Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pain Francese

Pain Francese

First stage- chef
¼ cup sourdough starter
¼ cup warm water
¾ cup bread flour, plus about another ¼ cup for kneading
Mix dough together, then knead about 5 minutes using bench scraper and adding flour as needed. Put in oiled bowl, cover with plastic, let rise until doubled, 5-6 hrs.

Second-Stage Levain
All of the levain (from above)
1/2 cup warm, chlorine-free water
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour

"Refresh" the levain by placing it in a medium-sized bowl, chopping it into small pieces, and adding the water and 1/2 cup of the flour, stirring till smooth. Add the remaining flour gradually to create a stiff dough. Knead the dough for several minutes, then return it to the bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise for 3 to 5 hours, till it doubles in size. Punch down the risen levain, and reserve 1/4 cup as your next chef. (Let the piece ferment at room temperature for 3 hours, then wrap it in plastic and store it in the fridge. It'll develop a hard crust; that's OK.)

all of the second-stage levain (from above)
3/4 cup warm, chlorine-free water
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour

Chop the levain into small pieces, and mix them with the water, stirring till they begin to dissolve. Add the salt, then 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured or lightly greased work surface, and knead until the dough is smooth and satiny, adding only enough additional flour to keep the dough from sticking unbearably. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 8 to 10 hours.

Shaping: Cut the dough into 2 pieces, and shape each piece into a round or oval. Transfer the loaves to a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, or to a floured banneton; cover with a heavily floured cloth, and allow them to rise for 2 to 3 hours, or until they're almost doubled in bulk.

Don't slash or glaze the loaves. Bake the bread in a preheated 450°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until they're a deep, golden brown. Yield: 2 loaves.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Whole Wheat Seeded Walnut Bread

Whole Wheat Seeded Walnut Bread

1 cup sourdough starter, preferably a whole wheat one
½ cup condensed milk mixed with ¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup barley flour (or use more whole wheat flour)
2-3 cups unbleached bread flour
¼ cup mixed seeds – I combined flax seed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and poppy seeds
½ cup chopped walnuts

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the dough hook, combine the starter, milk, honey and mix to combine.

In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the salt and flours. With the machine running, add the dry mixture, a half cup at a time until the dough forms around the dough hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. Continue to let the machine knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding more of the dry mixture, a tablespoon at a time, if needed.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead another 2-3 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to oil all sides of dough, cover and let rise in a draft free place until doubled in bulk, about 2-3 hours.

Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. With your hands, spread the dough out into a rectangle about 10 inches by 10 inches, by pushing down on the dough. Sprinkle all of the seed mixture and all but a few tablespoons of the walnuts evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch at the edges free of seeds and nuts. Roll the dough jelly roll fashion to enclose the seeds and nuts. Press down on the roll to flatten it a bit, then sprinkle on the remaining walnuts. Fold the ends of the roll toward the middle, then knead the dough to distribute the seeds and nuts.

Again flatten the dough into a rectangle about 10 inches by 8 inches. Roll again jelly roll fashion along the long side. Pinch the seam where the roll stops, then fold under the ends and place in a loaf bread pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover the pan and place bread pan in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Double Oatmeal Bread

Twice the Oatmeal Bread
Makes two (2) loaves

1 cup cooked steel cut oats (not quick cooking) – I used Irish steel cut to honor the season 
1 cup whole wheat sourdough starter ( or 1 pk active dry yeast proofed in ½ cup warm water with
pinch of sugar)
1 tsp salt
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
3 – 3/12 cups all-purpose flour

Cook oats per instructions, remove from heat and allow to cool completely and absorb any excess water. You want a big "glob" of oats.

If not using sourdough starter:
Proof yeast in lukewarm water and pinch of sugar. Allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes until foamy.

In bowl for stand mixer or large bowl, break up cooled oatmeal into medium chunks, and using the dough hook (if using stand mixer), stir in sourdough starter or proofed yeast, salt, and oatmeal until cooked oatmeal is completely broken up.

Add in about a cup of flour and stir until wet dough formed. Add in 1 1/2 cups AP flour until shaggy dough ball is formed. Add in remaining flour 1/2 cup a time until soft dough ball that cleans bowl if formed. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes to absorb excess flour. If using stand mixer, hand knead for 5 or 10 quick turns.

Dough should be soft and very slightly tacky. If clumps of dough stick to hand, knead in additional AP flour on palmful at time.

Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double (about 2 - 2 1/2 hours). Punch down, form 2 loaves, place in 8 1/2 x 5 greased loaf pans, lightly grease top of loaves, loosely cover, and allow to rise until dough is about 1/4" above edge of loaf pans.

Slash top of loaves down center if desired.

Place loaves in preheated 375 degree F. oven and bake 30 - 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.

Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Old Fashioned Refrigerator Rolls - Ready When You Are

Refrigerator Rolls
From The Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham

1 cup milk, warmed
2 packages dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Stir the warm milk and yeast together in a large mixing bowl and let stand for a couple of minutes to dissolve. Add the sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat to mix well, then add enough more flour to make a manageable dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for about 2 minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes.

Resume kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, sprinkling on just enough additional flour to keep it from being too sticky. Place in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk.

Punch down the dough, and place it in a greased bowl or a large plastic food-storage bag. Cover the bowl tightly, and refrigerate. If you use the plastic bag, seal it loosely around the dough to allow room for the dough to expand. Come back sometime within 3 – 4 hours and punch the chilled dough down – until it is thoroughly cold, it will rise as usual. Check the dough once a day from then on, and if it has begun to rise, punch it down.

To make rolls, simply pull off as much of the dough as you think you’ll need, and shape in into rolls, such as crescent, Parker House, cloverleaf or fantan shapes. Let rise for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 400 degrees F. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

This recipe makes about 30 rolls, depending on size. Can be stored in the fridge for about a week, ready to use whenever you need it. Just cut off enough for a few rolls, shape and bake as described above.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rye and Whole Wheat Round

½ cup each: rye flour, whole wheat flour and unbleached bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sourdough starter (I used Polly)
1 cup spring water or filtered water, not tap water

1 tablespoon barley malt syrup (molasses can be used instead)
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup each: rye flour, whole wheat flour and unbleached bread flour
additional bread flour, by tablespoon, if needed, to make dough firm
and some for flouring the kneading surface

Sponge: In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Add the sourdough starter and the water and stir to completely combine. (If not sourdough starter is available, sprinkle 2 teaspoons active dry yeast over ½ cup warm (100 – 110 degrees F) water. Stir and let sit 10 minutes, then add to the flours. Adjust the water to an additional 1 ½ cups.) Cover with plastic wrap, leaving a vent, and set in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Dough: In a stand mixer bowl (KA with dough hook if possible), put the sponge. Add the barley malt. Mix the three flours together with the salt, then add to the mixer. Mix on low or medium low speed until combined. If mixer has dough hook, continue to knead with mixer until smooth and elastic. If no dough hook, turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Place kneaded dough into an oiled bowl that is large enough to hold twice the amount. Turn dough over to coat both sides with oil. Place plastic wrap over dough, leaving a vent, and set in a warm place to rise until double in bulk, about another 2 hours.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few minutes to release any large gas bubbles. Shape into a ball, pulling dough under as you shape. Place on parchment paper, smooth side up, cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise until double in bulk, about an hour.

With a single edge razor or very sharp knife, cut a few slashed in the loaf. Paint loaf with a mixture of one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk.

Place in preheated 350 degree F. oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and paint again with the egg wash. Return to the oven and bake another 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown and loaf sound hollow when tapped.

Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing…longer is better if you can resist the wonderful aroma of fresh bread.

Makes one large loaf.