Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Baking School Chronicles: Flake

People always ask me.
You have a job and two kids right?

How do you find time for all this baking.
The thing is...
I committed to doing this baking school thing, and there is homework.
So there is more baking than usual going on in the Keels/Becker house for the month of October. 
That being said. I enjoy it. It's relaxing. Sometimes the kids "help."
Day fifteen of baking school the lesson was about croissants.
Croissants however require a bigger commitment of time and planning ahead. All they require is flour, butter, yeast, milk, water and salt. The key is to start them on a day when I know I will have the time to let them rise, to let them chill and to be able to accomplish all of turns required for all of those buttery layers. It was smart of to choose croissants for day 15.

A Friday is the perfect day to start such a big project.
You insure that your weekend is full of crisp buttery goodness.
Final Turn
 This is the start of the 6:30am rise Saturday morning.

 This is a terrific way to start the weekend! One of the best things about croissants besides all the flaky buttery layers is the portability! Time for the Playground!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Baking School Chronicles: Bread Day

I have set a new goal for myself.
In an attempt to be more present among the blogosphere my goal is to blog three times a week. I set this goal last week, and have yet to post anything.
This month I committed to baking school. Daily assignments with a weekly theme. Week three (last week) was yeast. Now yeast and I are good friends. I make more of our bread we consume than buy it, so I'm using yeast on a regular basis. I took this week's theme as an opportunity to challenge myself with some different techniques. A post on site was for rustic country bread in a bread cloche.
What's that?
Turns out it can be anything that is going to keep the moisture in, in order to allow the bread to rise more, and to allow that hard crackly crust everyone loves on an artisan loaf.

Since I didn't have a bread cloche and wasn't particularly interested in trying to find space for another piece of equipment. I did some research on what else might work. Turns out a cast iron enamel dutch
 oven will do the trick nicely and I have one already. 

I have attached the recipe from website.
I did change the recipe slightly. I wouldn't be me, if I didn't put my own twist on it. I replaced a half cup AP flour for a half cup wheat flour.
We had it with Black Bean Soup and it was glorious!!

Rustic White Bread from a Bread Cloche

Recipe adapted from Emile Henry
Makes 1 large round loaf
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) warm water, 90°F - 100°F 
4 1/2 cups (1 1/4 pounds) plus 1 teaspoon unbleached all-purpose flour, 
2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the 4 1/2 cups flour, sea salt, olive oil and sugar. Stir until the flour is just moistened. Knead by hand or in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and silky, about 5 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly and let the dough ferment and rise until doubled in bulk, from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, longer in very cold weather. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form it into a tight ball by rolling it toward you on a floured surface or Silpat baking mat.
Lightly sprinkle the base (or the bottom of a 3 1/2 quart Dutch oven) with some flour. Place the dough in the center of the base. Cover with the cloche top and let the dough proof and rise until expanded 1 1/2 times in size, from 30 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, adjust your oven rack so that it is in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 450°F.
Sift more flour on the top of the dough if desired. Using a serrated knife, make three parallel cuts on the surface of the dough. Cover and bake until well risen and golden brown, approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking, if desired, until the loaf is well browned and the crust thickens.
Carefully remove the loaf from the cloche and set to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe Notes

• For a more uniform shape, allow the dough to rise in a cloth-lined bowl instead of on the base of the cloche: Line a medium-sized bowl with a clean dish towel. Sprinkle it with some flour then place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it proof as above. When fully proofed, lightly sprinkle the base with some flour. Place the dough in the center of the platter and proceed with baking.
• If you would like to bake several batches of bread in your cloche, mix the dough in stages staggered approximately 45 minutes apart. While one batch of dough is baking, proof the next loaf. You can proof the loaf in a lightly floured cloth-lined bowl or on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When it is time to bake, turn the dough out onto the heated base. Or slide the dough and parchment paper directly onto the platter when it becomes available. Trim the paper to fit under the cloche. If the cloche and base are still warm, your bread will bake more quickly. Just be careful when handling the cloche if it is very hot.