Monday, October 16, 2017

Double-duty Baking for October -- Babes and World Bread Day

This month (October) I am pleased to be the Kitchen of the Month for the Bread Baking Babes.  Since we post our stories on the 16th of the month, our baking this time around also coincides with World Bread Baking Day, also October 16th.

The minute I sign up for my turn, I start keeping an eye out for a good and interesting bread recipe.  The closer my time comes, the more indecisive I become.  Which bread to choose?  This year was no exception.  By the deadline, I had my choices narrowed down to two:  one was a fun sort of bread, the other was more sturdy and fit with the time of year.  I went with the latter choice, but when my turn rolls around again (no pun intended), I will most likely choose the fun bread because it keeps calling my name.

Because October is the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere, and there is a noticeable nip in the morning air, I selected a seasonal recipe, Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread.  The original recipe can be found in Bread for All Seasons, by Beth Hensperger. 

The dough contains a delicious mixture of cornmeal, rye, and bread flour, with flavorings from buttermilk, molasses, and pumpkin (of course).  It's really a lovely dough to work with, and can be shaped either into loaves or rolls.

I took two-thirds of the dough and formed it into round loaves, then I took the remaining third and shaped it into rolls.  While you can shape the bread however you wish, I followed the recommendation from the book, and made the rolls in the shape of a spiral.  I decided it was a bit of an unfortunate shape, seeing it after rising and baking.  But, the rolls were fun to eat!

Here's hoping you're all in the mood for some fall baking, and you give this delicious bread a try.  If you do decide to be a Buddy, please send your baking story and photos to me at jahunt22 dot gmail dot com by October 29th, and they will be included in the Buddy

Be sure to check out the results from the other Babes:

Happy Bread Baking!

Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread
Yield:  2 or 3 loaves or 24 dinner rolls

1 ½  tablespoons active dry yeast (1 ½ packets)
Pinch of sugar
1 cup warm water (105˚ to 115˚)
1 cup warm buttermilk (105˚ to 115˚)
5 tablespoons melted butter or oil
1/3 cup light molasses
½ cup pumpkin purée (either canned or homemade)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup fine- or medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1 cup medium rye flour
4 ½ to 4 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour

In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, salt, cornmeal, and rye flour.   Whisk to mix well.
Add warm water, buttermilk, melted butter/oil, molasses, and pumpkin purée.  Beat until smooth (1 to 2 minutes) using either a whisk or the paddle attachment on a mixer.

Add the unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour, ½ cup at a time, until it becomes a soft dough.  Knead until smooth and slightly tacky, either by hand or with a dough hook.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top; cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until double, about 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on how warm it is.

Turn onto work surface and divide the dough into 2 or 3 equal round portions.  Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.

To make dinner rolls, divide the dough into 24 equal portions and shape as desired.
Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 20 minutes, or place in refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.

Twenty minutes before baking, heat the oven to 375˚, using a baking stone, if you wish.  While the oven is heating, brush the tops with melted butter.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown:  40-45 minutes for loaves or 15 to 18 minutes for rolls.  Remove from oven, let cool on rack until completely cool.

(adapted from Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger)