And Now for Something Slightly Different

We nearly ran out of bread today, can you believe it? I thought it might be fun to make a minor change in my technique, and I mean minor. Instead of using a Dutch oven for the 75% Hydration Honey Bread, I decided to make two small loaves and bake them in a steam oven.

It worked fine. The bread is an acceptable size for sandwiches or toast. The crust isn’t quite as firm, but again, acceptable. The texture of the bread was spot on. Overall, I am pleased with the results of the experiment.

(The recipe below uses a Dutch Oven)

Honey No Knead 75 Percent Hydration Bread

Advanced No-Knead Bread

INGREDIENTS
• 600 g all-purpose flour (about 4 cups using ‘scoop and sweep’ method)
• 450 g water (2 cups, room temperature)
• 21 g honey (1 Tbsp)
• 14 g kosher salt (1 level Tbsp)
• 3 g SAF Gold instant yeast (1 tsp)

METHOD

  1. Add the water and honey to a large bowl and mix until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand, until a sticky homogeneous mass is formed. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
  3. After one hour, perform stretch and folds every 30 minutes over the next 1½ hours. Let the dough continue its fermentation for additional 1½ hours or until it doubles in size.
  4. Shape the dough in a ball and transfer to a proofing basket dusted with a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and rice flour, seam side up.
  5. Cover with a piece of paper towel (this will prevent sticking of the dough to the plastic wrap), then with a plastic wrap. Let proof for about 60 minutes or until the dough passes the finger test. (Poked with a finger the indentation will spring back very slowly.) The dough will increase in size about one a half times or so.
  6. Place a baking stone and a steam pan in the oven. Place the Dutch Oven into the oven and preheat to(450) 500oF. An hour of preheating is recommended.
  7. Turn the bread over on a piece of parchment paper. Score on top and lower the dough into the preheated Dutch Oven. Be careful opening the oven, it will be full of hot steam. Spray the walls of the oven with a bit of water (gentle mist) to re-create some of the lost steam and close the door.
  8. Immediately drop the temperature to (400) 450oF and bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the water pan from the oven, turn the bread 180 degrees and leave the door cracked open. You can use a wooden spoon for that. Bake for another 25 minutes.
  10. When the baking is done, remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature before slicing.

Fresh Bagels – ET? Anyone?

Recently, I mentioned I still had the alkali bath to boil, brown and make a nice skin on the pretzels and with minor changes would work for bagels as well. So…. today we have bagels.

I used the Chef Steps recipe I posted here some time ago. I also posted the recipe below.

https://abatteredoldsuitcase.com/2016/10/31/chefsteps-bagels/

I made four ET bagels for me and six plain bagels for Fran (and me). Notice how I cleverly worked the ET title into the text of the post?

Bagels from ChefSteps
INGREDIENTS
• 350 g Water, plus more for boiling
• 650 g Bread flour, divided
• 3 g Active dry yeast
• 25 g Sugar, granulated, optional
• 25 g Diastatic malt powder
• 10 g Salt
• Nonstick spray, as needed
• 25 g Molasses
• 10 g Baked baking soda
OPTIONAL
• 10 g Black sesame seed
• 10 g Dried onion flakes
• 10 g Salt, Maldon flake
• 7 g Poppy seed
• 5 g Sesame seed
• 5 g Dried garlic flakes

METHOD

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, combine 350 g room temperature water, 250 g of the flour, and the active dry yeast. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the mixture proof at room temperature until it doubles in size and makes frothy bubbles that collapse when you tap the bowl on the countertop. This takes about two to three hours. (Look for a foam that resembles the one on a root beer float. If you don’t see this yet, just give the yeast a bit more time to work its magic.)
  2. In a bowl, combine the remaining 400 g of bread flour with 25 g sugar, 25 g diastatic malt powder, and 10 g salt.
  3. Reattach the bowl containing the sponge (from Step 1) to the stand mixer and fasten on the dough hook. Set the mixer to low. Gradually spoon in the dry ingredients and let the dough mix until it becomes stretchy and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 15 to 20 minutes. (This will be rough work for your stand mixer.)
  4. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Working quickly to keep the dough cool, divide it into 130 g portions and set them on a parchment paper lined pan. Keep the entire sheet covered with plastic wrap as you work, tucking each new portion underneath the plastic wrap to keep any crust from forming.
  6. First, form a dome. Make a circle with one hand, place a piece of portioned dough halfway inside it, and use one finger of your other hand to turn the dough while gradually pushing it through the circle tightening the dough as you work around the outside. You want to end up with a nice, taut dome.
  7. Next, turn that dome into a ball. Hold the dome with the concave underside facing up. Pinch the dough closed across the “bowl,” then roll the seam on the work surface until smooth. When you finish each piece, return it to its spot under the plastic wrap on the sheet pan.
  8. Cool the dough balls in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  9. Working with one ball at a time, use two fingers to pinch a hole through the center of the dough, turning it while you work. Once you break through the dough, turn it on its side (like a spinning wheel). Stick both of your index fingers through the hole from opposite directions, and spin them around each other, slowly stretching out the hole until you can fit three fingers through it. Return the shaped dough to its covered spot on the tray. (You might need a second tray.)
  10. Allow to proof at room temperature until a dough ring floats when set in a bowl of water. This will take about 20–40 minutes. (If the test ring sinks, proof a bit longer.)
  11. Make sure the tray(s) are wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, and let them cool in the refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to develop.
  12. In a large pot over high heat, bring 5 L water, 25 g molasses, and 10 g baking soda to a boil.
  13. Preheat the oven to 425 °F / 218 °C (Use convection if available)
  14. Working in batches, drop the bagels into the water and boil for 60 seconds, then flip them with a spider strainer or fork and boil for another 60 seconds. Transfer them, smooth sides up, to a wire rack on a half-sheet pan.
  15. (TRY AN EGG WASH ON SOME OF THE PLAIN BAGELS)
  16. If you’re adding the seasoning mix—or your own choice of toppings—now’s the time to sprinkle it over the tops of the bagels.
  17. Transfer the bagels to a parchment paper–lined half-sheet pan and move it to the center rack of the preheated oven.
  18. Bake for seven minutes, spin the tray around to ensure even cooking, and continue baking until bagels have a nice, brown color—about seven more minutes.

Babka “Yada, yada, yada”

I am not sure there is much better than a fresh, warm, chocolate babka. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this bread/pastry/cake I strongly suggest you don’t wait but either make or buy a loaf. Warning, this recipe could ruin you for store bought.

I was going to take a few pictures to illustrate how to make and shape a babka, but the woman who posted this recipe did a great job of it. https://prettysimplesweet.com/shaping-babka. Copy and paste this link into your browser for details.

Chocolate Babka

https://prettysimplesweet.com/chocolate-babka/

INGREDIENTS
For the dough:
• 3¾ cups (530 g) all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting
• ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon (10g) instant yeast
• 3 large eggs
• ½ cup (120 ml) water
• ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
• ⅔ cup (150 g) unsalted butter , at room temperature, cut into small cubes
• Neutral oil (sunflower, canola) for dressing
For the chocolate filling:
• ½ cup (50 g) powdered sugar
• ⅓ cup (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
• 130 g dark chocolate , melted*
• ½ cup (120 g) unsalted butter , melted
• ⅔ cup (120 g) chocolate chips or chunks OR 1 cup (100g/3.5oz) pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
For the sugar syrup:
• ½ cup (120ml) water
• ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar

METHOD
Making the dough:

  1. Place flour, sugar, and yeast in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until combined. Add eggs and water, and mix on medium speed until dough comes together, 2-3 minutes. Add salt, then butter, adding a few cubes at a time, mixing until incorporated. Continue mixing for about 10 minutes on medium speed, until dough is completely smooth, elastic, shiny, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. During mixing, you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Place dough in a large bowl brushed with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in the fridge for at least half a day or overnight.
  3. Grease two loaf pans (9×4 inch) with oil and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Divide dough in half and keep one half covered in the fridge.
    Making the filling:
  4. Whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate, and butter until you have a spreadable paste.
  5. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle measuring 15×11 inches. Position dough so that a long side is closest to you. Using an offset spatula, spread half of the chocolate mixture over the rectangle, leaving a ¾ inch border all around. Sprinkle half of the pecans or chocolate chips on top of the chocolate.
    Shaping the dough:
  6. Use both hands to roll up the rectangle like a roulade, starting from the long side closest to you and ending at the other long end. Press to seal the dampened end onto the roulade, then use both hands to even out the roll into a perfect thick cigar. Rest the cigar on its seam.
  7. Trim about ¾ inch off both ends of the roulade with a serrated knife. Then use the knife to gently cut the roll in half lengthwise, starting at the top and finishing at the seam, essentially dividing the log into two long even halves, with the layers of dough and filling visible along the length of both halves. With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, then lift the right half over the left half. Repeat this process, but this time lifting the left half over the right, to create a simple two-pronged plait. Gently squeeze together the other ends so that you are left with the two halves, intertwined, showing the filling on top. Carefully lift the cake into a loaf pan. Don’t worry if there are gaps in the pan since the cake will rise and will eventually look fine, even if you feel like it’s messy at this point. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or a wet tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours. Repeat to make the second cake.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C, making sure to allow plenty of time for it to heat fully before the cakes have finished rising. Remove plastic wrap or tea towels, place cakes on middle rack of oven, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean with no dough attached.
  9. While the cakes are in the oven, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove from heat and set aside to cool. As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, brush the syrup over them. Use all of the syrup, even if it looks a lot. Let cakes cool until they are warm, then remove from pans and let cool completely before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  10. Babka will stay fresh for 24 hours in an airtight container at room temperature. Don’t place in the fridge.
  11. Babka freezes well for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave on counter or overnight in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

  • To melt butter and chocolate, place them in a heat-proof bowl, and heat in the microwave in 20 second-intervals, stirring in between each interval, until melted and smooth (or alternatively, set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally).

Holy Jalapeños Batman!

I saw a recipe on Tasty.com for a Dutch Oven Jalapeño Cheese Bread and thought—that’s different and I wanted to try different. You see, I like things that change. I don’t like things that are always the same. Just ask the QA Department. She’ll tell you the truth.

I made the bread diligently following the recipe. No changes. I used the stretch and fold method rather than kneading. This method is good for any high hydration bread. This particular techniques uses a silicone spoon to stretch the dough then fold it over. With other stretch and fold techniques the dough it placed on a lightly floured surface and either a bench scraper or your wet hands stretch, then fold.

Once the dough has risen the second time use the bench stretch and fold technique to form, more or less, a ball. The following video is the first time I have tried recording any bread making technique.

Dutch-Oven Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

https://tasty.co/recipe/dutch-oven-jalapeno-cheddar-bread

INGREDIENTS
• 3 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
• 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
• 2 (70g) jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
• 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings, divided
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 2 cups warm water
• 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, 2 cups (200 g) of cheddar cheese, the chopped jalapeños, and salt. Stir well.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Pour the flour mixture on top of the water and use a silicone spatula to stir until the dough comes together.
  3. With the spatula, fold the dough around the edges of the bowl toward the center, rotating the bowl each time and folding a total of 8 times. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
  4. Using the spatula, fold the dough toward the center again 8 more times. Cover with the towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the Dutch oven and lid to the oven, and preheat to 450˚F (230˚C) for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Carefully peel the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Flip over and carefully brush away excess flour. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center 8 times, then flip over the dough and transfer to a piece of parchment paper.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, so the cheese will stick. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup (50 g) of cheese on top. Use a sharp knife to score the bread with an “X”, which will allow steam to escape. Arrange the jalapeño rings on top of the cheese.
  8. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment to lift the bread into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 20 more minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
  9. Carefully slide the bread out of the pot and onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and let the bread cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
  10. Slice the bread and serve as desired.

Yes, We Had Some Bananas

What do you do with over ripe bananas? Make banana bread, of course. I found a new recipe online and decided to give it a go. As the author said, “With a very few variations, the recipe I give below is universal to almost every church or community cookbook written in the last 50 years.” I believe her.

I thoroughly mashed the bananas to not leave any chunks but did cream the softened butter and sugar together first to give a more cake-like crumb.

The result was excellent. Better than other recipes? Probably not, but as easy as others so what the hey?

Banana Bread

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-banana-bread-the-simplest-easiest-recipe-139900

INGREDIENTS

• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 medium bananas, very ripe
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD

  1. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line an 8×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
  2. Soften the butter and cream it with the sugar in a stand mixer.
  3. Crack the eggs into the bowl. Whisk until completely combined and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Whisk the milk and vanilla into the batter.
  5. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl. Using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork, mash them into the batter. Leave the bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer. If you prefer an entirely smooth banana bread, mash the bananas separately until no more lumps remain, and then whisk them into the batter.
  6. Measure the flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl. Switch to using a spatula and gently stir until the ingredients are just barely combined and no more dry flour is visible.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, using the spatula to scrape all the batter from the bowl. Smooth the top of the batter.
  8. Bake until the top of the cake is caramelized dark brown with some yellow interior peeking through and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 65 minutes. Baking time will vary slightly depending on the moisture and sugar content of your bananas — start checking around 50 minutes and then every 5 minutes after.
  9. Set the loaf, still in the pan, on a wire cooling rack. Let it cool for 10 minutes — this helps the loaf solidify and makes it easier to remove from the pan.
  10. Grasping the parchment paper sling, lift the loaf out of the pan and place on the cooling rack. Cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

RECIPE NOTES

  1. Banana muffins: To make muffins, line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill each cup to roughly 3/4 full, and check for doneness after 20 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 muffins.
  2. Storage: Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for several days, or wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

Tangzhong Pillowy White Bread

Tangzhong was developed in Asia and used in both China and Japan as a method of keeping bread soft and fresh. Tangzhong is a mixture of flour, water and milk, heated while stirring until the “water roux” thickens. The tangzhong is added to the rest of the ingredients and processed more or less normally. The result is a soft, pillowy white bread (see how I cleverly incorporated the title into the body of this post?)

I found the rise and proofing times were much longer that suggested in the recipes. I thought my yeast may have lost potency so I tested it in a water/sugar solution. (1/2 cup water @ 110-115F, 1 tsp sugar, 2 1/4 tsp yeast. Mix and after 10 minutes the mixture should have grown to 1 cup. It was fine. The problem is I now had the beginnings of another bread/pastry or something. QA Department to the rescue—See subsequent post on cinnamon rolls.)

The long proof times were likely due to the cooler temperatures in the kitchen today. (It was only 62F when I started.)

Tangzhong Pillowy White Bread

INGREDIENTS

Tangzhong
• 3 tablespoons (43g) water
• 3 tablespoons (43g) whole milk
• 2 tablespoons (14g) Bread Flour

Dough
• 2 1/2 cups (298g) Bread Flour
• 2 tablespoons (14g) nonfat dry milk
• 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon instant yeast
• 1/2 cup (113g) whole milk
• 1 large egg
• 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, melted

METHOD

Tangzhong

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain.
  2. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the tangzhong to a small mixing bowl or measuring cup and let it cool to lukewarm.

    Dough
  4. Combine the tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients, then mix and knead — by mixer or bread machine — until a smooth, elastic dough forms; this could take almost 15 minutes in a
    stand mixer.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk. (120 min in cool kitchen)
  6. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into four equal pieces; if you have a scale each piece will weigh between 170g and 175g.
  7. Flatten each piece of dough into a 5″ x 8″ rectangle, then fold the short ends in towards one another like a letter. Flatten the folded pieces into rectangles again (this time about 3″ x 6″) and, starting with a short end, roll them each into a 4″ log.
  8. Place the logs — seam side down and side by side — in a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  9. Cover the loaf and allow it to rest/rise for 40 to 60 minutes, until puffy. (I put the dough into a proofing oven for this and let it rise until the tops of the rolls were even with the top of the pan.)
  10. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. Brush the loaf with milk and bake it for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s golden brown on top and a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 190°F.
  12. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it in the pan until you can transfer it safely to a rack to cool completely.
  13. Store leftover bread, well wrapped, at cool room temperature for 5 to 7 days; freeze for longer storage.

Pane Rustico – Rustic Italian Bread

Italian Peasant Bread is a staple in Italy. The recipe changes slightly between locations depending on what grains are available. It has a good hole structure, soft crumb and firm crunchy crust. Unlike most Italian breads this one incorporated no milk or olive oil.

Italian Peasant Bread

This isn’t a difficult recipe and can be made on one morning. I hand kneaded the wet dough but may try the easier stretch and fold method the next time. The results were worth the little extra effort of kneading. The Q.A. Department is in favor of any method that turns out this delicious.

The final Bâtard was 17”x7”x4”.

Biga – (Mix 8 to 10 hours before mixing the final dough)

Measured Grams Ingredients
• 1 cup 227 g. Water (room temperature)
• ¼-tsp. ¼-tsp. Instant Yeast
• ½ cup 72 g. All Purpose Flour (King Arthur, Unbleached, Unbromated)
• ½ cup 81 g. Tipo 00 Whole Wheat Flour
• ¼ cup 41 g. Cornmeal (whole, stone ground)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, instant yeast, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and cornmeal.
  2. Mix with a rubber spatula to combine and then beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap (cling film) and let ferment at room temperature 68º-74ºF (20º-23ºC) for 8 to 10 hours.

Final Dough
Measured Grams Ingredients
• 2-½ cups 421 g. Biga (fully fermented)
• 1 cup 227 g. Water (room temperature)
• ½-tsp. 3 g. Instant Yeast
• 3-½ cups 490 g. All purpose flour
• 2 tsp. 16 g. Sea Salt (fine)

Mixing, Kneading, and Fermenting the Dough

  1. Uncover the fermented biga and add the water, instant yeast, and half of the all-purpose flour.
  2. Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients until thick batter forms. Beat the batter until well combined.
  3. Add the remaining all-purpose flour and sea salt. Fold the ingredient together using the rubber spatula until the mixture becomes a shaggy mass.
  4. Scrape off the rubber spatula with the plastic scrape. Scrape down the bowl and turn the dough onto the work surface.
  5. Knead the ingredients for 1 minute to incorporate the ingredients. The dough will be sticky. “Do not add any flour to the work surface.”
  6. Continue to knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough is strong and elastic. Round the dough into a ball.
  7. Spray a bowl with non-stick spray or oil and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Ferment the dough for 1 hour at room temperature.
  9. After 1 hour. Lightly flour the work surface. Uncover the dough and turn it onto the lightly flour work surface.
  10. Fold the dough
  11. Place the folded dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  12. Ferment the dough 1 hour.
  13. After 1 hour. Lightly flour the work surface. Uncover the dough and turn it onto the lightly flour work surface.
  14. Degas and fold the edges of the dough to the center to start to form the dough into a round shape.
  15. Clear the work surface of the flour.
  16. Turn the dough over and continue to pre-shape the dough into a tight round. The seam will be on the bottom.
  17. Cover the dough with the bowl and let the dough rest for 15 minutes before the final shaping.
  18. Pre-heat the oven and baking stone to 500ºF (260ºC) for at least 1 hour before baking the loaf.

Equipment:

• Baking Couche
• Bakers Lame
• Large Stainless Steel Bowl
• Baking Stone 14″ x 16″
• ¼-Sheet of Parchment Paper
• Baker’s Peel/Pizza Peel

Final Shaping and Proofing the Dough

  1. After the 15-minute rest uncover the dough. Lightly flour the top of the round and turn the dough over onto the work surface with the seam side up.
  2. Degas and shape the dough into an oval.
  3. Shape the dough into “Bâtard” (loaf shape)
  4. Lightly flour the canvas baking cloth.
  5. Place the Bâtard seam side up onto the floured canvas and fold each side to cover the ends of the loaf first. Then fold the remaining canvas to enclose the Bâtard. This will keep the loaf from spreading while it is proofing.
  6. Proof the loaf for 50 minutes to a 1 hour at room temperature. Check to see if the dough is ready by the touch test. Lightly press the dough with your fingertip. The dough should hold the indentation if the dough should pushes back completely let it continue to proof until it holds an indentation from your finger.
  7. Place the parchment paper onto the baking peel.
  8. Uncover the proofed loaf and place it seam side down onto the ¼-sheet of parchment paper.
  9. Use a straight edge razor or sharp knife to cut a long slash from end to end of the loaf.
  10. Slide the loaf onto the 500ºF (260ºC) preheated oven onto the baking stone. Place the large stainless steel bowl over the loaf.
  11. Bake the loaf with the bowl over it for 10 minutes.
  12. After 10 minutes, remove the bowl using tongs and kitchen hot pads.
  13. Reduce the oven temperature to 450ºF (232ºC). Turn the loaf to get even browning and remove the parchment paper.
  14. Continue to bake the loaf for 20 to 25 more minutes or until the exterior of the loaf is a deep golden brown.
  15. Using the peel. Remove the baked Italian Peasant Bread from the oven.
  16. Place the baked Italian Peasant Bread onto a cooling rack and cool completely to room temperature before cutting.

Honey, I Made the Bread

Is it “poolish” to make a high hydration bread without an overnight pre-ferment? It may have been a “biga” mistake but I made this high hydration no-knead bread with honey in a morning, in time for lunch.

After recent great success with Italian Pugliese bread it was time to start experimenting with variations. Can the flavor, crumb, hole formation and amazing crust of the high hydration (84%) pugliese be reproduced without using the biga (overnight pre-fermentation?)

This high hydration (75%) breads use a stretch and fold technique rather than kneading. This degasses and equalizes the temperature of the dough and builds and aligns the gluten strands to form an excellent full body loaf.

Along with no pre-fermentation this recipe does not use the Tipo 00 flour.

Quality Assurance report is just in – Yes!! This is a great bread! Make more! It has similar flavor, crumb, crust and hole formation as the Pugliese, but can be made start to finish in about 5 hours.

Honey No Knead 75 Percent Hydration Bread

Advanced No-Knead Bread

INGREDIENTS – (I weigh everything)
• 600 g all-purpose flour (about 4 cups using ‘scoop and sweep’ method)
• 450 g water (2 cups, room temperature)
• 21 g honey (1 Tbsp)
• 14 g kosher salt (1 level Tbsp)
• 3 g SAF Gold instant yeast (1 tsp)

METHOD

  1. Add the water and honey to a large bowl and mix until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand, until a sticky homogeneous mass is formed. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
  3. After one hour, perform stretch and folds every 30 minutes over the next 1½ hours. Let the dough continue its fermentation for additional 1½ hours or until it doubles in size.
  4. Shape the dough in a ball and transfer to a proofing basket dusted with a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and rice flour, seam side up.
  5. Cover with a piece of paper towel (this will prevent sticking of the dough to the plastic wrap), then with a plastic wrap. Let proof for about 60 minutes or until the dough passes the finger test. (Poked with a finger the indentation will spring back very slowly.) The dough will increase in size about one a half times or so.
  6. Place a baking stone and a steam pan in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500F. An hour of preheating is recommended.
  7. Turn the bread over on a piece of parchment paper. Score on top and place in the oven using a pizza peel. Be careful opening the oven, it will be full of hot steam. Spray the walls of the oven with a bit of water (gentle mist) to re-create some of the lost steam and close the door.
  8. Immediately drop the temperature to 450F and bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the water pan from the oven, turn the bread 180 degrees and leave the door cracked open. You can use a wooden spoon for that. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 205-210F or about another 25 minutes.
  10. When the baking is done, remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature before slicing.

Crusty Cloche White Bread

Eventually we will no longer be sheltering in place. It will be exciting to roll out of the garage door, as the front door will no longer be large enough for me to fit through. I may need a bigger car, or maybe a flat-bed. Enough whining, this is about a new bread recipe.

KAF does it again. This is a crusty, chewy white bread that is delicious. My go to white sandwich bread has been Gold Medals recipe, but this may be the new standard. Even with the lower gluten AP flour this bread is chewy and soft. I had my quality assurance slice for dessert tonight and can only imagine my PB&J sandwich with it tomorrow.

It’s an easy recipe and can be made in a about 3 hours and as today is Monday, which is not a golf day, what else is there to do? Try it. It’s worth it.

Crusty Cloche White Bread

INGREDIENTS

• 1 ¼ cups (283g) lukewarm water
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
• 3 ½ cups (421g) AP Flour

METHOD

  1. Mix and knead everything together to make a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
  2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until almost doubled.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, shape it into a ball, place in a cloche baker, and cover with the lid.
  4. Let the dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until it’s almost doubled in size.
  5. Slash the top of the loaf several times, cover with the lid, and place the cloche in a cold oven.
  6. Set the oven temperature to 400°F; bake the bread for 35 minutes, covered.
  7. Remove the lid, and bake the bread until it’s golden brown, another 5 to 10 minutes. The internal temperature should be 205-210 degrees.
  8. Take it out of the oven, and transfer the bread to a rack to cool.