Hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving has a safe and peaceful one this year, a much needed culinary respite from life’s trials and tribulations. (Note: you have the means to read this, no doubt we are the most fortunate of all.)
This year I decided to take a turkey to our family dinner.
Amazingly, each batch of pumpernickel bread seems to be better than the previous. Today I enhanced my recipe with KAF Cake and Bread Enhancer.
This product is an emulsifier which “enhances” the ability of fats and liquids to combine more easily. This in turn makes the bread (or cake) softer, moister and stay fresh longer. Other than this addition (one Tbl per cup of flour) this recipe is the same as the last one. The result was exactly as advertised, great taste, soft, moist and delicious.
A quick story about how I came to have Cake and Bread Enhancer. I was visiting my home state which also happens to be the home of King Arthur Baking. We decided to take a road trip, not that I needed anything. Well, a couple of hours and -$395 later I had the mini loaf pan, enhancer and dozens of other baking items I did not need. QC no longer allows me to go into that store with any credit cards.☹️
This afternoon’s ‘to do’ list contained nothing pressing. Tuesday I hard boiled eggs to include in our dinner salad and to make egg salad Wednesday. Today I baked a loaf of sandwich bread because I love egg salad on fresh baked bread. And as long as I was making bread I decided to replace the hamburger rolls I froze a few weeks ago. (I wasn’t happy with the rise of those whole wheat buns.) Today I mixed a double recipe of bread dough and shaped half into a loaf to bake at 425 deg and the rest into hamburger rolls to be baked at 375 deg.
To make a softer crust I coated the top of the loaf with melted butter before baking (hence the darker crust) and once again after it was baked, but still hot.
I also had a cup of heavy cream to use before it expired, and as long as the oven was on, I dropped the temperature and made some multi berry scones, baked at 400 deg.
Remember the hamburger rolls that baked at 375 deg? Well, as long as the oven was going to be dropped to 375 deg and as long as I had some frozen chocolate chip cookie dough that also bakes at 375 deg, I figured, what the heck.?
I have to find more chores to add to the ‘to do’ list. Today was exhausting.
The best part of the day was participating in the Grandparents Drive-Thru Car Parade at Grace’s school! (Unicorn car. You can’t see the fuzzy pink tail.)
Speaking of Grace, here we are making the aforesaid chocolate chip cookies.
After my success with the whole wheat bread yesterday I bit the bullet and created my own pumpernickel bread recipe based on what I learned yesterday and two other recipes. The results were excellent. (Whew!)
PUMPERNICKEL MINI LOAF BREAD
INGREDIENTS • 2 ½ cups warm water (100°-110°F) • ¼ cup vegetable oil • 2 Tbl molasses • ¼ cup honey • 3 ½ cups (400g) pumpernickel flour • 2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder • ¼ cup Vital Wheat Gluten • 1 Tbl lemon juice • 1 ½ tbl (13.5g) instant yeast • 1 tsp (6g) salt • 2-3 cups (240-360g) bread flour • rolled oats (for dusting loaves)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, oil, molasses, and honey until mixed well.
Add pumpernickel flour to water mixture.
Add cocoa, yeast, and salt, Vital Wheat Gluten, lemon juice and stir until blended.
Let mixture sit for 10 minutes.
Stir in bread flour, one cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and almost clears the sides of mixer, about 3-4 minutes.
Continue to knead with the dough hook for 6-8 minutes
Turn dough out on a lightly greased counter and knead by hand for 5-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and supple.
Divide dough by weight into 8 equal portions. Mine were 192 g each.
Place each portion into a mini loaf pan and dust with rolled oats.
Allow dough to rise in until it is about 1 inch above the the edge of the pan, about 30-60 minutes. Take note of how high the bread is before starting proof. Mine was almost an inch to begin and I let it rise to 1 1/2 to 2”. There was a lot of oven spring also.
Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake at for 18-25 minutes. (Internal temp should be 190-200 deg. F)
While on vacation I stopped by King Arthurs store in Norwich, Vermont. They had lots of real cool stuff that I didn’t need, so only bought a shopping cart full. One pan that I didn’t need and bought was their mini-loaf pan. There will be more cool stuff to come.
I have a new recipe for soft, light, fluffy whole wheat bread. I rarely have any luck in making whole wheat bread light and fluffy, but keep trying.
This pan was excellent and the recipe even better. I believe one ingredient and two method instructions make the difference. The ingredient is Vital Wheat Gluten. I use this with any flour that doesn’t have high gluten content such as wheat, pumpernickel, etc. I needed to replenish my supply and luckily the KAF store had it in stock. (OK, this was one thing I needed.) The two method steps that helped were to let the dough rest for 15 minutes before adding the balance of the flour and second, after the mixer finishes kneading the dough, give it a 5-10 minute hand kneading.
Whatever was responsible for making this the best whole wheat bread I ever made, I am glad I tried this new recipe
INGREDIENTS • 5-6 cups whole wheat flour • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (see note) • 2 3/4 cups warm water • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (bottled or fresh) • 1/3 cup oil • 1/3 cup honey • 1 tablespoon salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together 3 cups of the whole wheat flour, yeast, and gluten. Add the warm water and mix well. Cover the bowl and let the mixture rest for 10-12 minutes.
Add the lemon juice, oil, honey, and salt. Mix on low speed.
With the mixer running on low speed, continue adding flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (don’t over-flour! A little stickiness is ok as long as the dough forms a ball and doesn’t leave a lot of residue on your fingers).
Let the mixer knead the dough for 5-6 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
Turn the dough onto a lightly greased counter and divide in eights. (I found each loaf to be 159 g.) Shape each half into a taut loaf and place in a lightly greased mini-loaf pan (8 loaves per pan.)
Cover the loaf pan and let the loaves rise until they are 1-2 inches above the edge of the loaf pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure an oven rack is in the middle/center position. Bake the loaves for 28-32 minutes until golden and baked through (an instant-read thermometer should register 180-190 degrees in the center of the loaf).
Turn the bread onto a wire rack. Brush the tops with butter, if desired. Let cool completely.
NOTES Letting the Dough Rise: this bread recipe does not require the dough to rise before being shaped into loaves and letting the loaves rise in the bread pans. However, if you find your bread is a little dense after baking and cooling, letting the dough rise after kneading may help with that, as well as making sure the dough isn’t over floured.
Vital Wheat Gluten: is often found in the baking aisle at the grocery store (near the flour). Many brands of vital wheat gluten have Vitamin C added; those are ok to use in this recipe. I buy mine at KAF.
INGREDIENTS • 1 lb raspberries (454 grams) • 3 lbs plums , sliced and pits removed (leave skins on) (1360 grams) (picked from our tree) • 5 cups granulated sugar (1000 grams) • ½ cup bottled lemon juice (120 ml) • Zest of 1 orange (picked from neighbors tree)
Combine the raspberries, sliced plums, sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Place over medium high heat and stir frequently as the sugar dissolves and the fruit begins to release its juices.
Continue to cook, stirring frequently as the jam simmers and thickens. Skim any foam off of the surface with a spoon.
While the jam is simmering, remove plum skins with a spider strainer. Clean the strainer often to reduce the amount of jam removed.
Place a plate in the freezer and when the jam thickens wipe a little on the plate and return to the freezer for 2 minutes. Repeat until the jam stops running and has the consistency you want. Mine heated to 220 deg F.
Once the jam is reduced and thickened, remove from heat and ladle jam into sterilized jars. Top with a lid and screw on with a ring. This recipe made 7 half pints.
Process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes for 5,000+ ft elevation). Remove from water bath and let cool. Check that lids have sealed by pressing down into the center of each one. It should not move.
Store jam in a cool dry place like a pantry and consume within 1 year.
Last week I made a light right sandwich rye. Good crumb, great taste, nice crust. Today I kicked up the percent pumpernickel flour and reduced the light rye flour. I added an egg wash to increase the color of the crust. Better taste, similar crumb and great crust!
Along with the rye experiment, I made another loaf of Honey White bread which has become our staple. I also made some raspberry scones and blackberry hand pies. Busy morning!
INGREDIENTS • 1 ½ cups (340g) lukewarm water • 2 1/3 cups (280g) Bread Flour • 1 cups (108g) light rye flour • ½ cups (54g) pumpernickel flour • 1/4 cup (28g) nonfat dry milk • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt • 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast • 1 ½ teaspoons Deli Rye Flavor, optional • 2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil METHOD
Place the water in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the flours with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix until there are no dry spots. Using a stand mixer, mix at low speed until all of the flour is moistened. The texture of the dough will be soft and sticky due to the pumpernickel flour.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate overnight, or for up to 48 hours.
To bake bread: Grease your hands, and scoop the dough out onto a lightly greased or floured work surface. Shape it into a ball and place it, smooth side down, in a floured brotform; or in a bowl lined with a floured smooth cotton dish towel. Let the dough rise, covered, for 2 to 3 hours.
About 45 minutes before the end of the rising time, start preheating the oven to 450°F with a 4 to 4 ½ -quart baking pot or casserole with a lid inside.
When the loaf is fully risen, remove the hot casserole from the oven, carefully grease it, and tip the risen ball of dough into it. Make several slashes in the dough. Cover the pot with the lid, and place it on a middle rack in the oven.
Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes; the loaf should be lightly browned, and the interior should register at least 195°F on a digital thermometer.
Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the crock onto a rack. Cool for several hours before slicing
Pugliese is not the easiest of breads to make, but is one of the tastiest with wonderful crumb and crust. The recipe below calls for durum flour, but I substituted what I had on hand, which is Soft Wheat Flour Tipo “00”. This is a high hydration dough which means it is very hard to handle. It is very soft and very sticky and you don’t want to add extra flour to make it easier to handle as you will reduce the hydration.
Typically pugliese is made in round loaves, but I made one round and one batard, as those are the Dutch Ovens I have. Anyway, if you are up to it, and have some time, give this a try. It is one of the best breads I have ever made.
This is approx 82% (the recipe 3 X’s is approx 84%) total hydration dough. The recipe comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum ‘the bread bible’
225 g – All purpose flour
3/16th tsp – 0.6 g instant yeast
177 g – water, at room temperature (70F to 90F) Dough • 213 g – All Purpose flour • 213 g – Duram Flour – or Soft Wheat Flour Tipo “00” • 1 ½ tsp – 4.8 g Instant Yeast • 15 g – salt • 354 g – water, at room temperature (70F to 90F) about 12 oz METHOD 6 hours or up to 3 days ahead, make the biga. Use the “Ultimate Flavor” method (let the biga to ferment for 12-24 hours at 55-65 deg, then store in the fridge.)
Combine all the biga ingredients in a large bowl and stir the mixture until smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl…3 to 5 minutes. Should be sticky or tacky enough to cling to your fingers. Cover the bowl, with oiled plastic or lid and set aside until tripled and filled with bubbles..about 6 hours. Stir it down and use it, or refrigerate it up to 3 days.
In a large bowl, dissolve the biga in the water… a few little undissolved pieces are ok.
Whisk together flours, yeast. Add salt and whisk again.
Add the flour mixture to the biga and water and mix until wet and combined.
Autolyse (self digest) for approx 50 minutes
Stretch and fold 3 times.
Repeat stretch and fold 3 or 4 times -30 minutes apart,
After dough forms good gluten strands, (I cut the dough in half here as I didn’t have a proofing container big enough to proof this large a recipe,) form a ball, and cover, letting it rise in a (ideally 75F to 80F) until tripled…about 2 hours.
Preheat oven and Dutch ovens to 500F.
1 hour before baking pour the dough out of the bowl onto lightly floured surface…cut it in half.. and with very few gentle motions pull it over itself into a rough ball. Gently pick it up and drop it seam side up into the floured banneton. Sprinkle top lightly with flour, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Allow to rise until it has increased by about 1 ½ times, up to 1 ½ hours. It will just start to push up the plastic. Dust with a little flour and score the top with 3 or 4 large slashes.
Bake with steam turning down the oven after the first five minutes and then continue baking with steam for 12 minutes total at 450F or adjusting your ovens temperature to bake the loaves for approx another 20 minutes, until deep golden brown….leave loaves in off oven with door ajar for 5 to 10 minutes
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
Add milk, water, sugar and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined
Add 300 g flour,butter, salt and mix
Add remaining 300 g of flour and knead until a smooth dough forms, about 8 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. (I spray olive oil into the stand mixer bowl.)
Cover and let rise for 45 min
Gently deflate the dough and divide into six 175g pieces
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
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
Cover and let rise for 15 – 20 minutes until it passes the poke test
Dust lightly with four, cut a deep slash all the way across the ball with a lame or razor blade or very sharp knife.
Lay a strip of butter, about 0.5”x0.5”x3” long in each slash. (Cut a stick of butter lengthwise into ninths.
I made some Olive Bread Sticks a few days ago which quickly disappeared. To follow up, I decided to design a recipe for Cheese and Jalapeño Bread Twists. I used a basic 80% hydration dough and Frances’s home made pickled jalapeños.
At the request of the QC Department, Manufacturing was tasked with making a few minus the jalapeños, which I, err… I mean they, did. Let me give you a bit of advice. If you make these bread twists, I strongly suggest having a glass of milk next to you after your second or third bite. If your peppers are anywhere near as hot as Frances’s (although she won’t think these are all that hot) you will be grateful for the advice. These are delicious. (Hot, but delicious.)
If you would like them for an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres cut them into little one inch pieces. Best if served warm.
Cheddar Jalapeños Cheese Twists
INGREDIENTS • 354g (1½ cups) warm water • 2 Tbsp. sugar • 1 Tbsp. yeast • 437g (3½ cups) AP flour • 1 tsp Salt • 3 Tbl butter • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese • 1 cup finely diced pickled jalapeños • 1 egg for wash • Sea Salt
Mix warm water, sugar and yeast together. Let that sit for 5 minutes.
Add flour and salt to the water. Mix this until smooth and ferment for 10 min.
Roll out the dough in a ~ 15 x 15” square on a floured surface.
Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and diced jalapeños.
Fold the dough in half. Cut the dough into one inch strips.
Twist the one inch strips of dough and place on a cookie sheet.
Cover with oil sprayed plastic wrap and proof for 30 min.
Coat with egg wash and sprinkle with Sea Salt.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min or until golden brown.
A couple of days ago we were discussing variations of the breads I bake. While not a fan of nut breads, different grains, such as todays selection of oats, are great.
This recipe creates a very slack dough. Rather than shape it, you basically pour it between containers. (I whine about that and explained how I handled this problem in the body of the recipe below. ) I need to devise a ‘sling’ to move it from the second rise to the Dutch Oven.
Despite the challenges in the method of this bread, it is among the best I made during this challenging year. Great crumb, crust and flavor. Next time, I am going to use more flour and fold and shape as I do with the high hydration honey bread. Stay tuned.
INGREDIENTS • 469g (3 ¾) cups all purpose flour • 81g (1 cup) oats • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast instant or rapid rise yeast also works • 1½ teaspoons salt • 85g ( ¼ cup) honey • 474g (2 cups) warm water just above room temperature • more flour for shaping the loaf
Stir together the flour and oats in the bowl.
Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other side.
Stir the yeast into the flour on its side of the bowl first and then stir the salt into the flour on its side of the bowl, then give the whole mixture a few good stirs to make sure everything is combined.
In a small bowl, add the honey to the water and stir to combine.
Pour the honey/water mixture in and stir. The dough will be rough and a bit sticky, but that’s normal.
Stir until all the flour is moistened. This is not normal bread dough (there’s no kneading involved in this recipe.) Make sure the ingredients are combined well.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. It’s a good idea to ensure there’s adequate space left in the bowl for the dough to at least double in size. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place and let it rise for about 1½ hours.
After the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 425 deg F. (If your Dutch Oven is light colored heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.) Place your Dutch oven with the lid on in the cold oven and let it heat up with the oven.
Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and dust it with flour. I put two long narrow pieces in an X and a larger square piece in the center of the X. Even with this, the dough was so slack it ran onto the counter. I also liberally floured the counter anticipating this, making it easier to fold those portions back into the main loaf.
Rub flour on your hands and scrape the dough away from the sides of the bowl. The dough is very slack and will not hold a shape. Shape and fold it into a circular loaf on the parchment paper. Don’t worry if it still looks a little rough in places. This lends to the rustic look of this loaf.
Once shaped, the dough needs to undergo a short (30 min) second rise. Handle the dough as little as possible at this stage because any amount of tugging can cause it to deflate after its second rise.
Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the top, along with some oats, and loosely cover it with a clean kitchen towel. The flour you sprinkle on top also prevents the towel from sticking to the dough so when you take it off at the end of the rise, it doesn’t disturb the dough and wreck the rustic shape you’ve created. Try to gently fold and shape the risen dough without deflating any more than necessary.
Remove the preheated pot from the oven and transfer the dough into the pot as carefully as possible by handling only the parchment paper. Place the lid on the pot and return it to the oven for 30 minutes. Don’t open the oven during this time, and certainly don’t take the lid off the pot; the crispness of the crust develops because of the steam that builds up in the pot during this 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes have passed, remove the lid from the pot and continue baking for another 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes have passed, remove the pot with bread from the oven and place the bread on a wire rack to cool. You’ll probably hear the loaf crackling as it cools – this is normal.
If you can, resist the urge to cut into the bread until it has pretty much cooled completely. The bread continues to bake on the inside even after it has been removed from the oven and cutting it too early could result in the inside becoming gummy or rubbery.