Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dough a Deer, a female deer

My neighbor's teenage daughter babysits for me sometimes, and refuses to let me pay her, or her mom won't let her take money from me, either way it's fine. I'm not sure if it's cause we're neighbors and I mend things for her 5 yr DD and I share my "extra goodies" with them sometimes, but I'm not looking this gift horse in the mouth.

She is also taking a Culinary class at school (not just Home Economic, it's a "culinary class") and she needed to learn how to bake bread for a sandwich project coming up. A few days ago I gave her my recipe for bread. I thought it was fool proof. I was wrong. So we scheduled time for her to come over today and watch me bake some and see how it'd done first hand.

In the Pic is the recipe 4x because I make large loaves so I don't have to do it very often.

2 1/2 c flour (I use unbleached flour, and have replaced up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
.25oz yeast
3/4 c hot water
1 egg (room temp)
a little less than 1/4 c sugar (use a 1/4c measure just don't fill it up all the way)
3/4 tsp salt

Combine sugar, yeast and hot water in bowl, wisk, set aside;
combine flour, salt.
Once the water and sugar and yeast have become frothy beat in egg. Slowly add to flour (the dough should pull together and be sticky but not gooey. Add flour in 1/4 increments until this happens. Humidity, how packed the flour is in your flour bin, how level you scoops are; these things can affect how your dough turns out. Don't feel bad if you need to add more, I had to add almost 1 1/2 extra to my batch today) and knead for 8 min (I do this in my mixer with a dough hook).

Once kneaded, turn out into a glass bowl with some vegetable oil in the bottom, roll over to coat the dough. Cover bowl with a towel and let rise (at least double in size) then beat down (squeezin all the air out of the dough), repeat twice, on 3 beat down place in a loaf pan (I spray mine with bakers joy to make sure it comes out of the pan easily) or form into desired shape and let rise a final time. Bake at 350 til dark golden.

Variations: add herbs to the dough and roll the top in more with kosher salt.
add the full 1/4 cup sugar to dough and then roll dough flat and spread cinnamon topping ( 1/4 butter, 1 Tbs cinnimon 1/2c brown sugar) roll, and cut for cinnamon rolls, let rise and bake as above,
divide into rolls,
divide into large marble size balls dip into herbed butter and line bunt pan, bake as above.
This is a really good basic bread recipe feel free to play around with it.

While the bread was getting kneaded and rising I cooked supper. It's in the next blog.

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