Where We Stop, Nobody…

I saw this video on FB last week. A baker from Turkey demonstrated making these small, round, enriched bread loaves. The method was so simple and the final product so beautiful I couldn’t resist trying my hand.

The video was in the baker’s language, but it was captioned either with automatically created captions (I hope) or by someone who was very obviously neither a baker or a native English speaker. In honesty, the computer’s, or human translator’s, mastery of English is far better than my translation to any language other than igpay -atinlay.

Luckily, and oddly, the recipe ingredients were listed below the video. Oddly in that they were listed in US and Metric units. The method was pretty standard and required little adjustment. I made a few modifications to the original recipe. I mixed and kneaded the down in my stand mixer, rather than my hand. I divided the dough into 7 pieces of 150g each. Next time, I will make each 175g and make 6 loaves as reflected below. This batch of loaves were 5” diameter and 2/5” high. I would like them a little bigger, maybe 6×3”.

The cutting board in this photo was made by my father, or me, I cannot remember, but it is still our day to day cutting board ‘lo these 40+ years.

Enriched Bread – Small Round Loaves

INGREDIENTS
• 200 ml warm milk
• 200 ml warm water
• 10 g (1 Tbl) sugar
• 10g (1 Tbl) instant yeast
• 30 g (2 Tbl) melted butter
• 600g (5 cups) flour
• 8 g (1 tsp) salt
• 25g butter cut in strips to lay on cut rolls before baking

METHOD

  1. Add milk, water, sugar and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined
  2. Add 300 g flour,butter, salt and mix
  3. Add remaining 300 g of flour and knead until a smooth dough forms, about 8 minutes.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. (I spray olive oil into the stand mixer bowl.)
  5. Cover and let rise for 45 min
  6. Gently deflate the dough and divide into six 175g pieces
  7. Roll each piece into a ball, tensioning the surface by rolling with a cupped hand on a clean surface. Each ball should be approx 3” diameter
  8. Pat each ball down to flatten and place, well spaced, on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Oven spring will double the size of the loaves
  9. Cover and let rise for 15 – 20 minutes until it passes the poke test
  10. Dust lightly with four, cut a deep slash all the way across the ball with a lame or razor blade or very sharp knife.
  11. Lay a strip of butter, about 0.5”x0.5”x3” long in each slash. (Cut a stick of butter lengthwise into ninths.
  12. Bake in a preheated over at 400F for 25 min.

The Rye Experiment- Part 2a

Oops! I used the pumpernickel flour but forgot to use First Clear instead of AP flour. The plan was to use the best combination of ingredients to make the best loaf of rye bread.

I made two small free form boules. They held their shape really well.

Maybe tomorrow I will read my own instructions all the way through before baking. The results were pretty darn good today, though!

The Rye Experiment, Part 1

Fran and I are self quarantining so we can join Daniel and Frances’s “pod” for Christmas and New Years. To pass the days I decided to experiment with variations of rye bread recipes. KAB has a good, basic caraway seed rye bread recipe, which I used as a starting place. (Recipe below.)

Following the recipe as written resulted in a well risen, soft rye bread with a good crumb. Today’s roast beef sandwich with lettuce, jalapeños and lettuce was excellent.

The first variation is to replace the white rye flour with first clear flour. In case you were wondering first clear flour is what remains after milling patent flour. It compensates for the low gluten content of rye flour. It is the traditional flour used in Jewish bakeries and adds loftier rise and better chew. This variation will be in the next post, The Rye Experiment, Part 2.

No, I didn’t have to buy anything for this experiment. Here is a picture of my specialty flour cupboard. Standard flours (AP, bread, whole wheat, pumpernickel,) are kept in a separate storage unit.

Caraway Rye Bread KAB

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/caraway-rye-bread-recipe
INGREDIENTS
• 1 cup (227g) lukewarm water
• 1 cup (106g) white rye, medium rye, or pumpernickel flour
• 4 teaspoons (14g) sugar
• 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1/2 cup (113g) sour cream (low-fat is fine; please don’t use nonfat)
• 1 to 2 tablespoons (7g to 14g) caraway seeds, to taste
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 1/3 cups (280g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or First Clear Flour
• 3 tablespoons (25g) vital wheat gluten or rye bread improver, optional, for best rise

METHOD

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, rye flour and yeast, mixing to form a soft batter. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes; this allows the rye flour to absorb some of the liquid, making the dough easier to knead.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead the dough together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until it’s fairly smooth. The nature of rye dough is to be sticky, so don’t be tempted to add too much flour.
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl or large (8-cup) measure, cover, and let it rise until noticeably puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.
  4. Gently deflate the dough, knead it briefly, and shape it into two smooth oval or round loaves; or one long oval loaf. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Cover the loaves, and let them rise until they’re noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Just before they go into the oven, spritz the loaves with water, and slash them about 1/2″ deep. The oval loaves look good with one long, vertical slash; the rounds, with two or three shorter slashes across the top.
  7. Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 205°F to 210°F. The single, larger loaf will bake for 45 to 50 minutes. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it lightly with foil after 25 minutes of baking.
  8. Remove the loaves from the oven, and transfer them to a rack. While still warm, brush them with melted butter, if desired; this will keep their crust soft.

Easy Homemade Bread

Most basic bread is easy to make. There are a few that require extra steps, rises, shaping, etc. but basic bread is… well… basic. Mix, rise, shape, rise, bake.

I made a few changes to the recipe published by Cookist. Some of them were just language or style differences but a couple were more involved. I use instant yeast so I provided the conversion factor from cake to instant. I knead in a stand mixer so referenced it. I added how long to knead and to tension the loaf before the final rise. I added more description on how to shape the loaf.

Easy Homemade Bread

https://video.cookist.com/video/an/Xp6ftuSwTmRucpzW

INGREDIENTS
• 2 cups water
• 1 tsp sugar
• 8g ( 2 ½ tsp) instant yeast
• 5 cups AP flour
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp oil

METHOD

  1. Pour water into a stand mixer bowl, add sugar and yeast. Mix.
  2. Add flour and salt. Mix. Let rise for 15 minutes.
  3. Add sunflower (or other) oil and knead about 8 minutes.
  4. Let rise covered until doubled.
  5. Divide the dough into two parts.
  6. Form a boule from each part, the press out into an oval, roll into a batard
  7. Tension the battery by rolling on a clean surface, cupping your fingers around the bread and rolling the batard back and forth not allowing it to lengthen.
  8. Place on a baking sheet. Let rise until doubled.
  9. On each bread make an incision, paint with milk. Place a cup of hot water on a baking sheet. Cookist’s video showed slashing the bread by cutting in small short strokes rather than one long cut. It worked really well. I will have to try on other bakes.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes at 180 °C / 350 °F until internal temperature reaches 195-200°F.

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.

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.