a randomness that defies every cell in my body. I’m not really an excessively organized person and not normally anal either … except in my kitchen. I’ve invested too much money in my tools to not take care of them properly and I’ve learned through the hard knocks that kitchen disasters are much more frequent when you don’t have what you need at hand.  So yes, over time I have brought a fair amount of order to things in my kitchen. Now however order is relative and general chaos prevails. It’s the kind of chaos of clutter that would normally render me senseless and immobilize me. I make do as best I can. It takes a real meditation exercise for me to tackle anything of any account especially a new recipe. Like the new recipe for the BBB’s for December; this recipe is giving me the shakes. There’s no room for my lovely KitchenAid mixer on any of this faux counter surfaces, the mixer sits out on the porch in it’s box awaiting the day when a carpenter has designed and installed the cabinets that float in my dreams for the time being. All that is to say: I’m not about to unpack the KitchenAid for ANYTHING not even Thanksgiving.
Still it was going to be Thanksgiving and I really can not imagine not doing something a little holiday like for the table. I did these with my trusty wooden spoon and my own arm muscles. Don’t feel like you must have a mixer for these; you do not.

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Pecan Pie Cake/Muffins

Yield: 8 regular muffins or 24 mini muffins or4 4-inch springform rounds

150 grams butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar + 1 or 2 tablespoons
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
60 grams all-purpose flour – I used white whole wheat
20 grams flax seed meal
1 cup chopped pecans, upto 1 3/4 cups before chopping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. To a medium bowl, add the softened butter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
If your butter is soft, doing it by hand is easy.

3. Add beaten eggs, vanilla, and salt and mix until combined.

4. Mix flour and chopped pecans then mix with wet ingredients until combined.

5. Spoon batter into 8 lined muffin cups about 2/3 full. With no baking powder or baking soda, these do not have much rise.
One whole pecan could be placed in middle and push in part way. Actually I think one on the bottom and one left on the top gives the closest look and feel to pecan pie.

6. Bake muffins at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes in muffin pan and serve warm or room temp.

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My first try with these used 1 cup whole pecans measured before chopping. The flavor certainly brought pecan pie to mind. My guess is the more pecans used will get closer to pecan pie but I’m sure there’s a point that too much would alter not just the taste but the texture/dry/moist aspect and it wouldn’t get better then. I will try increasing the amount of pecans to find the best flavor and moistness. More pecans, I will try upping the butter and sugar by a little each time.

With all the molds for muffins and little cakes, this can be an incredibly versatile little bite … and then there’s that scoop of ice cream.

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With no baking powder or baking soda, these do not rise much in the oven.
And because there is no baking powder or baking soda, when I started to bake these, I thought I would try refrigerating half the dough and bake the second half the next day. WOW, worked like a charm!

Now, is it pecan pie? No, there’s none of that custard lovely goo that I truly love. Is it pie? No again, there’s no crust. Do your taste buds get happy? Oh yeah! Do you think pecan pie? A little bit. There is a gorgeously heavy pecan flavor and a little crisp around the edges not really crust but all together it’s just very divine!

Now take a deep breath and stand up, head to the kitchen and bake some Pecan Pie Cake and don’t ponder to hard on the oddity of the cake here. My next post will be back to regular BBB 😉