Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brioche..... yuck!

This might just say it all. I made a very small amount of Peter Reinharts Rich Man's Brioche, actually only a third of the recipe. It still called for 1 1/2 sticks of butter in it, by weight is was almost the same amount as it called for flour! The recipe said this was the hardest to make of the three formula's. I took that as a challenge. Here's the end result, the "Money Shots".

From Brioche

It really has an incredible crumb on it, soft and tender, literally you can see the gluten feathering out as you pull one apart. The trouble is that it is almost dripping in butter. I was brought up on using real butter on my breads, so I can't believe I am going to say this. I ate one of these and it almost made me sick there was so much butter in it. It has been a couple hours since I ate it, and my body is still saying, "I am so glad you froze those things!" Really, with my love for breads and using real butter on them, you would think these would taste awesome to me. Even putting sugar free strawberry jam on them didn't help the situation, so I hope that my husband likes them or I might have to feed them to the chickens or something.

Here is how I made them, although I really don't recommend them and won't be making them again.



Everything all measured out and ready to be made into Brioche.



My sponge was really small in that huge 6 quart bowl.



Added the other liquid ingredients. At this point I realized that such a small amount was not going to be easy to make in my mixer.



Flour is mixed in and getting ready to start putting the butter in.



My ball of dough after mixing with the paddle. It had difficulty producing gluten, because it was small and sticky with butter. I actually did some stretch and folds on it for about an hour, trying to get it developed more.



Flattened out and ready for fridge, sorry for the blurry pictures. My cell phone was used for these and it sometimes is hard to tell if the picture is good or not.



Shaped and ready for proofing. They rose about twice this size in two hours, and then I cooked them and they really shot up.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A simple loaf, but great comfort food....

I normally stick to sourdough baguettes for myself, and don't really go into anything fancy at all, but today I just needed something that reminded me of my childhood.  Looking through The Bread Baker's Apprentice book, I came across 3 formula's for an enriched loaf of white bread.  It's called many things, according to who is talking about it, but it always reminds me of Wonder Bread except a LOT better.  Great for PBJ sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, turkey sandwiches.  Soft, tender, creamy white bread, the kind you just know is not good for you, but you just can't help wanting some once in a while.

From White Variation #1



Friday, January 21, 2011

Bagels.... or the waiting game.

How can something so easy, take so long to complete? It seemed like I spent the entire first day simply waiting. The dough for this is really really easy, but waiting for the yeast/dough to be ready for the next steps was very painful for someone who is impatient. Really, I must have been in the mood for something a little bit more complicated to make in order to keep me hopping around the kitchen, rather than do a couple minutes work and then wait.

The results were amazing though, and between me and Andy we finished them all quickly. I ate the last one this morning for breakfast, cream cheese and green olives. MMMMMMMMM!!!!

Not sure why, but I have been putting this off.  (Note:  I think I simply remember dropping them into boiling water and kept thinking how truly klutzy I am)  I like bagels, and think this sounds like a good project, but for some reason they are just not exciting me.  I will be making half a batch of regular bagels and will fry up some onions to put on top, but won't use them in the actual dough.  Really, I suppose it's not helping that my sponge has risen for 3 hours and it still isn't at that magic stage he says will happen, when you bump it into the table and it all falls down.  Sounds rather like my sourdough when it's done feeding and crying for more food.

Right after mixing together, 1252 Pacific Time.


1440 Pacific Time
 


1526 Pacific Time, at least there are quite a few bubbles and it looks like it's doubled.


and I am still waiting... Looking at my pictures, it has actually risen more than I thought it had. I am giving it another hour, then going to call it good.  This was in my oven with the light turned on, so my kitchen must have been pretty cold today,  Not really a lot I can do about that, except try to be patient.



At 1633 I decided that was enough, it never fell like he said it would, but figured if I didn't get on with this recipe I would have to make dinner around it. I got my ingredients out for the next step.



I added the yeast and stirred it in.



Then I put most of the flour in, added salt and honey.



Then I used my dough hook to mix it up, added the additional flour, and then kneaded for 6 minutes using the dough hook.  My mixer didn't seem to have any problems with this dough, in fact it didn't even get warm.



I then shaped it into a ball, and cut it into 6 pieces each 4.6 oz.



I shaped the 6 pieces into balls, the same way I would for dinner rolls.



This was followed by a rest period of 20 minutes, with a damp towel on top.



I shaped them into bagel shapes, and drank my Lemon Mint tea...



...and covered them with plastic to sit for 20 minutes.



Even putting them in the oven with the light on didn't seem to hurry them up much.


My bagels actually took an hour to get to the point they would float. I actually had a little piece of dough leftover, even though I took the dough weight, and divided by 6 to come up with 4.6 oz for each bagel. I used this little piece to do the float test, and it bounced right back up!

From BBA Bagels
All my equipment ready for the boiling and baking. You ever get rid of a pan because you think you no longer have any use for it? I actually thought that I wouldn't use my great big stock pot anymore. What an insane thought, of course I think this after the deed is done. So here I was, trying to figure out what to use and I decided on my electric skillet. I knew there were going to be some issues, but let me just say..... don't try doing this with a pan that doesn't have high sides on it. I recommend a stockpot and only filling it partway up, plenty of room for the water to splash around it.

From BBA Bagels

Lets see, I really don't like using seeds for anything, so I decided on fresh chopped onions and fried them part way done with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I really didn't put a lot of the garlic salt in, but if I had it to do over again I would not add salt to the topping at all. I don't like a lot of salt anyway, and most recipes have way more than I would use normally.  My dough had plenty in it, almost too much, so adding it to the topping ended up being way to much.  Luckily it wasn't enough to ruin the bagels though.


I sprayed olive oil onto the parchment paper, and then sprinkled semolina flour onto the surface.


Now I have to tell you, the one other time I made bagels I remember dropping them into boiling water, and it was not an easy thing to do with a stockpot. This time I pulled the cookie sheet out of the refrigerator, then I actually cut the parchment paper into little squares around each of the bagels. That made it a lot easier to slip them into the boiling water.



There has to be a better way to flip them over in that boiling water.


I probably lost some of my initial heat in the oven, simply because I forgot to take a picture before putting them into the oven. Oh well, the onions were a little hard to get to stick to the top, but they did ok.


I ended up cooking mine about 4 minutes longer than the book told me to, but they turned out really good.  For not wanting to make them in the first place, I really enjoyed them.  Much better than store bought for sure, and the crust and crumb turned out exactly like I would want a fresh bagel to taste.  Overall this was a lot of fun, and a bigger success than I thought it would be.  Still need a new BIG stock pot.....