Friday, April 29, 2016

Bread Baking Day #82: Sweet rolls for coffee

Several weeks ago I tried out a new sweet dough, which was easy to make and versatile.  It was the perfect dough for the latest Bread Baking Day challenge.   This month's hostess is Simone from Aus der Lameng.  She invited everyone to make a sweet roll or bun that would go well with morning coffee.   



Basically, I combined the first batch of dry ingredients in a bowl, then stirred in the wet ingredients, which were at room temperature*.  I let the mixture rise for several hours, added the second round of dry ingredients, then placed the bowl in the refrigerator for an over night rest.  The next morning, I rolled out the dough, spread it with melted butter, sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar and mini cinnamon chips, formed it into a roll, then sliced it up for individual rolls. I let the rolls rise for about 40 minutes, then baked them in a 375 degree oven for between 18 and 20 minutes.  While they were barely warm, I frosted them with a maple-flavored icing.  (The brownish color comes from the flavoring.)   



My goodness, they were delicious!.  Because the dough is easy to make, having these rolls around could develop into a bad habit, especially with my morning coffee.   

Stop by Simone's website in a few days to see the variety of sweet rolls, and head over to Zorra's blog for all kinds of fun baking events.

The original recipe can be found here(A small-batch version can be found here.) 

*I didn't find it necessary to heat and cool all the liquid ingredients before combining them with the dry ingredients.  This is my standard procedure for yeast doughs.

For a savory version, have a look at my previous post.

 
 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bread Baking Babes: Two-for-One Special

It's time for another reveal from the Bread Baking Babes.   Because last month was unusually busy for me, I'll share two baking challenges this time.  

First up is the current challenge -- Un-cinnamon rolls.

The dough for this challenge is super easy to make and extremely versatile.  It's based off of a recipe from a well-known Oklahoman food celebrity.  I just happen to have three of her cookbooks, and upon diligent research, discovered that 1) the bread recipe appears in all three books, and 2) the recipe has evolved over the years.  Our Kitchen of the Month, Karen, of Bake My Day, has the recipe posted on her website.  

Basically, I combined the first batch of dry ingredients in a bowl, then stirred in the wet ingredients, which were at room temperature.  I let the mixture rise for several hours, added the second round of dry ingredients, then placed it in the refrigerator over night.  



The next morning I tore off about half the dough, rolled it out, rubbed it with melted butter, then spread on my filling.   Because this was a non-cinnamon roll, my filling was a mixture of chopped spinach, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and dill weed, bound together with one egg.  I let the resulting rolls rise about 40 minutes, then baked them at 375 degrees for about 18-20 minutes.  



They are pretty tasty, and go well with just about every main dish.  

The remaining dough was refrigerated until the next day, when I turned that into bonafide cinnamon rolls.  But more on that another time.

Alas, I never got around to posting about the previous bread challenge, the Auberge Walnut Bread.  At the time, my camera was being contrary, so I only got one or two photographs of the bread.  And, sadly, the bread disappeared before I could shoot any more.   It was delicious bread, though.  The Kitchen of the Month was Elizabeth, of blog from Our Kitchen.




So, for April's bread, head over to Karen's for the recipe and instructions on how to participate as a Buddy.  Like I mentioned earlier, the dough is easy and versatile.

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Bread Baking Day #81: Rolls and Buns

It's time for another bread baking challenge!   

This month, our hostess is Sandra from From Snuggs Kitchen.  Sandra challenged us to bake some kind of roll or bun.  Because Easter was in March this year, I decided to bake some Hot Cross Buns.  I combined two recipes, and was pleased with the result.  The buns were tender and had a nice touch of spice.




Thanks to Zorra for creating this fun challenge, and to Sandra for hosting.  Be sure to visit Sandra's website in the next few days to see all the delicious submissions.



Hot Cross Buns

  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Butter, room temperature
  • 1 Egg, room temperature
  • 3+1/2 cups Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Orange zest
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp Ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp Ground cardamom
  • 2+1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup Dried currants
 


Powdered Sugar Glaze
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 3 to 4 tsp Water



 

Combine dry mixture, liquid ingredients, and butter in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Add egg; beat 1 minute. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough doubles.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide into 3 parts. Divide each third into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place on greased cookie sheet, sides touching. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. Combine 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water; brush buns. Bake in preheated 375ยบ F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets; cool. 

Frost with Powdered Sugar Glaze.


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Monday, February 29, 2016

Bread Baking Day #80: Baking with Sourdough -- Soft Pretzels



When I first read about this month's Bread Baking Day challenge (BBD #80), I was thrilled at the opportunity to see if my nearly-two-year old starter was still viable.  It had been through a lot during the past year -- moving cross-country twice and left almost forgotten in the refrigerator.  The time had come to resurrect it.   

Luckily, it came out of dormancy just fine.

For my first attempt, I made a sourdough boule with cracked wheat and sunflower seeds.  It was ok, but not wonderful, although it did have a nice sour flavor.



Then, I ran across a recipe for Sourdough Soft Pretzels, and that was the winner.  

First, you use the starter straight out of the fridge -- cool and unfed.  Then, the dough is mixed in the bread machine and allowed to rest for about 45 minutes before shaping.  No second rise, either.  How easy is that?



The end result is a chewy soft pretzel that doesn't take forever to make.  I will definitely make these again, and perhaps even experiment with shaping, since the basic dough mixture is delicious.



Thanks to Zorra for a perfect challenge.  Check out her website in the next few days to see other sourdough breads.  And follow this link to the original recipe from King Arthur Flour.  It can be adapted to either weight or volume measures.  

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Babes Bake an Anniversary Onion Bread

When I first read the recipe for this caramelized onion bread, I didn't have high expectations for success.   First, I've never had any luck with using floured cloths for proofing.  The bread would always stick and thus deflate.  Second, the oven temperature is sketchy at best.  Third, while I had the primary recipe, no where could I find details on all the auxiliary steps, so I just had to wing it.  That said, with only a few minor ingredient changes, the bread did turn out fairly well, although clearly not as nice as those from all the other Babes.  (Babe failure?)   



For the ingredients, I used medium rye flour in place of the light rye.   I didn't have buckwheat flour, so I substituted white whole wheat.  And, with only a tablespoon of honey in the container, I turned to Lyle's Golden Syrup instead.  Note, too, that this bread requires three days of preparation, so it's wise to plan accordingly.


(Improvised setup)

I interpreted all the instructions as best I could, and it seemed that the dough cooperated.  Only one loaf would fit on the baking stone, so, I fired up the second oven, which only had one shelf, and took a calculated guess for setting the temperature (all the markings having been erased over time).  The top oven, with two shelves, got the pan with ice cubes, while the bottom one did not, although I did spray that loaf with water several times at the beginning.  Can't really tell which loaf is which.  The top loaf was baked for twice the amount of specified time, hoping for a darker crust, which never happened.  The bottom loaf came out on time.  Again, you can't really tell which is which.




It is a delicious bread, and a good keeper, so it's worth making at least once.  The recipe comes from the book, Bien Cuit.  For details on the origins, the recipe, and a list of Babes, go to Tanna's website, My Kitchen in Half Cups.  If you want to play along this month, send your post to Tanna by the 29th (and remember the 3 days!).


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CARAMELIZED ONION BREAD


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

Ingredients:

STARTER
125 grams (3/4 c + 21/2 tbsp) white rye flour
0.3 gram (generous pinch) instant yeast
125 grams (1/2 c + 1 tsp) water at about 60°F (15°C)
DOUGH
425 grams (3 c + 21/2 tsp) white flour, plus additional as needed for working with the dough
75 grams (1/2 c + 11/2 tsp) buckwheat flour

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

Directions:

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


2. THE DOUGH
Whisk together white and buckwheat flours, salt and yeast.
Use approximately a third of the water to pour around the starter edges to release it from the sides of the bowel. 
Mix remaining water and honey in large bowl and add the starter; mix starter into water with wooden spoon.
Because you may not need all of the flour, reserve a small amount (arbitary, maybe 1/2 cup).  Mix the dry ingredients into the starter to combine then switch to a plastic bowl scraper.
The dough will now be sticky to the touch.
Note: At no point in this process of resting did my dough double in size.

3.  ROLL AND TUCK
Some Babes, like some Buddies, are sticklers for following directions and amounts.  Perhaps, over the years I've become jaded by too many crazy mis-reads and just down right mistakes and breads that are just good.  When I read this recipe roll and tuck just morphed into stretch and fold for me which is what I did.  You'll find several Babes who were very particular and followed the technique.
*** TUCK in my experience has always been cupping hands around a dough and tucking/pulling the dough under.  The result you're looking for is a strong smooth finish.


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


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


5.  SECOND STRETCH AND FOLD  
Repeat the step 4 and return the dough to the bowl, cover with the towel, and let rest for 45 minutes.

6.  THIRD STRETCH AND FOLD ~ ADDING ONIONS AND BUTTER

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

7.  FINAL STRETCH
Fourth and final stretch, repeat step 4, then return the dough to the bowl, cover with the towel, and let rest for about 20 minutes.

8.  SHAPING  ~  12 TO 18 HOURS REFRIGERATED 
Lightly dust the work area and hands with the dusting mix.
Divide the dough in half.  I divided mine unequally as I wanted one loaf larger than the other.   Roll into two loose tubes.
Let rest 5 minutes.  Press each again and shape how you choose.

Quote from Bien Cuit:  "Transfer to the lined pan, seam-side up, positioning the loaves lengthwise. Dust the top and sides of the loaves with flour. Fold the linen to create support walls on both sides of each loaf, then fold any extra length of the linen liner over the top or cover with a kitchen towel.
Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill for 12 to 18 hours."

I placed my shaped loaves onto parchment paper and covered.  Let them rest for 15 hours in the refrigerator.


9.   PRE-HEAT OVEN WITH BAKING STONE
Pre-heat oven with baking stone and cast-iron inside to 500°F (260°C).
Cast-iron skillet is for creating steam with ice cubes.

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


11. Using the baking peel, transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. When the bottoms of the loaves are tapped, they should sound hollow. If not, return to the stone and bake for 5 minutes longer.

Let the bread cool completely before slicing and eating, at least 4 hours but preferably 8 to 24 hours.
 




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