Sunday, September 30, 2012

Red-and-Yellow White Bread

This is my latest loaf of bread. I posted a picture on Facebook and one of my friends asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd put it on here so I can link it to Pinterest as well! I'll actually contribute something semi-original to Pinterest! Well, the recipe isn't mine, but the blog post will be, so I figure that's semi-original.

Sidenote: also, seriously, watched the first episode of Homeland last night and I'm obsessed. I can't stop thinking about it. Mark said the second episode would be my reward when I get my homework done. :)

On to bread-making! So the recipe came from page 614 of The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins. Here's a picture of how it came out:

It looks so pretty! And it tastes good too, luckily. Be warned, it takes about...two hours and 45 minutes to make. I didn't realize that when I started it at 8 pm on Thursday night, so I ended up getting it into the pan and then putting it in the fridge to finish the process later. I didn't end up remembering it until late Saturday night, so I took it out of the fridge and then it was too cold to rise, so I left it out overnight and finally baked it Sunday morning. It seems to have turned out fine, I don't think all that waiting hurt it any. I felt it was okay to do that because of this little blurb from page 615 of the cookbook called "Bread Shouldn't Knead You." (yes, this cookbook is very clever):

"We used to think of bread baking as an all-day chore. Not that it took all our time, but we thought we had to be there with it. Then we discovered bread needed time, but it didn't really need us. Bread making will fall into your schedule. You can mix the dough in the morning, go play tennis or run errands," (sidenote: I want these authors' lives) "come home to punch it down, shape it, and leave it to rise again. If the rise is going too fast, put the dough in the refrigerator to slow it down. Cold doesn't kill yeast - heat does. When you are ready for the bread, just take it out of the refrigerator to continue its rise."

So I felt okay leaving it in the fridge like that. I learn something new every time! Okay, and what we've all been waiting for:

(straight from the cookbook)

We've added egg yolks for a richer flavor and spiked the taste with a bit of cayenne. They both add color, too, to this sandwich bread, perfect for slicing and toasting.

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
5 to 6 tablespoons milk
1. Stir the yeast, warm water, and sugar together in a small bowl. Set the mixture aside until the yeast starts foaming, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Combine the flour, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, butter, egg yolks, and enough of the milk to form a mass of sticky dough. Let it stand for ten minutes.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle it lightly with more flour as you work.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl and turn the dough in it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
5. Oil a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.
6. Punch the dough down and shape it into a loaf. Press it into the prepared pan. Cover it loosely and let the dough rise until it nearly fills the pan, 45 to 60 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
8. Bake the bread until it is golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped with your finger, 35 to 40 minutes.
9. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
1 loaf

So, my experience was that I used all 6 tablespoons of milk. I used almond milk, which seemed to work fine. I actually haven't made any bread with regular milk yet though, so maybe I'm just used to the way it comes out with almond milk. Either way, it works fine. I've eaten four loaves of bread made with almond milk so far and enjoyed every one. I also didn't let the butter cool to room temperature, so it might end up being even better if you did that. I can't think of any other specific tips, so if you have any questions, please ask! And enjoy!