ITALY, by way of NEW ORLEANS: It took me a long time to find a recipe for a ciabatta that was not made with 100% white flour. and that actually worked (whole wheat can be tricky to work with). This is from Bellgarde Bakery in New Orleans, whose mission is to “connect community and ecology through gastronomy”. All of their grains are identity preserved and single origin, and they use olive oil sourced from San Antonio, and salt from Avery Island.Continue reading “Week 68: Rustic Ciabatta”
Want the savory punch of a bagel without the time-consuming process of either baking them yourself or going out to get some? Then this bread is for you – delicious, easy and satisfying. It does require an overnight rest, but after that, you don’t need to spend much time on it at all. The Everything Bagel seasoning is mixed into the dough in addition to being sprinkled on top, making it the perfect foil for some avocado toast. This is one of my favorite breads so far!
I found this on Leite’s Cuisine, one of my top ten food blogs. It’s been around since 1999, and has thousands of tested, well-written recipes, from hundreds of professional contributors. All bread recipes are written in both US and Metric measurements, which is super convenient.
Click here for the recipe. Trader Joe’s makes a good seasoning mix, but if you can’t find it, Leite’s Cuisine’s recipe is below:
- 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1-1/2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
- 1-1/2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
- 4 tsp dried minced onion
- 4 tsp dried minced garlic
- 2 tsp flaked sea salt or coarse salt
If you want to try your hand at bagels, we made them during Week 51. Recipe and lots of tips here.
I don’t know what I enjoy more: eating bread or baking bread. But sometimes, when I set out to make it because I really want to eat it, I run into a problem with timing. Oftentimes, there’s a long stretch of time between starting the process to consuming the bread. Most artisan loaves aren’t ready on the same day as you prepare the dough because they require an overnight rise, and if you don’t get around to starting until late in the day, there’s not enough time for all of the steps.
Last week I tested a work-around that produces a delicious, satisfying, impressive loaf in 5 hours from start to finish. It’s as beautiful as a sourdough, but a lot less complicated, and not as time-consuming. It’s easy like the no-knead method, but incorporates a bit of “stretch & fold” kneading (see #2 Kneading During Proofing video here) to speed up the process of strengthening the gluten, thereby avoiding the overnight soak, i.e. autolyse*.
Back in 2006, the New York Times published Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, which revolutionized bread baking. Two years later, Cook’s Illustrated introduced us to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s version, Almost No-Knead Bread. And just last month, in May of 2021, he gave us No-Knead Bread, Revisited, which is what I’ve based mine on. I didn’t use vinegar, added some honey, substituted whole wheat and rye for some of the white flour, cut the time down by 30 minutes and used a Dutch oven to bake.
Rest times are 1 hour + 1.5 hours + 1 hour, so perfect if you work from home, and doable if you work away from home because you can make it in the evening, pop it in the fridge after the final rise, then bake the next day.
STEP 1: Make dough
- 300g bread or all-purpose flour (or substitute 50g with whole wheat or rye, or 25g of both)
- 7g salt
- 3g yeast
- Measure dry ingredients in a bowl and mix (I use a whisk) to combine.
- 225g warm water
- 11g honey
- Add honey to water and stir to combine
- Mix honey water into dry ingredients, using the handle of a wooden spoon, or your hand. Make sure there are no dry bits.
- Cover and rest 1 hour
STEP 2: Knead & Proof
- Keeping dough in the bowl, do a round of stretch and folds, then cover and let rest 30 minutes. See kneading during proofing, and shaping videos here. (#1 stretch + fold | 30 minutes rest total so far)
- Repeat this two more times. Each time you can pull the dough out a little longer, but not too much so that it tears. Only do four stretch and folds each round. (1.5 minute rest so far)
- Do one more stretch + fold, then leave to rest for 1 hour.
STEP 3: Final rise
- Carefully remove dough to a lightly floured surface, without deflating it.
- Pull sides to shape into a tight ball, then turn over, and with cupped hands, tighten surface some more.
- Place in lined and floured proofing basket seam side up and cover
- Proof 1 hour or until finger test, and preheat oven to 500. It’s better to be under proofed than over proofed, so check often:
- Dough is under proofed when you poke a finger in it and is springs back quickly
- Dough is proofed when you poke a finger in it and it springs back slowly
- Dough is over proofed if you poke a finger in it and it doesn’t spring back.
- Cover with parchment, then a cutting board and turn over
- Slowly remove basket and score. Score round loaves symetircally and mostly on the top, so they rise up, not out
- Bake, covered, at 475 for 25 minutes
- Remove cover and bake for 10 minutes.
- Put a cookie sheet on the lowest rack to redirect the heat so the bottom doesn’t burn
- Let cool completely before slicing
Baking a sourdough loaf is a two-day affair, because there are so many stages in the prepping and proofing. I set out to find if it was possible to a.) make a loaf in one day, and b.) be 100% satisfied with the result. And, I’m here to tell you that there is! This is a method for baking a sourdough loaf with no overnight rise, and if you get started early enough, (8:00 AM) you’ll have a warm loaf to bring to the dinner table.Continue reading “Week 58: Same Day Sourdough”
DENMARK: This seed and nut loaf is from the KONG HANS KÆLDER restaurant in Copenhagen. According to the Danish newspaper Politiken, the staff came up with this loaf when they decided to go on a Paleo diet — and named it after the Nordic Stone Age, Stendalder. It became Denmark’s most popular recipe, to the point where the natural food stores had a hard time keeping the ingredients in stock. It’s gluten free, naturally high in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and only takes 10 minutes to put together. I was so tempted to add raisins, but I wanted to remain true to the original so refrained. I bet it would work just fine if you did; I’m thinking 50g chopped dried fruit, or for a savory twist, sun-dried tomatoes. Another idea could be mini chocolate chips and candied orange peel!
- The original recipe calls for unroasted, unsalted nuts, but I decided to go ahead and use roasted, salted, because I prefer those for other uses. I lowered the salt to 1-1/2 tsp because of this.
- I also added chia seeds and hemp seeds to boost the nutritional value. You can use any combination of nuts and seeds, as long as they total 700 grams.
- You can use all whole nuts, i.e. not chopped almonds or pecans. That makes the loaf look really nice when sliced, but I think the (roughly) chopped nuts make for a better consistency, and also easier to cut.
- I used canola oil, but next time I think I’ll use olive oil. Peanut oil might be a good option.
- If you want to make this on a regular basis, buy the nuts/seeds in bulk, mix them all up and measure out 700 grams of nuts in individual portions to freeze.
- Cut thin slices – a little goes a long way!
Stone Age Bread
- 100 g pumpkin seeds ( I got “acitivated, sprouted” seeds by mistake. They work fine, but aren’t as bright green)
- 100 g roasted, salted sunflower seeds
- 100 g chopped tamari almonds
- 100 g chopped pecans (the original recipe calls for walnuts, either one would do)
- 100 g flaxseeds
- 100 g roasted sesame seeds
- 50 g chia seeds (optional, this is an additional on my part)
- 50 g hemp seeds (optional, this is an additional on my part)
- 5 ~ 6 eggs, depending on size.
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoon salt (or 2 teaspoons if you use unsalted nuts)
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, then add the oil and salt
- Measure in the nuts and seeds and stir to combine well.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper
- Add batter to the pan and press down to fill it towards the corners, and to even the top
- Bake for 1 hour or until it is firm and just a little browned on the top
- Wait until the bread is completely cool to slice.
FRANCE: The bastard son of a baguette, named so because it’s shape was not round like a boule. “Rustic” because it’s got some whole wheat mixed in.Continue reading “Week 36: Rustic Bâtard”
IRELAND: Soda bread is a daily bread that was made by every Irish household with ingredients affordable to all. Dump everything in a bowl, mix it with your hand, and it’s ready to pop in the oven in under 5 minutes. I used 50/50 whole wheat and white flour; but it can be all white if you prefer. The method is so easy, you don’t really need a video, but Darina Allen’s instructions and history (she’s the Julia Child of Ireland) are worth viewing at least once!
Apparently, Irish measurements teaspoons are different from the U.S., so I’ve listed the proportions below.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees before your begin, so you can get it in as soon as the batter is mixed. And it bakes for about 30 ~ 35 minutes.
- 2 cups whole wheat
- 2 cups white
- 1 teaspoon baking SODA
- 1 teaspoon salt
- about 1-3/4 cup buttermilk (400ml) – I use Kefir – it’s thicker than US buttermilk
ITALY: A thick, airy, flat bread with a lot of potential. It’s delicious with the traditional topping of olive oil, salt and rosemary. Or, you can join the Focaccia Bread Art movement and make it a meal. I tested a few quicker versions, with just one rise time, but this version, with a super wet dough and the addition of a salamoia (brine) is the most authentic. Plus, the four rises/folds ever 30 minutes are a great excuse to get up from your desk and move, if you’re working from home!
The Easiest Focaccia | Ethan Chlebowski
Rise time: 20 + 30 + 30 + 30 + 30 + 60
|335 grams||water (110 degrees)|
|450 grams||flour (all purpose or bread)|
|9 grams||olive oil|
|20 grams||olive oil|
FRANCE: A long, thin loaf with a airy center and thin, crisp crust. It’s a wet dough, so hard to manage. We learned some new methods: “turning” the dough, and using water to keep it from sticking. John’s got a soothing, calm voice, and talks us through every step of the process.Continue reading “Week 6: Baguette”