Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Bread Post

As promised, one of the subjects I am blogging about this month is bread. I have posted about bread a couple times in the past – once to ‘pan’ the infamous no-knead bread recipe that’s been floating around for a few years, and at least once to sing the praises of kneaded bread. Well, rest assured this is a kneaded bread. Kneaded in my KitchenAid.

To start out my bread making for the month (I plan on baking bread at least a few more times), I made some Challah. Challah, of course, is Jewish Sabbath/Holiday bread. It’s a very rich dough made with eggs and butter, and slightly sweetened. It’s great for eating slice with some butter, and even better for french toast.

The recipe I followed is from Baking Illustrated – if there is interest I can post it, but for now I will just paraphrase a bit. After kneading in the standing mixer, you do a double rise, then divide it into pieces so you can braid it. Traditionally, one might use a six braid pattern to create a tall loaf, but this recipe cheats by making two separate braids, and stacking the smaller on top of the larger using an egg wash to bind them.

This seems like a pretty good idea, but the way it rose in the oven caused the top braid to fall sideways a bit. I also over cooked the bread by a couple of minutes – of course, last time I tried to make bread in my flat (using my own starter) I righteously burned the bottom, so this is a step in the right direction. A little more practice and I’ll have the oven down.

It might not be the prettiest bread anyone’s ever made, but it looks OK. And the crumb is fantastic. We had some with dinner tonight, and I predict breakfast tomorrow will be french toast!

Now the question is, what kind of bread should I make next?

posted by neil at 10:28 pm
under bread,cooking  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Say Yes to Normal Bread

Another week, another loaf of bread. Well, sort of. After my abject failure last week, I decided to make regular, kneaded bread today. Every recipe I had and most I found on the internet were for two loaves of bread, which is more than I wanted! However I found this recipe which looked reasonable enough.

The Kitchen-Aid mixer made the kneading easy (I actually cut it back to 8 minutes instead of the mentioned 10). Here is a picture of the dough after the second rise:

And here is the finished loaf:

It’s fairly tasty, although I think it could do without the honey perhaps. It would make for some delicious french toast, however! Here is the recipe as I made it:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup very warm milk
2 tablespoons melter butter
2 tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix in the standmixer for 8 minutes. Let rise covered for an hour, shape, place in a greased pan, cover, allow another hour to rise. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature is 190F. Turn out on to a rack and allow to cool for about 1 hour before cutting.

posted by neil at 9:53 pm
under bread,cooking  

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Say No to “No Knead” Bread

This stuff was all the rage around two years ago, when the recipe was first published in the New York Times . I thought about trying it then, but I never got around to it. Then I mostly forgot about it until yesterday, when I decided to give it a go.

I wasn’t really sure on the kind of yeast to use, so I got both Rapid Rise and regular active dry yeast. I made a batch of the dough with each, and to be honest, they look about the same across time (I wish I had two bowls of the same size, it would have been easier.

Active Dry, 12 hours:

Rapid Rise, 12 hours:

Active Dry, 18 hours:

Rapid Rise, 18 hours:

I was only able to bake one, and I was going to do the rapid rise batch, except it fell apart and stuck too much to the towel, so instead I bake the other one. The loaf that came out looks kind of nice:

The only thing is, it doesn’t taste very good. I mean, it doesn’t taste bad at all, but it is not good, and definitely I could have made tastier bread, with a little bit of kneading, in less than the 21 hours or so it took from start to finish. I don’t think I’ll be trying this out again.

posted by neil at 9:51 pm
under bread,cooking  

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