Monday, January 16, 2012
BBB – A Swedish Cuban
A new year with new resolutions. No, I don't make any New Year's resolutions, that's generally a bad idea. The shelf life of an average New Year's resolution is far too short. But I had a little thought that I should do some more baking, or at least do it in a more structured way, as in take pictures and blog about it. Of course the Bread Baking Babes routine has top priority, so I'll start right away.
January's bread is so quick and easy that you feel that you have barely started when it's finished. Two hours from start to finish, not bad! And it turned out to be surprisingly good too, although maybe not the healthiest bread on the planet. But you don't always have to be super healthy, and you can top the slices with healthy stuff. However, I can assure you that a toasted slice with raspberry-blueberry jam (aka queen's jam) is very yummy. (I bet butter and honey is heavenly but you have to draw the line somewhere.)
The Babe who brought us January's bread is my lovely SIL Ilva at Lucullian Delights (technically it's ex but what the heck). I have included the recipe here, but to get the nice looking pictures you should go to her place. Also check out how the other Babes have fared with this challenge - full list to the right!
You are welcome to join us and be a Buddy - Ilva has the complete instructions.
from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads
1,2-1,4 litre/ 5-6 cups of bread or AP flour
2 packages dry yeast, I used 50 g fresh
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
500 ml/ 2 cups hot water
sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
By hand or mixer (15 mins)
Place 4 cups flour in a mixing bowl and add the yeast, salt and sugar. Stir until they are well blended. Pour in the hot water and beat with 100 strong strokes, or three minutes with a mixer flat beater.
Gradually work in the remaining flour (using fingers if necessary), 1/2 cup at a time until the dough takes shape and is no longer sticky.
- I used 4,5 cups AP flour and 0,5 cup whole spelt flour.
Kneading (8 mins)
Sprinkle the work surface with flour. Work in the flour as you knead, keeping a dusting of it between the dough and the work surface. Knead for 8 minutes by hand or with a dough hook until the dough is smooth, elastic, and feels alive under your hands.
By processor (5 mins)
Attach the short plastic blade.
Place 2 cups flour in the work bowl and add the other ingredients, as above. Pulse several times to thoroughly mix. Remove the cover and add 2 more cups of flour. Replace the cover and pulse to blend.
Add the remaining flour through the feed tube, pulsing after each addition, until the dough begins to form and is carried around the bowl by the force of the blade.
- I used my Assistent for all the mixing and kneading.
Kneading (45 secs)
Turn on the machine to knead for 45 seconds.
Rising (15 mins)
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in a warm (26-37°C/80-100°F) place until double in bulk, about 15 minutes.
Shaping (4 mins)
Punch down the dough, turn it out on the work surface, and cut into two pieces. Shape each into a round. Place on the baking sheet. With a sharp knife or razor, slash X on each of the loaves, brush water, and, if desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
- I used sesame seeds.
Baking (205°C/400°F, 45-50 mins)
Place the baking sheet on the middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a large pan of hot water on the shelf below, and heat the oven to 205°C/400°F. The bread of course, will continue to rise while the oven is heating.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden brown. Thump on the bottom crusts to test for doneness. If they sound hard and hollow, they are baked.
- After 40 minutes my loaves were becoming very dark so I covered them with foil. After 50 minutes they were done.