MyKitchenInHalfCups

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


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BBB ~ Velvety Bean Bread

I don’t know about you but every once in a while I get smug and think “I’ve really baked a lot of breads.  No ALL breads but maybe I’m getting where I’m really comfortable I’ve got really good exposure to most things bread … but then there’s always another month and another Babe coming up with something just a little different.  This month it’sKelly (Hobby Baker) from A Messy Kitchen.

Always bake the original recipe before changing any thing … right?  And when have I ever done that …
So, I created an over nite soaker.
I considered the pros and cons of replacing bean liquid for water. In the end I tasted the bean water and rejected adding it because it had too strong a bean flavor.  Nothing wrong with bean flavor but it seemed wrong for bread.
Always I added flax.
I used all of the yeast because I only used whole grains.
My major failing was knowing this was whole grain and not having a thermometer.  In my Dad’s old house, I’m working with an oven that is over 45 years old, badly mistreated and scheduled for replacement on our next visit.  Between the oven and no thermometer, I way underbred these two small loaves.  The rye flavor was awesome but we could only enjoy a slice toasted so that it finished cooking. 
If you can forgive my excuses, this is a treat of a bread with the rye flour.  While the taste of this bread does not make one think “health food mediocre”, I have to think this is a super nutritious bread using the beans! 

Kelly (Hobby Baker) from A Messy Kitchen found this recipe in Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition around the World
Yield: 2 small loaves

OVER NITE SOAKER
330 grams water (1.5 cup)
120 grams sprouted spelt flour
DOUGH
all of the soaker
2 cups drained cooked navy beans, room temp.
30 grams flax meal
120 grams sprouted rye flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons caraway
130 grams white whole wheat flour
130  grams bread flour

1.  Mix water and flour in soaker and cover several hours or overnight.

2.  Process beans until smooth, transfer to a large bowl or stand mixer.

Add the sprouted flour and yeast and stir for one minute, in one direction, to develop the dough.
Add the oil, salt, and seasoning herb or spice, if using and stir them in.
Add 1 cup of the white whole wheat flour and stir in.
Add the remaining flour and knead in with a dough hook, or work in and knead by hand for about 5 minutes, until smooth.

3.  Place dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise for 3 hours, until almost doubled in volume. (There should be about 2.5 pounds of dough.)

4.  Turn out dough and divide in half. Butter two 8×4″ pans.
Form each portion of dough into a loaf and place seam side down in the pans.
Rolled each loaf in caraway seeds.
The directions say to let rise for 2½ hours. That was too long for my kitchen. The above loaf was baked after 1 hour 45 minutes. You’ll have to watch the dough for proper rise. Check at 1 hour and continue to proof if needed.

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5.  Preheat oven to 400ºF, have a spray bottle or small cup of water ready for steam. Slash each loaf lengthwise , place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, adding steam every couple minutes with the sprayer or cup.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for 25 minutes until rich brown with a matte finish.

Turn the loaves out and check for doneness. Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.

Here’s a great little article on the different white beans:
4 Types of White Beans: What’s the Difference?

The side note on this experience, very generic as it is and will be true of all dough I mix/knead in future: I bought a pastry non-stick mat.  If you want to save money or spend nothing more on kitchen/baking, skip this nest two paragraphs.  What you may ask is a non-stick pastry mat and why would I lay out any $$ for that.  Even though it’s very recently something prompted me to look these up, now I don’t remember what it was.  The first couple I found were super $$$ and I was losing interest rapidly.  Then I found one I think for under $30 and read the reviews.  It was the reviews that really sold me. 

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Now my review might sell you so you get a 2nd chance to stop reading here if you don’t want to get interested.  Always when I knead, mix or roll out anything on my counter, I clean it … and then I have to clean it again when finished.  Sometimes dough really leaves a funky residue to clean off and it can get tedious.  NOTHING sticks to the pastry mat AND it doesn’t slide.  Clean up is super simple.  When I roll it out, I know I left it clean!  The mat comes marked clearly with all sorts of measurements all over – along the edges and all those circles for rolling pie crust in the center.  Dream come true.  Yep, you want one now.
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I won’t say you have to or that you knead to run out and get a pastry non-stick mat but I would encourage you to bake the Velvety Bean Bread and make it with rye … assuming you enjoy rye.  I’m sure you have a better oven than I and you’re in your own kitchen with a thermometer. 

Join the Bread Baking Babes and bake up a unique little loaf that is high in protein but a little lower in gluten than normal.  This is a lovely little bread and we would love for you to bake along with us!  Just bake your version of this bread by July 30th and send Kelly a note with your results and a picture or link to your post at eleyana(AT)aol(DOT)com with Buddy Bread in the subject line and she will include you in our buddy round up at the beginning of next month and send you a Buddy badge graphic to keep and/or add to your post.  You don’t have to have a blog to participate, a picture is fine!


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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!


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Float Your Boat … ok, Float Your Dough (BBB – Water-Proofed Bread)

This month’s BBB Bread Kitchen of the Month, Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms, is a monthly reminder of why I don’t seem to be able to tire of baking bread.  You think you’ve seen and done it all? HaHaHa, Oh no you have not.  Grandchildren are now another reason I won’t be tiring of baking bread.

Cinnamon rolls are always nice but with brioche dough they pass into heavenly!

Cinnamon rolls are always nice but with brioche dough they pass into heavenly!

Our Kitchen of the Month found this recipe in Beard on Bread; published in 1973.  I believe I bought my copy in 1975.  It was my first and only bread book for several years.  I think I’ve added several bread books to my collection recently … and how classic an understatement is that.

Water-Proofed Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

2 packages active dry yeast, used scant tablespoon not the 2 tablespoons in a package
1/2 cup warm water (100 – 115 degrees F), used 1/2 cup skim milk instead of water; would use potato water if available
1/8 cup brown sugar, cut the 1/4 cup in half
1/2 cup warm skim milk
1 stick butter
2 teaspoons salt, used 1/2 teaspoon and salted butter
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup more kneading, used: 1 cup bread flour, 1 cup spelt, 1 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup white whole wheat.
More flour for the tea towel

1. Rinse a 4-quart mixing bowl with warm water. Dry thoroughly. Put in the yeast, the 1/2 cup warm water(skim milk or potato water), and teaspoon brown sugar, and stir until the yeast dissolves. Allow to proof for 5 minutes.
Heat the milk with the butter and 1/4 cup sugar until lukewarm, then add to the yeast mixture. Add the salt and stir to blend well. Add the eggs, one at a time, and again blend thoroughly.

How to stir it up.

How to stir it up.

Then stir in 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, to make what will probably be a very wet and sticky dough. Stir quite vigorously. Spread out the dough on a working surface – a table, a piece of marble, or a board – sprinkled with the additional 1/2 cup flour.

CONFESSION:  I did not dissolve the yeast. I dry mixed it into the flour and proceeded.
Use a baker’s scraper or large spatula to work in this last portion of flour and make the dough firmer. Scrape under the flour and the dough, lifting and folding inward. Repeat until the flour is well incorporated.
Lots of help with stirring.

Lots of help with stirring.

2. When the dough is easy to handle, begin kneading by hand. Continue until the dough can be shaped. (The process of kneading first with the scraper and then by hand if very effective for delicate dough. In this case the dough will remain rather sticky, but don’t worry about it.)3. Lift the dough, pat with flour, and place on a clean kitchen towel also sprinkled with flour. Wrap it and tie it in the towel, just as you would a package, but very loosely.  I tied the towel with a rubber band.

Yep, it sank.

Yep, it sank.

4. Submerge this packet in a large bowl  filled with warm water (about 100 – 115 degrees F, approximately). It will sink.  Submerge: you don’t really have to do anything it just sinks.

5. Let sit for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until it rises sufficiently to float on top of the water. … and it does float to the top.

Floats to the top.

Floats to the top.

6. Lift the dough from the water and let the excess water drip off. Un-wrap and turn out on a lightly floured surface. A rubber/plastic/soft bench scrapper is very helpful peeling it off the towel.

New meaning for the word CLING!

New meaning for the word CLING!

You will have good results getting the towel clean IF you immediately put it to soak in COLD water.
Again it will be quite sticky, so scrape off any dough that adheres to the towel. Knead and shape into two loaves, using both dough scraper and your hands.

7. Thoroughly butter two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and place one loaf in each pan. Cover, put in a warm, draft-free place, and let the dough rise slightly above the tops of the pans, or until almost doubled in bulk.

2nd rise.

2nd rise.

8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the dough with cold water, and, if you like, make a slash in each loaf with a sharp knife. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when rapped with the knuckles, top and bottom. When done, place the loaves directly on the oven rack, without their pans, to brown the bottom a little more and crisp the crusts. Cool on racks.

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Notes:

You should have good results getting the towel clean IF you immediately put it to soak in COLD water.  By the time you’ve shaped the dough for the final rise, the towel should be ready to rinse out a couple of time, be dough free and ready for the wash.

This is a beautiful bread; made fabulous French toast and regular toast. Thanks Pat for a great bread and a totally new and unique technique in bread making.

The Slice & Crumb!

The Slice & Crumb!

Want to be a Bread Baking Buddy and bake along with us.  Pop on over to Feeding My Enthusiasms To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make water-proofed bread (dredge yur tea towel!!) in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 March 2014. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up and put Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line.

My Comments on BEARD ON BREAD:  Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This was my very first bread book purchased in 1975 the year after our second son was born and our move to Dallas.  At the time, I had no idea who James Beard was but I do remember my mother saying he had a place in our family tree.

This maybe considered out dated by some but I think more would consider it a classic as I do.  Most of the recipes are simple perhaps but they give you great bread and an excellent feel for good bread.  The recipes are varied and have helpful illustrations.  I’ve never missed that there are no photos in this book.  Recipe directions are clear and concise, giving simple but good descriptions of what the dough should feel like during the kneading and shaping.  I can recommend this book to beginner and experienced alike.

About the only thing I do differently & consistently is reduce the amount of yeast called for in these recipes.  For whatever reason, most all recipes I find written in books from the 1950s through the 1970s call for much more yeast than they need and it can leave a stronger yeast flavor than I’m looking for in bread. Too much yeast also results in an overly fast rise that prevents the flour flavor to develop.

Breads Baked

Buttermilk White Bread – made excellent hamburger buns

Jane Grigson’s Walnut Bread from Southern Burgundy – baked 34 loaves of this GREAT bread for my Greenhill Parent’s Association Board in 1991

Cornmeal Bread – baked with Jason’s 4th grade class for Thanksgiving Feast & Play

Cheese Bread – great sandwich bread

Pizza Caccia Nanza – wonderful

Italian Feather Bread

Norwegian Whole-Wheat Bread – great bread, usually make 1/2 recipe

Whole-Meal Bread with Potatoes – potatoes, it’s great

Cracked-Wheat Bread – excellent

Marnetta’s Oatmeal Bread

Oatmeal Bread with Cooked Oatmeal – this is the basis for my oatmeal breads today, almost cake like depending on the sugar used, makes excellent cinnamon rolls & bread

Monkey Bread – amazing

Challah

Irish Whole-Wheat Soda Bread – tradition with us for St Patty’s Day

Helen Evans Brown’s Corn Chili Bread – adapted over the years

Clay’s Cornsticks – oh the crunch and joy

Carl Gohs’ Zucchini Bread

Armenian Thin Bread became Gorn’s Flat Bread

Every recipe from this book I’ve ever tried has been wonderful.

Updated  17 May 2010:  I was unsuccessful with the Salt-Rising Bread recipe.


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Rainbows and Carrot Bread for BBB

No parsley, rice flour that was there on Monday and disappeared on Wednesday … what maybe has some relation to a grain of rice … maybe barley … maybe not … try it anyway.

You do know that a second baking provides a golden opportunity to try it a different way aiming for better … or disaster.

Blessed by the Rainbow

Heather, our colorful Kitchen of the Month at Girl Chef, has brought Babes and Buddies an awesome Fall bread.  The orange of carrots is a gorgeous fall color and really gives vibrancy to this loaf.

Carrot Bread

Recipe from: Heather:  adapted from Artisan Breads: Practical Recipes & Detailed Instructions for Baking the World’s Finest Loaves by Jan Hed
Yield: 4 loaves

for the Poolish:
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water + more as needed, I must have used at least 2 cups total
364 grams stone ground rye flour

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for the Dough:
2/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, used pepita’s (pumpkin)
1.5 cup toasted sunflower seeds
60 grams ground flax seed
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup carrot juice or orange juice, lukewarm
2-1/4 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup chopped parsley, omitted as I had none
824 grams bread flour, I used a mix of flours, about 450 bread flour, then a mix of white whole wheat and spelt
2 tablespoons  honey, maple syrup or agave, used agave
1/4 cup sunflower oil – I used grapeseed oil
4 teaspoons sea salt

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for the Crackle Glaze:
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
132 grams rice flour, rice flour lost used barley flour
2 teaspoons agave, cut to 1 teaspoon
1-3/4 teaspoons sunflower oil
3/4 teaspoons sea salt

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1. Day 1: Make the Poolish Dissolve the yeast in the water, and let sit a few minutes to bloom. Whisk in the flour until smooth – if it is very thick, continue whisking in more water until it is the consistency of a thick batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours; at this point it should be a bit bubbly.

2. Day 2: Baking Day In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment), dissolve the yeast in the carrot juice, let sit a few minutes until it looks creamy (bloomed). Add the grated carrot, parsley, the lesser amount of bread flour, and the poolish to the bowl. Knead on low spead for 3 minutes. If the dough doesn’t seem too sticky, then don’t add any more of the flour; it will firm up as it is kneaded (plus you have more to add to it).

3. Add the oil to the bowl and knead for another 8 minutes. Add the salt, increase the speed, and knead until elastic, about 7 more minutes. At this point, the dough will not be sticky any longer. Use the extra flour, a tiny bit at a time, to remedy the dough if it is. Add the toasted seeds, and gently mix in.

4. Place the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl or container and cover. Let sit for 60-90 minutes, knocking the dough back halfway through. To knock the dough back, remove it from the bowl and set it on a work surface. Use your hands to knock the air out of it. Fold the edges towards the center to form a cushion. Replace in the container, seam side down.

5. make the Crackle Glaze: While the dough is rising, dissolve the yeast in the water in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. It should be spreadable, but not runny. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before using.

6. shaping and baking: Turn the dough out onto a lighty floured work surface and divide into 3 equal parts (approximately 78 ounces of dough to equal three 26 ounce portions).

7. Form the portions into three round balls, and cover them with a clean tea towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.

8. Shape each circle of dough into an oblong loaf, by gently pressing ball down into a circle and then tucking/rolling into shape. Set loaves, seam side down, onto a lightly floured bread peel or thin cutting board. Glaze the loaves generously with the crackling glaze (you’ll have a lot of leftover glaze), and leave to rise at room temperature for 60-75 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size and the the surface is crackled.

9. Place a baking stone into the oven, and preheat to 475° F during last 20 minutes or so of rise time.
My first two loaves where done in a small Breville convection oven. The highest temperature possible in that oven is 450° and since it’s so small and the elements very exposed, I’m a little leary of misting.  Sill we were very happy with the bread.
Since I divided the dough in half and immediately refrigerated one half, I baked the second two loaves after that refrigeration time the next day.  I allowed the dough to warm up about an hour and a half and then continued with the directions and baked it in the downstairs regular electric oven.  This time the bread baked initially at 475° and was misted but it was not convection.  I did follow the instructions below in number 10 for opening the oven door every 10 minutes.  Some of the photos look very dark but there was no burning.
Neither baking got much oven spring and the loaves came out color and time wise pretty much the same.

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10. Slide the loaves onto the stone (let them rise directly on a baking sheet or two if you don’t have a stone – slide that into preheated oven) and spray generously with water. Close oven door. Lower the temperature to 400° F after 5 minutes. After another 10 minutes, open the oven door to let in a little air. Repeat two more times (every 10 minutes). Total baking time will be 45 minutes.

11. Remove bread from oven and cool on a wire rack.  What you think my cooling rack looks odd … well it’s really a grill basket for little burgers but it works!
I hope your soup is ready.

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Notes:
I doubled the carrots, used orange juice not carrot juice, no sesame seeds, used pumpkin seeds; doubled the amounts of both seeds; replaced 100 grams of bread flour with Spelt: used agave for sweetener.
Really like Pat’s idea of diluting a jar or two of baby food carrot andand perhaps I should check to see if there’s baby carrot juice.
This makes excellent toast, great grilled cheese and tomorrow I’m using the last loaf to make stuffing for roast chicken dinner.

This is a fairly dense bread, allow it to cool or it will be gummy on the inside when you’re re

The Bread Baking Buddies are: YOU!

With Heather at Girl Chef the hosting Babe kitchen of the month, if you’d like to join in, simply bake this Carrot Bread (yes, you may adapt) – and then send her a link to your post via email (girlichef at yahoo dot com).  Submissions are due by October 29th.  Once you’ve posted, Heather will send you a Buddy badge for baking along and you’ll appear in the Buddy post.  I hope you’ll join us this month!

The weather is chilling down, bake this bread and have the soup hot!

BBB logo October 2013

 

Wonderful bread Heather, many thanks!


7 Comments

Our Buddies are Crackers! Great Crackers! Oh yeah …

Buddies … I can’t fully explain what bread baking means to me/us.  I know it’s all mixed together with the feelings of touching the physical dough, connecting with a long history of bread bakers through the centuries, befriending those around my kitchen table and that strange creative process of relaxing kneading.  It’s always fascinating to me that bread is such simple ingredients and is always different, glorious but always different.

Buddies … I can’t fully explain what our Bread Baking Buddies mean to me/Babes.  I know it’s partly all the above of baking bread but it’s something above that and extraordinarily special.  Strangers come into my kitchen, take a recipe, are willing to put time, effort and good ingredients into that recipe, make it their own and bake with us.

This time around I especially enjoyed Louise Persson’s words:

I’m pleased to have been able to bake this unusual recipe with the BBBs. I saw it posted at KAF sometime ago and thought I would never attempt crackers. Yet baking as a Buddy, I’ve stretched myself and added some new experiences, and happily, this was one of them.

I really can’t remember how I found the BBB while browsing through blogs one day, but I’m very glad I did! I look forward to each new bread, sometimes, like this month, thinking, “Oh, I can’t. I don’t have the time or skill.” But it’s amazing what we can accomplish, isn’t it?

Louise’s experience is typical of so many of us.  Perhaps I should be less emphatic, I do know Louise expresses what I experienced when I started blogging and it continues to this day even though I do recognize I have more confidence when I approach a new recipe.  Yes Louise it is amazing what we can accomplish when we give it a go.

On top of that empathy, what perhaps thrills me/Babes even more is to think that we have somehow influenced a few others to take up this BreadHead Cause and enjoy, experience, learn and share these experiences.

Bread Baking makes my heart happy.  Bread Baking Buddies make my heart happier.  I am so glad that you each give of yourselves and take time to bake with us.  You are truly very special people.  Thank you. Each one of you.

Our Cracker Buddies are (in no particular order):

Louise BreadHead without blog

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Corrine at Yogi Latte

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Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories

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Claartje at Claire’s Baking

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Cathy at Bread Experience

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Carola at Sweet and That’s It

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Renee at Kudos Kitchen

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Kelly at A Messy Kitchen

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Anita (Soepkipje) at Ipernity   

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Aparna at MyDiverseKitchen

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Now do you see what I mean when I say these are are really special bunch of bakers!

Hope you can excuse me being late (but it did allow some extra Buddies to sneak in!) between company and that great mystery of the internet gobbling up my post requiring it to be redone … I was late.

If you baked as a Buddy and I missed you please send me an e-mail with your link and a photo so that I may include you!

You’ll excuse me now while I go bake these crackers again AND see if I can get baking on the Babes October bread.


23 Comments

BBB ~ Crunchy Crackers

When you find a trusted source, you kept going back don’t you?  Shoes you like, you’re likely to look for the brand again?  A food blog you try a recipe from, you like, you’ll look to try another?  For me there’s at least one site whose products I love and even order repeatedly from and use their recipes.  For a bread lover, who do you think that might be?  King Arthur Flour has proven itself over and over for me and these crackers are just another proof.  This is a beautifully easy recipe to mix and bake but for me at least it’s glory lies in the topping possibilities and yes the use of a variety of flours.

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Probably the most often spread we enjoy with these crackers is my spinach and artichoke, made with double spinach and given it’s own crunch with water chestnuts.

Crunchy Crackers

Recipe By: KAF
Yield: 2 cookie sheets

Summary from KAF:

This recipe mimics an extra-crunchy, seed-topped whole-gain cracker you may find at your supermarket. These are great for spreads and dips of all kinds.

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198 to 227g lukewarm water
170 g King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
120 g King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder or sugar – I used agave
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
14 g whole milled flax or whole flax seed ground
14 g sesame seeds or whole flax seeds
*Substitute 28g golden flax seeds for the flax and sesame, if desired.
topping
71 g sunflower seeds, midget preferred*
28 g sesame seeds*
28 g whole flax seeds

sea salt or your favorite flavored salt, if desired
*Substitute 3/4 cup artisan bread topping + 1/4 cup whole flax seeds for the sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds, if desired.

 

1.  Mix and knead together all of the cracker ingredients (except the seeds) to a smooth, fairly stiff dough. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of water if the dough is dry.

I used the larger 227 ml of water and regardless of the flour type used, I have found this to be a sticky wet dough.  I’ve played very loose with the white whole wheat flour called for in the recipe: on different occasions I’ve replaced part of it with barley flour, buckwheat flour, spelt and rye flours.  Perhaps we enjoyed the buckwheat flour the most but all were terrific.  Each time I’ve baked these I’ve added chopped walnuts but my Babes have show me I must expand my nut choices ~ think pecans, pine nuts …

2.  Knead in the seeds.

You may do as I’ve done at this point and refrigerate the dough: if you do that, allow the dough 90 to 120 minutes to re-warm to room temp and expand slightly as in step 3 below.

3. Let the dough rise, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s expanded a bit.

Don’t expect a large rise here.  “Expand a bit” did not translate into doubling as you often expect with doughs.

4. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a rectangle approximately 14″ x 9″, a generous 1/8″ thick. This will probably require you to roll the dough until it fights back; give it a 10-minute rest, then come back and roll some more. It may need two rest periods to allow you to roll it thin enough.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve always played around using different flours or maybe it’s because I’ve always had that rest period in the refrigerator but I’ve never had this dough fight back, it’s always been easy to roll out.

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I also use special rubber bands on my rolling pin to take the guess work out of how thick the dough rolls out.  I’ve used the yellow bands in the past for the 1/8 inch but this time I went with the red 1/16.  It worked just fine and gave me very thin crackers, crunchy!

5. For easiest handling, turn the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Spritz the dough with water. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the topping seeds, lay a piece of parchment on top, and press the seeds in with a rolling pin. Turn the dough over, peel off the parchment, and repeat. Set the seeded crackers on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining piece of dough.

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Play: these seeds are suggestions, what’s in your pantry, what do you like, what wildness can you come up with?  Seeds are great but consider using your favorite nut here.  I chopped seeds and nuts.  Because there are only two of us on most occasions, I generally divide this dough into half or thirds and bake over several days.
6. If you don’t have parchment, roll on a rolling mat or on a very lightly floured or lightly greased work surface; and transfer the seeded crackers to a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each sheet of crackers with some sea salt or flavored salt, if desired. Crush the sea salt between your fingers or grind it in a salt mill if it’s very coarse.
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7. Prick the dough over with a fork or one of these.  I ruined many a cookie sheet using forks to prick cracker dough until I found one of these rollers …

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and cut it into rectangles, whatever size you like.  This seemed like an insane gadget to buy at the time but after using it repeatedly for crackers and biscuits, I’ve really come to wonder why I put off paying the $20 for so long.  It expands to cut any width you like and locks in place.  Initially I thought this would be a bugger to wash but I just open it up wide and give each roller blade a wipe, close it up and swish it in the water: clean!

Pull the crackers apart just a bit; you don’t need to separate them completely. Let the crackers rise for 30 to 45 minutes. while you preheat your oven to 350°F; they’ll get just a bit puffy.

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8. Bake for 20 minutes, until the crackers are a medium brown. Turn off the heat, wait 15 minutes, then open the oven door a couple of inches and let the crackers cool completely in the turned-off oven. When they’re completely cool, break apart, if necessary, and store airtight.

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Once again I am KOM … Kitchen of the Month!  The Babes have really gone crackers with this one so be sure to check them all out.  They’re on the side bar there.  If you’d like to be a buddy with us this month, I will be delighted to have you in the Cracker round up to be posed on the 29th September.  To be a Bread Baking Buddy, just make the crackers, take some photos, write up your post – tell us your experience with the dough – and send an email to ~ comments my kitchen at mac dot com ~ you know to take out all those spaces ~ PLEASE PUT “Cracker Buddy” as your subject line and get those mails to me by no later than the 28th.  I’ll send you the buddy badge and get you in the round up.

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See those fire crackers in our badge, thank you Lien!  Now get cracken and BAKE!

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13 Comments

BBB ~ Jamie’s Nut Roll

This is the story of how I had to open a can of green beans in order to bake Jamie’s Nut Roll.  Yes,  Life’s A Feast, Jamie is our delightful Kitchen Of the Month.  And, yes, thank you for this one!

Start to finish, this one does take some time in total.  Hands on time however is actually fairly limited.  I very often have to chuckle when I remember thinking that bread takes so long to make … that was before I actually made bread and I know just about anyone who’s contemplated baking bread has had the thought “It takes so long, I just don’t have that time.”  That would be true if you had to actually be doing something to the dough not just leaving it alone.

How simple can it get when the night before you put yeast in warm water. Add the butter, milk, eggs yolks, sugar, salt and flour.  Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  I will tell you that after I mixed with the wooden spoon and it was smooth, I really didn’t believe this would be much more than the glop it appeared to be.  Just go with it.

Nut Roll Coffee Cake

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Recipe By: Jamie from Taste of Home Cookbook (Taste of Home Bakeshop Favorites)
Yield: one loaf in tube pan

For the dough:
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
70 ml warm water (110°F to 115°F)
225 grams unsalted butter, melted
125 ml warm skim milk (110°F to 115°F)
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar, I used brown
3/4 teaspoon salt
350 grams flour I used a combo: 100 spelt and 250 white whole wheat, more as needed
35 grams ground flax seed
For the filling:
3 egg whites ~ but there were 4 yolks in the dough?
1 cup + 3 Tbs sugar again I used brown, divided
2 cups ground walnuts & pecans
2 tablespoons 2% fat/lowfat milk, ! forgot it, which was lucky because I used that fourth egg white
2 tsps ground cinnamon ~ or whatever looks/smells right to you; I used 2 tablespoons

Directions:

1. The day before, prepare the dough:

2. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the butter, milk, eggs yolks, sugar, salt and flour. Beat until smooth – the mixture will be sticky. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

At this point I thought “this isn’t going to make bread”. It’s goop.

3. The day of baking, prepare the filling:  ***** even though the directions left this step out, consider this dough is cold coming from the fridge: I took mine out and allowed to warm for the time it took to make the meringue below.

4. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, on high speed until the sugar is incorporated and dissolved.

5. In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, milk, cinnamon and remaining sugar; fold in the meringue.  For a little extra, toast the nuts!  That was a good touch.  I toasted the walnuts … then I chopped them … then I went for pecans.  I didn’t toast the pecans but I did add 3/4 a cup to the already full measure of walnuts.

6. Prepare the Coffee Cake:

7. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Grease a 10-inch tube pan.   !#@$###!!! A what … hahahahahaha all my tube pans have been packed for weeks … tube pan … what is a tube pan … well the le creuset dutch oven is a pan and it’s on the shelf … but it has no tube … so you make a tube … and that is when I had to open the can of green beans … wrapped in foil a green bean can becomes a fabulous tube and the dutch oven becomes a tube pan!

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8. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured work surface, roll each portion into an 18 x 12 –inch (45 x 30 cm) rectangle. Spread half of the filling evenly over each rectangle within 1/2 –inch (1 cm) of the edges. Roll each up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side; pinch seam to seal.

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9. Place one filled roll, seam side up, in the greased tube pan. Place the second roll, seam side down. Neither one of my rolls were long enough to make it all the way around my make shift tube pan; I just laid the middle of the second roll on top of the first one where it didn’t meet and it all evened out.

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******Again missing from the directions but just from the “routine of having baked so many loaves, I gave this a 40 minute rise on the counter before popping it into the oven.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
What I should have done: take the bread temp. I think this loaf could have baked several minutes longer but maybe not 5. If I’d taken the temp I know better when it would be done next time.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing the coffee cake from the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely. Removing from the pan prevents bread from becoming soggy.

10. Eat as is or drizzle with glaze or dust with powdered sugar.

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You can see how my top roll didn’t quite come together perfectly but I more than happy with it’s charm.  And yes I used all four of those egg whites and had way more meringue than I should have and it squished out … but it just shows you the goodness inside so I’m happy with that as well.

Just the butter called for in the recipe, extra nuts, extra cinnamon … Oh my goodness, all you need now is to get crack’n and bake this … well then you might want coffee although after dinner with wine this was good too.

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Didn’t I warn you?  It’s August, it’s HOT and you will want to turn on your oven for this one!  If you want to make this bread with us … like really how could you not … then you really want to be a  Bread Baking Buddy, then bake it, blog it and send Jamie a link by August 26th.  Please use Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line and Jamie will add you to the roundup. But before you do that, check out if and how the other Babes managed their nut roll, on my side bar.

Thank You Jamie!