Tuesday, August 7, 2012
In recent weeks I have been experimenting with sourdough, but without the fuss of 'the care and feeding' of a starter. True, the sourdough starters yield exceptional loaves, but really, who has the patience. Especially in the summer when I just want to bake bread and quickly! So, a while ago I developed a method (or maybe I read about it, I can't remember) for making fast, overnight sourdough. Now I am experimenting with different combinations to see how it tastes. I mean, how bad can it be. Anyway, here is my latest offering. It tastes almost like a real honest to goodness sourdough,, but without the fuss. Also, because it has the tanginess of the starter, along with rye flour it makes an exceptional loaf for sandwiches. Especially pastrami with a good sharp mustard. Yum!
Here's What You'll Need:
for the starter
1 cup rye flour
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp. dry yeast
1. Mix together all the ingredients to form a rather wet paste. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature, preferably overnight.
the next day...
for the bread dough
1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
about 1/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
about 1 Tbs. sesame seeds (optional)
enough water to make a soft, but firm dough
2. Mix the remaining ingredients into the starter, kneading to form a soft, firm dough. If necessary add water, 1 Tbs. at a time as needed. Knead in the nuts and sesame if using. Knead for about 5 minutes then form into a ball, turn to coat in a lightly-oiled bowl, then cover to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a tight ball, by stretching the dough from the top to the bottom and place on a baking sheet , covered with baking paper, with the stretched dough down. Cover with a kitchen towel for a second rise, about 45 minutes. If you have tightened it correctly, it will not spread much.
4. About 20 minutes before baking time, heat the oven to 400F (200C). Slash the bread to make the oven spring more effective without tearing the bread, using a sharp serrated knife (or a razor blade).
5. Just before placing in the oven spray the bread with water lightly. You should also spray into the hot oven several times to introduce hot steam into the oven.
6. Bake for 35 minutes or until a deep brown crust has formed and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If you have a baking stone, you can place the baking sheet directly on it, and place the bread on the stone for the last five minutes. Also, you can turn the oven off at the end and leave the bread on the stone for an additional 5 minutes or so, to make an even 'crustier' crust.
7. Cool on a rack.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
It had to happen. With everything going on I was preparing two posts for this blog at once. And wouldn't you know it, I mixed up the names!! The last post, now corrected to its proper name is for a sourdough whole wheat bread. This one is Pane Siciliano (literally Sicilian Bread) is also a sourdough made with fermented dough. However, the last post featured a soaker and a poolish allowed to ferment overnight in the refrigerator. This bread uses a technique I've used before called pate fermentee (literally fermented dough in French). The idea is the same, a 'dough' is mixed, allowed to ferment at room temperature for a few hours, then placed in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, the dough is revived, mixed with the remaining ingredients, then allowed to rise and is baked. The idea is to slow down the rising process of the yeast so that the natural complex flavors of the wheat flour can be maximized. Yum!!
This bread is usually baked as a loaf. I have chosen to make it as rolls, both because they bake faster and also because they are more easily stored (and eaten!). They have been liberally coated with sesame seeds in the Italian tradition. The result is a chewy, very stable roll, perfect for sandwiches and snacks. Whether you make it as a loaf or as rolls, you'll love this bread.
Here's What You'll Need for 3 loaves:
for the pate fermentee
1 1/8 cups AP flour
1 1/8 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
about 3/4 cup water, at room temperature
for the dough
3 cups pate fermentee
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1 3/4 cups semolina flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. honey
about 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
Here's What You'll Need to Do:
1. About an hour before starting the bread assembly process, remove the pate fermentee from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature. Cut it into about 10 or 12 pieces and place it in the mixing bowl, covered so it doesn't dry out.
2. Stir together the bread flour, the semolina, salt and yeast, add the pieces of pate fermentee, along with the oil, honey 1 1/4 cups of water.
3. Mix thoroughly with a mixer until the dough forms a smooth dough adding a little flour or water as needed.
4. Knead for about 10 minutes, then place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat.
5. Leave the dough, covered, to rise until doubled for about 2 hours.
6. Divide the dough into 3 pieces (for loaves) or about 100g. (4oz.) for rolls. While working with one piece keep the others covered. Roll out each piece into a 'snake', then rolling from each end bring the ends to the center to form an 'S'.
7. Place the 'S' shapes on a prepared baking sheet covered and let the dough rise until doubled, about another hour.
8. Place an empty pan on the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 500F (250C) about 20 minutes before baking time.
9. Just before placing the dough in the oven, lightly coat it with egg white then sprinkle sesame seeds liberally all over.
10. Pour about 1 cup of boiling water into the pan in the oven, spray the walls with water and close the door quickly. After a few seconds, place the dough in the oven, lower the temperature to 425F (220C) and bake for 18 minutes or so (for rolls) or about 30 minutes for loaves.
11. Cool on a rack thoroughly before slicing.
This is so good, you've gotta love it!