Monday, April 26, 2010

cottage loaf



Over on my Facebook Fan Page I wrote about a recent experiment in bread making.  I took one of my favorite quick rise bread recipes and used the baking method from no-knead bread.  The bread rose really well.  At first I was sort of disappointed because it rose REALLY well, I was making it in 2 quart pyrex containers (I don't own a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven as called for in no-knead bread) and I wound up with 2 quart-casserole-dish-shaped bread.  However, as you can see from the picture, once turned out of it's container I realized it looked beautiful.    I got a fabulous rise and the crumb is very even and beautiful. 


Helayne asked for the recipe so here it is:


Cottage Loaf
[makes one loaf but doubles very well]


5-6 C. bread flour
2 T. yeast
2 T. evaporated cane juice crystals
1 T. sea salt
1 t. ground ginger
2 C. hot water


In a large bowl mix together 2 C. flour, the yeast, salt, sugar and ground ginger
Add hot water and stir well
Add flour 1 C. at a time until dough is no longer sticky
Knead for 8 minutes until dough is ready (I have a really big bowl and I just knead directly in the bowl)
Oil dough and return to the bowl
Cover with a dishtowel and let rise in a draft free place for one hour
Punch down, shape dough into a ball and place in a bowl lined with a well-floured towel
Recover dough
Take 2 quart covered casserole dish and place in the oven
Set oven to 475
When oven is done preheating open dish, slide dough into dish, place lid back on casserole
Bake 30 minutes then remove lid and bake another 20-25 minutes until bread is done
Remove bread from casserole and cool on wire rack completely before cutting 


The waiting part is very difficult to accomplish as the smell of freshly baked bread permeates the house like nothing else and draws hungry folk in a hurry.


I made this bread using King Arthur Bread Flour.  Although I bake a lot of bread using whole grain or fresh ground flours occasionally I will use unbleached all-purpose or bread flour.  Then I experiment from there to see how much I can modify it and change to less processed grains.  The next experiment with this loaf will be to see if I can substitute 1/2 of the flour for whole wheat and what happens from there.  


I'll keep you posted.

2 comments:

MidnightAgenda said...

I have a question:
does "evaporated cane juice crystals" = sugar? I have not yet been able to find a good taste substitute for sugar and so I still use it.

Mira Dessy said...

Yes, evaporated cane juice crystals are simply a lower processed form a sugar. Still sweet, still calories, but slightly better due to the slight mineral content. It can be substituted one-for-one with sugar.