Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

American Sandwich Bread

This is my first (and only) bread post of the month, and that too, barely making it in time! I’m planning to have more time for blogging in March, so hope there are some of you dear friends still with me 🙂

A simple white bread recipe, but I may have let it rise a tiny bit too much. It was good, but I’m still looking for that ‘perfect’ one. I think the reason mine is not as white is because I used unbleached flour and a dark honey. Found this at Annie’s Eats. I subbed half bread flour, and next time I will try it with only all purpose. Someday I will learn to follow a recipe properly, haha.

  • 3 1/2+ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (about 110°)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (about 110°)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1 envelope (about 2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast

You can check the link for using a stand mixer with a dough hook. I did it by hand and with the “traditional” method (I guess!) of proofing the yeast.

So proof the yeast for 5 minutes along with the water and 1 tsp honey. Add the warm milk and the rest of the honey to it,  and stir in the flour 1 cup at a time. Once it comes together knead for several minutes, adding more flour as necessary until it is no longer sticky.

Place dough ball in lightly oiled bowl and swirl it around to coat the dough ball. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place to rise for 40-60 minutes or until doubled.

Press dough into a rectangle and roll it tightly pressing the ends in to form a cylinder about the size of your loaf pan. Place in a well greased 9×5 loaf pan and press slightly so that it touches the sides. Cover with plastic and keep in a warm place around 30 minutes or until it peaks above the rim of the pan. Preheat oven to 350.

This is another step I didn’t follow. I will try this next time too:  Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350°.  Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack.  Bring two cups of water to boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and set the loaf onto the middle rack.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195°, 40-50 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Original recipe from Baking Illustrated

BYOB

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Williams Sonoma Wheat Bread

I saw this in a cookbook for Williams Sonoma Breads (a very thick book with lots of tips and instructions!). I didn’t check the book out of the library, instead I just wrote down this recipe. But I may go back and get the book sometime because it had tons of stuff in there! I liked that this used buttermilk and maple syrup.

Here is the recipe, cut in half for one loaf instead of two:

  • 2tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • orange zest (optional, I had mixed it with the sugar – this is not in the original recipe)
  • 1/2c warm water
  • 3/4c tepid buttermilk (I used kefir)
  • 2Tbs maple syrup
  • 2Tbs oil
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5c wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1.5-2c bread flour

Add yeast and sugar to warm water and keep aside for 10 minutes till foamy.

Mix the buttermilk, maple syrup, and oil with 1c whole wheat flour. Beat it very well for a few minutes. Add in the yeast and the rest of the whole wheat flour. Mix again. Add in bread flour 1/2c at a time(I add the salt with the first 1/2c here) till a soft dough forms. Knead until it is smooth and only slightly sticky. Form into a ball.

Place in an oiled bowl and turn the dough ball to coat lightly with the oil. Cover and keep aside to rise 1-1.5 hours.

Grease a loaf pan. Flatten the dough into a rectangle and fold the long sides over in thirds. Then take the short end of the dough and roll it as tightly as you can, keeping surface pressure on the outside of the dough. Roll it under your hands to even it out and make it the length of your loaf pan. Place it inside and cover with plastic (I keep a plastic bag from some large wraps I had bought and place the loaf pan inside this). Rise for an hour or until it peaks above the sides of the pan.

In the last half hour, preheat the oven to 350.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

I have to admit I didn’t love this bread. Its fine, but not my favorite one. Others liked it but I felt there was something not quite right about the taste. It could be the yeast I used (I don’t think I will buy that yeast again because it has a very strong odor in whatever I made with it), it could be the tang of the kefir. It could be my user error because it took FORVER for the dough to rise, probably due to the cold weather. I would give this another try though, because its probably my fault and not the recipe.

Sending to BYOB.

Bubble Corn Bread

I’ve been trying to decide on which bread to make for BBD- Corn-y Breads. First, I was going to try anadama bread, which has been on my to-try list for a while. Then I considered one from Amy’s Bread cookbook, which is shaped like a sunflower… very impressive, but maybe too advanced for me! Then I had narrowed it down to two from Bernard Clayton :  Broa, a soft portuguese corn bead, and this, “bubble” loaf. As you can see, I went with the bubbles! It was quite easy to make and I liked the outcome. Plus its cute how the little round balls puff up and fill the pan, then bulge over the top. And pulling them apart while the loaf is still hot, and smearing some butter on… mmmmm. I halved this recipe to make in a regular loaf pan.

Here is what I did:

  • 2c bread flour
  • 1/2c all purpose flour (or use all bread or all purpose)
  • 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 1 pkt active dry yeast
  • 3/4c water
  • 1/4c milk
  • 1 Tbs butter + additional melted for brushing the top(optional)

Mix 1c flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and cornmeal in a bowl.

Heat water milk and butter till butter melts, and then cool until it is just warm (and you can put your finger and hold it there without being hot).

Add the liquid to the bowl and mix hard with a wooden spoon for a few minutes (or do this in a mixer). Mix in flour 1/2 cup at a time until a dough forms. (I actually needed to add 2 Tbs more water, but ymmv). Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes. He says the dough should be smooth and elastic, and feel alive under your hands!!

Cover the dough and rest for 20 minutes.

Butter the loaf pan. Punch down the dough and knead a few times to remove air pockets. Divide into 16-20 equal pieces, by dividing in half with a knife, half each again, and so on.  Roll each dough portion into a ball (I made little roll forms, by bringing the sides of the dough tightly underneat and pinching it shut, but this may not be necessary) Arrange half the pieces in the bottom. It does not need to fill the bottom because it will do that when it rises. Add the other half on top. Brush with melted butter (I didnt do this step). Cover tightly with plastic and rise for 1 hour.  You can also keep this in the fridge for 2-24 hrs. removing 15 minutes before baking.) Preheat oven to 375 or 325 if using convection oven.  Since I halved the recipe, it only needed to bake for 25-30 minutes, but he says to bake for 45-55 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and brush again with melted butter(optional).

Sending this to Yeastspotting, Bread Baking Day, and BYOB and also Healthy or Decadent

Molasses Wheat Sandwich Bread with Rye Flakes

Don’t ask me how rye flakes ended up in my pantry. Sounds healthy enough, but I have no idea what to do with them! I read that they can be interchanged with oat so I was thinking I could put them in bread, since part of my goal this month is to bake my own breads. I took a nibble, and it didn’t taste too strong so I went ahead with it. I even ventured to make up a bread recipe loosely based on other ones I found that were not quite what I wanted. A bit of a risk since Im a novice bread baker. But to my surprise it turned out really good!  The rye flakes themselves give a pleasant grainy flavor and texture to the bread, but I have to say, they are much firmer than oat meal which more or less disappears into the bread. We liked the added bite it gives. I read about soaking whole grains to bring out their sugars and flavors. So I did that, not sure if it made a difference.

Here is what I did:

  • 1c white wheat flour
  • 1/3c rye flakes
  • 3/4c hot water

Combine the three and keep in the fridge overnight. Take out about an hour before starting the rest of the dough so it comes to room temperature.

  • 1/4c warm water

    Check out the crazy franken-yeast!

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar

Combine and let bloom for 10 minutes till frothy.

Mix yeast water with the soaked flour above. I used my hand to get it well incorporated. Then add:

  • 1/4c molasses (or a mix of molasses and honey for a milder sweeter taste)
  • 3TBS melted butter or oil

Stir well then add in:

  • 2c bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Put the salt on top of the flour and mix it in. I did this to minimize salt contact with the yeast, since salt can kill yeast (and Im paranoid about that).

Knead the flour making a soft dough, add more flour if necessary. Knead for 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and roll around to coat the outsides. Cover with a damp cloth and keep in a warm place for 1-1.5 hrs till almost doubled.

After I had already shaped my loaf, I found this wonderful video with very helpful hints.(It is more clear than my explanation)

Press the dough into a rectangle shape and fold it into thirds. Let rest 10 minutes then take the small rectangle with the narrow edge in front of you and roll it very tightly, keeping surface tension on the outside of the dough. Pinch together the end. Roll your hands over it a few times to even it out.(mine was uneven, so I wish I had seen this in time. Still tasted fine!) Then place in a greased 9×5 loaf pan, cover loosely and let rise till it crests above the rim of the pan(mine took almost 2 hours in the cold weather). (Most recipes say to cover with plastic wrap but I never buy that. This time what I did is use the plastic bag from some tortilla wraps that we had finished and it works really well. I just put the whole loaf pan inside and sealed it.) Slit down the middle with a very sharp knife (optional).

Preheat oven to 350 during last half hour of rising time.  Bake 40-45 mins until golden, pulled away from sides of pan, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.

Taken the next day in better lighting

I’m sending this to Yeastspotting on Wild Yeast Blog!

I’ve also joined forces at the breadmaking blog to Bake my own bread in 2011 (BYOB)! What a wonderful concept.

BYOB

Pesto Pizza with Semolina Dough

This is my favorite pizza dough recipe so far. The dough is so easy to work with and gives a nice chewy texture. I found the recipe here and have not really changed it, but sometimes I add italian herbs to the dough.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 1/3 c all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 2/3 c semolina flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 TBS olive oil

To make the dough, stir sugar and yeast into warm water and let it activate for 5 minutes.

Mix flour and salt in a bowl and add the yeast and olive oil to it, making a soft dough. Knead on a well floured surface for several minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Lightly oil the dough and bowl and cover with a damp towel. Keep in a warm place and let it rise until doubled.

Roll the dough to desired shape (mine was rectangular). I like to fold the edged up and over in toward the center to create a “lip” on the crust. Pinch the folded edge together. Let this rest while preparing the toppings. In the meantime preheat the oven to 425 F.

Toppings I used:

Spread a layer of pesto onto the dough. Top with shredded cheese, then sundried tomatoes, then zucchini. Sprinkle with herbs and salt and pepper or whatever seasonings you like. Then crumble the feta cheese over the top.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Im sending this to Yeastspotting

and to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

Donna’s Delectable Honey Oatmeal Bread – with raisin cinnamon swirl

My good friend Donna gave me this recipe and its one of the best breads I’ve tried! This time I decided to add the raisin cinnamon swirl and it went perfectly together, no added sugar needed. I do think I should have been a little more patient on the second rise, and maybe should not have used a larger pan, so the bread would have had more height. I also read that “bark” spices like cinnamon can inhibit the yeast. With or without the raisin cinnamon swirl, this bread is really tasty. Soft and slightly sweet, great reheated, and fun to know you can make bread this easily!

Here is the recipe as she gave it to me:

  • 1c old fashioned oats
  • 1c boiling water
  • 1/3c honey
  • 1/4c/4tbs/half stick of butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 envelope/.25 oz quick rise yeast
  • 1/4c of warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 3.5- 4 c flour (I use half bread flour when I have it)
  • 1t milk and 1Tbs oats for topping the bread, optional

Combine oats with the boiling water and let it sit 5 mins. Add yeast to the warm water, and let it activate, also 5 minutes or so. To the oats (you can do this in the bowl you will mix the dough in itself) add honey and butter and salt. Then pour in the yeast mixture. Then add 3 c of flour and blend it in. Knead in an additional 1/2-1 c of flour as needed to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth for 6-8 minutes. Cover and let it rest 10 minutes (I did a traditional “double rise”(let the dough rise to double its size in about 1-2 hours) because I was going out, so if you let it rise longer thats also fine. She says the short rest works for her too).  Grease a 9×5 bread pan. Roll the dough out to a 8×15 inch rectangle. (This is when I added the swirl. I just sprinkled raisins on top of the dough and pressed them in firmly. Then I sprinkled some cinnamon powder. Thats it!) Roll it up from the 8 inch side jellyroll style. Pinch the ends and tuck them under the bread. Place it seam side down in the loaf pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise to double its size (at least 45 mins).

Preheat oven to 375.  Brush a tiny bit of milk over the top and sprinkle on the oats – optional but it will look pretty. I forgot to do this. Bake for around 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Try to resist the urge to cut into it while hot, hehe.  You can reheat this in the microwave or toast it and have with butter, that’s how I like it.

I am submitting this to BBD#34: Breads with Grains hosted by Swathi and originated by Zorra

Also submitting this to Yeastspotting.

And to Tasty Tuesdays.

Aloo Paratha

When I think of punjabi food  I think of butter, of  sarson ka saag and maaki ki roti, creamy paneer, and stuffed parathas. For this Flavours of Punjab event, I decided to make the ever popular aloo paratha, a potato stuffed flatbread.

Filling:

  • 1 big potato or 2 medium
  • 2 green chilies minced
  • 1 shallot or small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • salt

Chapathi dough:

  • 1c chapathi flour/atta
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 spoon oil
  • water as needed

Pressure cook potatoes for 2 whistles or boil, with skin on. In America, we often peel potatoes then cook them, but in this case its better to boil whole and then peel so that the potato doesn’t absorb water. It also retains more nutrients. The potato should be completely cooked so there are no hard chunks which will poke through your dough. While cooking the potato make your dough by mixing the first three ingredients then slowly adding water until you get a soft dough. Leave it covered with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

Once cooled enough to handle peel the potatoes and mash them completely. In a small pan heat a tsp of oil and add the green chili, onion until just softened then add the powders, and coriander leaves. Stir this into the potatoes with salt. Form into equal balls, about golf ball size or little larger. Form dough balls about the same size. Roll them out without flour to palm size and then fill in one potato ball. Wrap the dough around and pinch together at the top. Flatten it out to a circle to distribute the potato. Finish rolling out with flour being careful not to make it too thin or make holes in the dough.

Put onto a hot pan (cast iron pan is great if you have one) and cook for a minute or so till it just begins changing color on the other side. Flip it and now apply a small amt of oil on the top. After a couple minutes, flip again. It usually puffs up, just press on it so it cooks evenly.

These are so yummy and filling… Serve with raita, or yogurt, or pickle, or chutney.

My entry to flavours of punjab hosted by Pari and Nayna.

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