Monday, January 24, 2011

January's Bread 2

The finished product: Water-Proofed Bread

This bread strays from the form that I am comfortable with as far as preparation goes. I have become rather adept at making breads with the 4 common ingredients: Flour, Water, Yeast, and Salt. The bread I am used to making is made of firm dough and kneaded in the way most people think of kneading dough. The dough then sits in a bowl and rises until it has doubled in bulk.

The dough above required me to do something completely different. The bread calls for eggs, sugar, milk, and butter in addition to the other ingredients listed above. This creates a sticky dough that does not knead in the fashion we are all used to seeing. It is a delicate technique in which you spread the dough flat on your surface and fold in on itself over and over until it reaches the desired feel. This is a little bit more time consuming. Given the stickiness of the dough I was in favor of the method. The rising for this bread is completely different from what I have come to know. The dough is covered in fresh flour and wrapped in a towel, then submerged in a water bath. This is called a water-proof, or water-rise. The dough will sit down in the water, and you know it has risen when the dough floats in the water. A science experiment for the kid in me. Lo! and Behold! The dough floated and I was on my way. After kneading a little more, I put the dough in the loaf pan and allowed it to rise again. Once it has doubled in bulk, place in oven. Same test as before: rap knuckles against each side of the bread. If it sounds hollow, your bread is done.

The recipe I used gives us a brioche-like bread. Sweet and light with some larger pockets, but dense everywhere else. I enjoyed it with a little jam and turkey with swiss cheese broiled for lunch.


The dough in towel ready for it's bath
The dough will float once it has risen

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