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The Staff of Life - A Primer on Baking Bread

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2013 at 13:05
You're not alone, Mike. Most folks have trouble envisioning this, until they try it.
 
The idea is that you're going to stretch just the surface of the dough, to improve the surface tension. But you don't want to collapse any of the gas.
 
So, gently lay the flat of your hands more or less in the center of the round, and draw the dough downwards and under. You will hardly change the size of the round, but will wind up with a dimple in the middle of the underside. Bakers call that the "key." You want to pinch it so that it seals.
 
It's easiest to learn this with a round bread, rather than an oblong one. Once you've got the technique down you can apply it to other shapes.
 
If you skip this step you'll probably not notice any difference, unless you do two breads, one with the tighter skin and one without, and compare them side-by-side for height and crust formation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2013 at 14:09
Ah, ok, I see what you're going for now. Thanks Brook!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2013 at 10:44

Part 6:

 

Some of the world’s favorite breads are made with enriched doughs. These include the four basic ingredients, of course. But they’re made lighter, richer, and buttery tasting primarily by the addition of fats.

 

Don’t be misled by the word fat. Certainly actual fats and oils, such as olive oil, butter, and even lard, are used to enrich doughs. But additional fats come from the addition of eggs, milk, and similar products. Enriched doughs are almost always sweetened, as well, either with sugar, honey, or other sweeteners.

 

Enriched doughs are often made in special shapes, such as crowns, twists, and pull-apart buns, or are baked in special pans to provide eye appeal to the bread.

 

The classic enriched bread is Brioche. While always appealing, Brioche jumped into even more prominence when it became the first choice of many celebrity chefs.

 

Traditionally, Brioche is formed in two parts, a larger bottom ball and a smaller ball centered on it to make a top hat. It was also baked in special fluted tins, which are available in several sizes ranging from full-sized bread to mini-buns.

 

However, there’s no need to confine yourself to the classic shape. Brioche can be made as a sandwich loaf, or in the form of muffins or rolls. It’s a very versatile dough.

 

Brioche is made by mixing the dough and letting it sit, overnight, in the fridge. This is a technique called “delayed fermentation” or, more precisely, “retarded fermentation.” We’ll have much to say about that technique later on. But, for now, you need just remember to mix the dough the night before you’ll be baking.

 

For our version we’ll make the traditional shape, making them cupcake sized. You can purchase the Brioche tins in that size. But it’s just as easy to use a standard muffin tin.  

 

Brioche Buns

 

12 Brioche or muffin tins

½ cup (4 oz) warm milk

2 tsp active dry or instant yeast

3 tbls sugar

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

4 ½ cups (20.25 oz) unbleached bread flour

2 tsp salt

2 sticks (8 oz) butter, softened

An eggwash made by combining 1 egg with 1 tbls milk

 

Start the night before:

 

Combine the milk, sugar, and active dry yeast in a mixing bowl and let bloom about five minutes. Whisk in the eggs until well blended. Alternatively, if using instant yeast, combine the milk, and eggs in the bottom of the bowl. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.

 

Add 2 cups of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, beating well. Add 2 more cups of the dry ingredients, and beat in well. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture and beat at least two minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

 

Next day, remove from fridge and let stand until the chill is off. This can take as much as two hours. While waiting, prep the Brioche or muffin tins by greasing them lightly and dusting with cornmeal or semolina.

 

When the dough has warmed, divide it into twelve pieces. Separate each piece into two, with one piece using 2/3 of the dough. Roll each piece into a ball. Place the larger ball in a tin and center the smaller ball on top of it. Cover with a dishtowel or oiled plastic wrap. Set in in a draft-free spot and let rise until doubled in bulk, which could take another two hours.

 

Preheat the oven to 350F.

 

Brush the Brioche with the egg wash and bake 20 minutes.

 

In the Emmentaler region of Switzerland they celebrate the harvest thanksgiving with a special bread called Zupfe. Similar loaves, called Zopf, are made in other parts of Switzerland. What they all have in common is that they are braided. Don’t let that throw you. As we’ll see, braiding dough isn’t much different than braiding hair.

 

Zupfe

 

2 tsp active dry yeast

1 ¼ cups (10 oz) warm milk

3/14 cups (15.75 oz) bread flour

1 ½ tsp salt

4 tbls (2 oz) unsalted butter, softened and creamed

1 tsp sugar

2 tbls kirsch or brandy

Egg glaze made with egg yolk and 1 tbls milk

 

Make a sponge: In small bowl, sprinkle the yeast into ½ cup of the milk. Stir to combine. Let sit until yeast is frothy, about five minutes. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast and draw down enough flour to form a soft paste. Cover the bowl and let it sit, about 20 minutes, until the sponge is frothy and slightly risen.

 

Pour about half the remaining milk into the well. Mix in the flour, salt, butter, sugar, and kirsch or brandy. Stir in the reserved milk, as needed, to form a soft, moist dough.

 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth, shiny, and elastic, about ten minutes, adjusting with water or flour as needed. If using a stand mixer, knead five minutes.

 

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a dish towel or plastic film, and set in a draft-free location until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½-2 hours. Punch down.

 

Repeat for a second rise. Punch down and let dough rest ten minutes. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Roll each piece to form a 16 inch long rope.

 

Shape the loaf: The key to an evenly braided bread is to start in the middle. If you begin braiding at one end, the opposite end will be thinner, because you can’t help stretching the dough as you work.

     To make the braid, lay the three ropes side by side, with the long direction away from you, on a lightly floured work surface. Starting halfway up, pass the left-hand rope over the middle rope. Then pass the right hand rope over what is now the middle one. Continue in that manner until reaching the end, which should be tucked and pinched to create a finished look.

     Turn the loaf and braid the other half.

 

Preheat the oven to 350F.

 

Transfer the braided dough to a baking sheet that’s been dusted with cornmeal or semolina. Cover with a dish towel or oiled plastic film. Set in a draft-free location until doubled in bulk, about 35-45 minutes.

 

Brush the top of the loaf with the egg glaze.

 

Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2013 at 10:54

Brook,

 
Truly lovely segment and very valuable thread on whole ...
 
Thanks so much for posting and taking the time to type this here for all of us to have as a reference.
 
All my best,
Marge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 07:44

Part 7:

 

Using the methods we’ve discussed so far you can bake, literally, hundreds of different breads. With one or two exceptions these can all be done as single-rise, single-day loaves. Even if you use a double rise, most of them can be completed from raw materials to finished bread in less than a day.

 

Now we’re going to move into some more advanced techniques. Don’t get your panties in a bunch over the word “advanced” though. All it means is that we’ll be taking some extra steps, and extending the time frame out to two, or even three days.

 

I can hear you saying, “Oh my God! Three days! Is he kidding?” Fully understandable. I would have had the same reaction five years ago. But, as it turns out, these extra steps just require a little more planning. And there are ways to avoid devoting the time all at once if that’s a problem.

 

Is it worth putting in the extra time and effort? IMO, absolutely! Using them can elevate your bread from good to great.

 

The first thing we’ll discuss are pre-ferments. That’s another one of those technical terms. All it means is that you’ll make what your grandma probably called a starter, and use that as your primary leavening agent.

 

European bakers traditional kept a piece of today’s dough and used it to jump start tomorrow’s bread baking. All that pre-ferments do is formalize that process, and make it a little more consistent. Besides which, saving a piece of yesterday’s dough only works if you bake every day. And how many of us do that?

 

What that does for us, though, is provide an extensional definition for pre-ferments. What they are, quite simple, is a process in which you make one dough, then use it to create a second dough. These are called “indirect” doughs.

 

You’re probably already familiar with the idea. The sponges we’ve been using in many of our recipes, for instance, are one form of a pre-ferment. The ultimate pre-ferment is the mother used to create sourdough. Even if you’ve never tried maintaining one, you no doubt have heard of them. Sourdough, because it uses wild yeast, is a special class of bread. So we’ll hold off on discussing it for now.

 

Pre-ferments are useful because they slow down the fermentation process, allowing more flavor to be released from the wheat. In simplistic terms, the yeast and enzymes have time to convert the starches to sugars. This not only makes a more flavorsome bread, it leads to better crust formation.

 

How so? Again, over-simplifying what is a complicated chemical reaction, crust is produced when surface sugars caramelize. Obviously, the more sugar present the more efficiently this happens.

 

With the exception of sponges, which are always prepared as part of the dough-making process, pre-ferments are made the day before you bake. For home bakers, that usually means the evening before. They are then left to ferment overnight; sometimes at room temperature, sometimes in the fridge.

 

They can be made up to three days in advance, and kept in the fridge. Or you can freeze them for up to three months with no loss of quality. Frozen starters should be thawed overnight in the fridge, then taken out and allowed to stand at room temperature to remove the chill before using---which can take as much as two hours. That take-off-the-chill period applies to any preferment that has been kept in the fridge.

 

Because I use pate fermentee more than any other pre-ferment, I’ll typically spend some time making a big batch, then freeze it in use-sized portions. For this I take quart-sized zipper bags, spray the inside with oil, and put in the appropriate amount of pate fermentee. The bags are labeled, dated, and popped in the freezer.

 

There are two kinds of firm pre-ferments, and two moist ones. Modern American bakers have adopted the European names for them, and we’ll continue to do so.

 

The firm pre-ferments are called Pate Fermentee and Biga. Many home bakers think they are synonymous terms; that Pate Fermentee is the French version, and Biga the Italian. But they are different. Pate Fermentee is, at base, a recipe for making a French bread dough on a small scale. Bigas, on the other hand, while superficially resembling it, are made without salt.

 

The wet pre-ferments are sponges and Poolishes. You’re already familiar with sponges if you’ve made any of the breads in this series. A Poolish is a very moist mixture, with the flour and water (or other liquid) weighing the same. That is, in any Poolish formula, the water will be 100%---or close to it. While a Poolish can be frozen, it hardly pays to do so, because they take very little time to make.

 

The precise mixtures of pre-ferments vary slightly, baker to baker and author to author. As we discussed with flour, it’s best to be consistent, and use the same recipe all the time. With one exception, I use Peter Reinhart’s recipes, taken from his The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and those are the ones I’ll post here. If you’re more comfortable with somebody else’s, then use them. It’s not so much the specific recipe that matters as it does the technique

 

Oh, yeah. The one exception is when I make Bavarian style soft pretzels. In that case I use Eric Kastel’s pate fermentee, as found in his Artisan Breads at Home. Eventually I’ll post the entire procedure for making them.

 

The second advanced technique we’ll be discussing is called “delayed fermentation” or “retarded fermentation.” 

 

We’ve already talked about the benefits of extending fermentation time to provide better flavor and texture to the finished bread. Retarded fermentation carries this to the ultimate that is practical for home bakers. To accomplish it you put the dough in the fridge overnight. In that environment, yeast and enzyme activity will continue. But it will do so at an incredibly slow rate. Most of the time, when you remove the dough from the fridge, there will have been hardly any expansion at all.

 

Depending on the particular bread, this retarded fermentation takes place immediately after mixing the dough; after the first rising; or, in some cases, after shaping the loaf. Sometimes all the stages go through retardation, but that’s fairly rare. Most typical is a double retardation. The pre-ferment, obviously, has been in the fridge at least overnight. And then the finished dough, in one form or another, goes in the fridge for a second retardation.

 

Finally, let’s talk about steaming. Dough, when put in the oven, is happiest in a humid environment. Both oven spring and crust formation are affected by the amount humidity, particularly at the start of the baking process.

 

Commercial bread ovens have built-in steam injectors to maintain this higher humidity. Obviously, this isn’t practical for the home baker. So various techniques have evolved for simulating that.

 

I’ve tried several, and here’s what works best for me. Put a baking dish (wide and shallow works best) in the bottom of the oven, with 2 cups of water, as the oven preheats. Set the oven 25F-50F degrees higher than your baking temperature.

 

Set the dough on the middle rack of the oven. Close the oven and wait two minutes. Then, using a spray bottle, open the door, spray the bottom and sides of the oven (avoiding the built-in light) and close the oven. Repeat the spray 30 seconds later, and repeat 30 seconds after that. Lower the oven to the baking temperature, and bake until done.

 

Speaking of baking, because most home ovens do not heat evenly, it’s a good idea to bake the bread halfway, then rotate it for the balance of time.

 

Can you skip these steps? Without a doubt. As we’ve seen in the first six installments, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of great tasting breads are baked every day without them. But if you do use these techniques you’ll produce breads that are far superior to any you have baked before.

 

And, who knows, it might turn out, as it did with me, that you develop a passion for bread making.

 


 

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Part 8:

 

Last time we started discussing advanced bread baking techniques. As we did in the beginning of this series, we’ll take them one at a time, learning as we go.

 

Here is the recipe for the first pre-ferment, taken from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice:

 

Pate Fermentee

 

1 1/8 cups (5 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/8 cps (5 oz) unbleached bread flour

¼ tsp  (.19 oz) salt

½ tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast

¾ cup to ¾ cup plus 2 tbls (6-7 oz) water at room temperature

 

Stir together the flours, salt, and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add ¾ cup of the water, stirring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball (or mix on low speed for 1 minutes with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer). Adjust the flour or water according to need, so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff. (it is better to err on the sticky side, as you can adjust easier during kneading. It is harder to add water once the dough firms up).

 

Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes), or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature should be 77F to 81F.

 

Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it arund to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 1 hour, or until it swells to about 1 ½ times its original size.

 

Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freedze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.

 

And to use it, we’ll make a Pain de Campagne. This is my go-to bread. So much so, in fact, that the book falls open to that page, it’s been used so often.

 

In France, particularly in Paris, they tend to call any bread not a baguette a Pain de Campagne. This translates as “country bread.” The generic French bread sold in American markets is a form of Pain de Campagne.

 

As noted, I make this a lot. Not only is it great tasting, it’s very versatile in terms of size and shape. Literally any bread shape can be formed from this dough, and you can make anything from dinner rolls to oversized boules from it.

 

Most of the time I shape it as a batard. But for dinner parties, when I really want to impress guests, I make it as an Epi (i.e., Sheaf of Wheat), which is merely a baguette cut into a fancy form.

 

Pain de Campagne

 

3 cups (16 oz) pate fermentee (one recipe as above)

13/4 cups (8 oz) unbleached bread flour

1/3 cup (1.5 oz) whole wheat or rye flour or combination of the two

¼ tsp (.19 oz) salt

1 tsp (.11 oz) instant yeast

¾ cup (6 oz) lukewarm water

 

At least one hour ahead of time, remove the pate fermentee from the fridge. Cut it into 12-15 small pieces, dust in flour, and set aside, covered, to take the chill off.

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or mixing bowl if doing this by hand) combine the flours, salt, yeast, and pate fermentee. Add the water, stirring until everything come together a makes a coarse ball. If necessary add a little water, no more than 1 tablespoon at a time, to gather any loose flour. Dough should be soft and pliable.

 

Knead the dough, 8-10 minutes by hand, or 5-6 minutes by machine, adding more bread flour if needed to create a dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky.

 

Form the dough into a ball and set it in an oiled bowl, turning the ball to coat all sides. Cover the bowl and set in a draft-free location. Let rise until double in bulk, up to two hours.

 

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and divide it into three or more pieces, depending on the shape you desire. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, sprinkle them with cornmeal or semolina, and transfer the shaped loaves to them, leaving room for expansion. Lightly mist the dough with spray oil, cover loosely with plastic film, and set in a draft-free location until 1 ½ times their original size, about an hour.

 

Preheat the oven to 500F. Put the pans on the middle rack of the oven. If they both won’t fit, stagger them on separate shelves, remembering to not only rotate them, but to switch places, halfway through the baking.

Steam the oven as described above. Lower the heat to 450F and continue baking for ten minutes. Rotate the pans and bake 10-15 minutes more. Loaves should be a rich golden brown all over and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, or register 200F to 205F on a probe thermometer.

 

Transfer the loaves to a wire rack and let cool.

 

To make an Epi start by forming the dough into a batard. Roll and stretch it until it is baguette shaped; that is, long and thin. Using a kitchen shears make the cuts. Holding the shears at a shallow angle, cut about ¾ through the dough. Bend this ear to the right. Make another cut, and bend that ear to the left. Continue in that manner the length of the loaf.

 

To make sub rolls, divide the dough into six or eight pieces. Form each piece into a miniature batard. Reduce the baking time by at least five minutes.

 

For dinner rolls, divide the dough into six or eight pieces. Form each piece into a miniature boule. If desired, use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to create interesting designs.  

 

Margi recently posted a Pain de Campagne recipe http://www.foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/pan-de-campagne-de-provene_topic3095.html that I tried a couple of days ago. It differs primarily in the greater amount of rye flour used, compared to my standard. Frankly, it’s a much better tasting bread, and is likely to become my new best friend.

 

Next time I make it, however, I’ll put the finished dough through a retarded fermentation to see if it makes it even better. Retarding fermentation of the dough always makes a better bread. Sometimes dramatically so, other times in a barely perceptible manner.

 

I’m anxious to see how it affects Margi’s recipe, because it’s already a superior bread, well worth making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2013 at 09:59
Keep up the outstanding work, Brook ~
 
I gotta admit, I've learned more in your primer just in the last few days, than in all the years previously when I fumbled around trying to learn on my own. Very easy-reading and informative style -
 
... and inspiring as well! I'm looking forward to applying a few things!
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I'm looking forward to your treatise on a retarded ferment Pain de Campagne.
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Part 9:

 

Many bread recipes start out with a slack (i.e., moist and somewhat sticky) dough. While you can use a firm pre-ferment for these, you have to adjust the liquid content upwards. That being the case, you may as well start with a moist pre-ferment to begin with. That’s where a Poolish comes in.

 

The big difference between a Pate Fermentee and a Poolish is their runniness. Firm pre-ferments are, in effect, already dough. In theory you could make a Pate Fermentee in a large enough quantity and bake it. Moist pre-ferments, on the other hand, are closer to being batters than doughs. They are incredibly hydrated, with the liquid content running at least 100%. Here, for instance, is Peter Reinhart’s version:

 

Poolish

 

2 ½ cups (11.25 oz) unbleached bread flour

1 ½ cups (12 oz) water at room temperature

¼ tsp (.03 oz) instant yeast

 

Stir together the flour, water, and yeast in a mixing bowl until all the flour is hydrated. The dough should be soft and sticky and look like very thick pancake batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, or until it becomes bubbly and foamy. Immediately refrigerate it. It will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

 

Note that in this formula the water content is 107%. Actually, I should say liquid, because you could just as easily use milk.

 

The difference between a Poolish and a standard sponge is merely fermentation time. Remember, we only ferment sponges about 20 minutes. And, whereas sponges can be used with both firm and slack doughs, Poolishes are only used with slack doughs.

 

Handling slack doughs presents special challenges. They’ll stretch and distort just by picking them up. And they have to be retained, at least until they’ve risen, or they’ll run out in a puddle. For shaped breads, such as baguettes and Ciabattas, retention is achieved by creating a temporary trough with baking canvass. Other times they’re contained by sidewalls of the baking pan, or allowed to run until their own surface tension stops them, to form flatbreads, such as Focaccia.

 

The problem is simple: We all love many of these breads, and want to rush into baking them. But, because of the special handling requirements, this likely leads to failures and frustrations. So my recommendation is that you get a bit of experience with firm doughs before taking on these challenges.

 

To show you what’s involved, we’ll start with Ciabatta, one of the most popular breads in both Italy and America. It’s also one of the most difficult breads to pull off.

 

Although rustic breads such as this one have a long tradition, the name “Ciabatta” only stems from the mid-20th century. A baker in the Lake Como region noticed that the amorphous shape of these breads resembled the slippers worm by dancers. He named his version “Ciabatta di Como,” and the name stuck.

 

Start by preparing the baking cloth. Professionals use linen for this, but that’s cost prohibitive for the home baker. Instead, muslin, light canvas, or even an old tablecloth with do. Or you can find kits in some stores that include a couple of sizes of baking cloths.

 

First time you use it start by spraying it with oil, then flouring it. After that just keep it floured each time you use it.

 

It use you’ll create a couche, which mere means that you’ll bunch the cloth to create channels and sidewalls. You’ll want the troughs to be as wide as your intended dough, and the sidewalls higher than it. In effect, you are creating a series of very high wrinkles.

 

BTW, the softer the cloth the easier this is to do, which is why linen is preferred over canvas.

 

 

Ciabatta

 

3 ¼ cups (22.75 oz) poolish (one recipe)

3 cups (13.5 oz) unbleached bread flour

1 ¾ tsp (.44 oz) salt

1 ½ tsp (.17 oz) instant yeast

6 tbls to ¾ cup (3 to 6 oz) lukewarm water (or substitute milk or buttermilk for all or part of the water). Using milk will make a more tender bread.

Semolina or cornmeal for dusting

 

Remove the poolish from the refrigerator at least at hour before you need it, to take the chill off.

 

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and yeast. Add the poolish and six tablespoons of the water. Mix the ingredients to form a sticky ball. If necessary, add a little more water to pick up any loose flour. Use the spoon like a dough hook to mix the  mass thoroughly until it forms a smooth, sticky dough. This will take five to seven minutes. Alternatively, use the paddle attachment on the stand mixer, switching to the dough hook for the final couple of minutes.

 

Sprinkle enough flour on your work surface to create a square about 8 inches on a side. Transfer the dough to this bed, and perform a stretch & fold. What you’ll do is grasp the dough from both sides and stretch it in both directions, while simultaneously folding it in thirds. Spray the dough with oil, dust with flour, cover with plastic film, and let rest 30 minutes.

 

Stretch and fold the dough again, mist with spray oil, dust with flour, cover, and let frerment on the counter for 1 ½ to 2 hours. The dough will expand, but not necessarily double in bulk.

 

Lay your baking cloth on a work surface.

 

Carefully peel the plastic off the dough. Using a bench scraper that has been dipped in water, divide the dough into three rectangles, trying to degas it as little as possible. Generously flour the dough, then use the scraper to lift each piece from the counter. Roll both sides in the loose flour to coat.

 

Lay the loaves on the cloth and gently fold each piece letter style, working from the long ends, creating an oblong about 6 inches long. Bunch the cloth between pieces to create the couche walls. Mist the loaves with spray oil, dust with flour, and cover the cloth with towels.

 

If you think all this sounds awkward, wait until you try it.

 

Proof the dough for 45 to 60 minutes until it has noticeably swelled.

 

Preheat the oven to 500F. Steaming will be required, so set the oven up for that.

 

Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina or cornmeal and very gently transfer the dough pieces to the peel or pan, using the bench scraper to help support them. Lift the dough from each end and tug it out to a length of 9-12 inches. If it bulges too high in the middle, gently dimple it down with your fingertips to even it out. Slide the doughs onto the baking stone, or bake directly on the sheet pan. Steam the oven. After the final spray, lower the heat to 450F and bake for ten minutes. Rotate the loaves for even baking, and bake 4 to ten minutes longer, or until done. Loaves should be a golden color (but with dusty streaks due to all the dusting flour). They will feel hard and crusty when removed from the oven, but will soften as they cool.

 

Transfer the loaves to a wire rack and let them cool.

Baguettes were traditionally shaped using a couche, and still are by smaller bakeries in France. Fortunately, there now are specially shaped baguette pans for this purpose. If you want to try your hand at baguettes (and what bread maker doesn’t), I recommend getting one of those pans instead of frustrating yourself trying to more the long, thin doughs on and off a couche.

 

 


 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2013 at 14:47

Part 10:

 

As a primer we’ve pretty well covered the bases. With the exception of sourdough, there isn’t a bread recipe I know of that you can’t make, now that you’ve learned the basics.

 

There are short sourdoughs, in which the starter only ages two or three days, which would be included. Real sourdough, however, using a mother that is made with wild yeast and maintained for years, requires skills far beyond the scope of this series. So I’m not going to discuss it.

 

If you’ve been making bread following this series, however, you’ve certainly got the skills. There are numerous sources of info that you can turn to.

 

What I am going to do, however, is provide a running commentary on breads and bread making. There will be bits and pieces, in no particular order, that fill in the gaps, answer questions, talk about techniques we haven’t discussed, and provide recipes that interest me. Hopefully you’ll find them interesting as well. And, of course, if you have questions or concerns I'll do my best to address them.  

 

First off, I want to share a short bibliography. I don’t pretend it’s at all exhaustive---a list of books that deal just with bread making, or in which bread plays a significant role would stretch as long as this entire primer. Indeed, just the books titled “Bread,” or “Breads of the World” would go on for pages. Instead, what I’m going to do is list the six books I find myself returning to, over and over, either for information or recipes.

 

1. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Peter Reinhart, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, 2001. Although Reinhart’s own Crust & Crumb and other books about baking “artisan” breads predates this by several years, BBA is the book most credited with starting the revolution in home bread making; popularizing concepts like retarded fermentation and the use of pre-ferments.

 

2. Bread Alone, Daniel Leader & Judith Blahnik, William Morrow and Co., New York, 1993.  Dan Leader’s seminal work covers much of the same ground as BBA. It is slightly more technical, though, and, being based on the methods he used at his bakery of the same name, often seems more commercially oriented. Still and all, it provides many insights not found in Reinhart’s work.

 

3. Ultimate Bread, Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno, DK Publishing, New York, 2004. Although published in the 21st century, Ultimate Bread is sort of a throwback to the simpler pre-artisan days of baking bread. Their recipes, for instance, use only volume measurements. Sponges are the closest thing they come to using pre-ferments. And almost all their 100 or so recipes are single-rise, single-day productions. But there are some truly great tasting breads to be found here.

 

4. Flatbreads & Flavors, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, William Morrow & Sons, New York, 1995 (hardback), 2008 (softbound).  One of my all-time favorite cookbooks. Alford and Duguid traveled around the world, collecting flatbread recipes from the native peoples wherever they went. In addition, they provide recipes for savory foods of those same cultures that go well with the breads being discussed. This is the only book I know of devoted strictly to flatbreads.

 

5. A Baker’s Odyssey, Greg Patent, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2007. Have you seen Mo Rocca’s Food Network show, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli?” Greg Patent did it first, with baked goods. The book’s sub line “celebrating time-honored recipes from America’s rich immigrant heritage” sums it up. Not strictly a bread book, in does contain a wealth of ethnic breads, along with other baked goods---both savory and sweet---provided by folks who are maintaining the food culture of their forebears.

 

6. Bread: The Breads of the World and How to Bake Them at Home, Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter, Anness Publishing Ltd, London, England, 1999. This is a relative newcomer to my collection. I’d come across it in the library, browsed through it, and had to order a copy. If there ever was a bread book that seemed written for our Foods of the World forum, this is it! It’s an exploration of bread from all over the globe. About 2/3 of it is a pictorial with text, providing insights into the history, shape, texture, and rationale for each bread, sometimes comparing them to similar breads from other regions and countries. The last third of the book contains recipes for 100 traditional breads from various cultures.

 

This raises another point. There is no particular reason to invest a lot of money in bread books. Not when today’s libraries contain so many books on the subject. I’ve read maybe 30 such books that I don’t own. But every one of them provides unique information or recipes that are useful.

 

For instance, there is a bread shape called a “couronne,” which translates as “crown.” Basically it’s a bread made into a ring shape. Reinhart starts with a boule, punches a hole in the middle, and then stretches the ring to the size he wants, making a seamless loaf. Most bakers start by rolling the dough into a thick rope, forming a circle and sealing the seam where the ends meet.

 

My library has a volume simply called The Bread Book. IMO it is generally unremarkable, and not worth owning. But there are things in it well worth knowing. Example: It has a recipe for a fruit-filled couronne that is formed unlike any other I’d seen. You start by rolling the dough into a thin rectangle. Then you spread the filling on the dough, and roll it like a jelly roll. But it goes even further.

 

After filling and rolling the rope you carefully slice it in halve lengthwise. Then, keeping both halves cut-side upwards you twist them together. Then form the circle and seal the ends.

 

Being as that was one of the few things in the book I found worthwhile, I copied it for my files.

 

Lo and behold, the technique is not so unique after all. Ingram and Shapter, for instance, use the same method for making a Danish savory crown, filled with onions and cheese. But the fact remains that I learned it from a book I have no intention of ever buying.

 

My point, if it needs stating, is that if there’s only one, or two, or half a dozen things to learn from a bread book it’s worth reading it, even if you’ll never own it.

 

I’d be remiss, too, if I didn’t talk about the web as a source of bread making info and recipes. To be sure, there are web sites that focus on bread.  The Fresh Loaf (www.thefreshloaf.com)  is perhaps the best of them, but there are others. If you can’t learn from those sites you’re really not trying.

 

On the other hand, be cautious using those all-too-many recipe dump sites. In my experience, most of them are the next best thing to useless. Recipes of any kind are rarely tested, and errors abound. Ingredients are left out or misstated. Instructions are written poorly, with steps often omitted or written incorrectly. This tends to be even more true when bread is involved.

 

Once you’ve got some bread making experience you may be able to spot the mistakes, and adapt for them. But if you’re just beginning, you’ll more likely frustrate yourself when the bread doesn’t come out right.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2013 at 15:56
Brook,
 
Firstly, thanks so much for all the labor taken to create such a Bread Encyclopedia for all of here at FOTW ...
 
I truly have enjoyed following the chapters ...
 
Kindest regards,
Marge.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2013 at 18:25
   Oh my word, Brook! 

  I had missed this post until today.  I have only finished part one so far, I just wanted to take some time to tell you thank you for posting this.  You're far too humble a man...this is really quite good instruction...very nicely written too.  I don't know if you remember, but you are primarily responsible for my deeper adventures in bread making.  I plan to read the rest of your installments giving each time to digest.

   Thanks again!

 Dan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2013 at 20:51
Sure, I remember Dan. And if I were able to help, well, isn't that the point of these forums?
 
Why don't you share some of your bread-baking experiences with the group? I'm sure that will help fill in any blanks, or provide other ways of achieving the goal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2013 at 10:43
Brook,
 
I was wondering if you would be planning a chapter on STUFFED BREADS, for example; ethnic stuffed breads to be exact; those gorgeous breads filled with olives, sausage, ham, hard boiled egg and even --- sweet tooth fillings, RAISIN BREAD FOR EXAMPLE ...
 
Look forward to hearing from other members too ...
 
Thanks in advance.
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Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

Sure, I remember Dan. And if I were able to help, well, isn't that the point of these forums?
 
Why don't you share some of your bread-baking experiences with the group? I'm sure that will help fill in any blanks, or provide other ways of achieving the goal.



   I'm still firmly in the apprenticeship phase.  I'll speak up if I come across anything as I read it.

   again...thanks!

  Dan
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Part 11:

 

I promised, earlier, to provide the complete procedure for making Bavarian style soft pretzels. So here goes.

 

This whole thing is taken from Eric Kastlel’s Artisan Breads at Home. In general, I am not a fan of the  at Home series. The CIA (Culinary Institute of America) started with good intentions; to convert their professional training literature into teaching at-home cooks. They just didn’t pull it off very well, and, in fact, the first five of them were published without testing recipes on home equipment.

 

A case could be made that up to its 2010 publication date, Artisan Breads was the worst of the series. Indeed, I did make that case when I reviewed it. It suffers  all the faults of the others, plus a whole passel of its own. I tell you this to explain why you didn’t find it on my list of preferred books last time.

 

But as I stressed then, even a bad book often has information you can use. And so it is with this one. Among the few things from it that have become a part of my repertory is Kastel’s pretzel recipe. The dough is certainly the best such that I’ve tried---and I’ve gone through a bunch of pretzel recipes. More to the point: Although most soft-pretzel recipes talk about using a lye bath to create the signature crust, Kastel is one of the few that actually walks you through the process. And that alone is worthwhile.

 

Kastel uses a slightly different Pate Fermentee than Reinhart. So we’ll start with that. One note: As befits somebody whose professional experience is as a production manager of large commercial bakeries, Kastel only uses power equipment for mixing and kneading. If you want to do things by hand, you should have no trouble by now.

 

Kastel is also a big believer in malt syrup in his doughs. Malt does have certain effects on a final dough. But the fact is you probably won’t notice much difference if you leave it out. I do.

 

Pate Fermentee (Kastel)

 

¼ cup (2.4 oz) warm water

¾ cup (3.5 oz) flour

Pinch instant yeast

Pinch salt

 

Make the pate fermentee the day before you want to mix the dough. Put the water in the bowl of a mixer, combine the flour with the yeast and salt, and add the flour mixture to the bowl. Place on a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix for 4 minutes on low speed or until homogenous. Place in a lightly oiled bowl large enough for it to double in size. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Allow the pate fermentee to ferment at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 18 hours or up to 3 days.

 

Pretzels

 

For the final dough:

 

1 Pate Fermentee recipe

1 ¼ cups (9.9 oz) water

¼ cup (.4 oz) malt syrup

3 ¾ cup (19.3 oz) high-gluten flour (or sub unbleached bread flour)

2 ½ tsp (.3 oz) instant yeast

2 tsp (.4 oz) salt

2 tbls (1 oz) butter at room temperature

Coarse salt for garnish

 

For the lye solution:

 

3 cups (24 oz) boiling water

3 tbls (1.25 oz) food grade lye

1 cup (8 oz) cold water

 

Make the pate fermentee two days before you intend baking the pretzels.

 

Put the water, pate fermentee and malt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix for 1 minute on low speed to break up the pate fermentee. You can also first break the pate fermentee up with a scraper. Combine the flour and yeast and add to the pate fermentee, then add the salt and butter.  Mix for 10 minutes on low speed, making sure to scrape down and flip the dough over in the bowl 3 times. The dough should be very strong and stiff.

 

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Divide it into six 5-ounce pieces. Preshape the pieces tightly into 5 oblongs. Place the pieces on the work surface, seam side up, and cover. Allow the dough to rest for five minutes.

 

Put a piece of dough on a clean, dry surface with no flour and flatten it. Fold the dough over in thirds, making sure to tighten well. Roll each piece out to 30 inches. If the dough becomes too elastic to roll to the full length, stop rolling to allow the dough to rest and shape the other portions part of the way, then go back to the first one you started to roll and finish them all in consecutive order. Put a 30-inch rope on a work surface and form it into an upside-down U. Take each end piece and cross them over in the middle twice. Then take each end and bring it to the top inside of the U. Make sure to press the ends in well; if needed you can moisten the ends with water. Place the shaped pretzel on a baking tray lined with parchment paper that is sprayed with oil. Finish shaping all the pieces and place on the tray.

 

Refrigerate the pretzels, uncovered, overnight (a minimum of 8 hours) so they form a skin.

 

To bake the pretzels, preheat the oven to 475F. Remove the pretzels from the refrigerator 15 minutes before baking. Line a baking tray with oiled parchment paper.

 

Prepare the lye solution. Cover your work surface with newspapers. Pour the boiling water into a stainless steel bowl on your work surface. Wearing gloves, measure the lye into another stainless steel bowl. Add to the bowl of water, then stir with a metal whist until the lye is dissolved. Add the cold water and stir. Let this sit for ten minutes. Wearing gloves, dip 2 pretzels in the solution for 15 seconds, then take each one out with both hands, let the solution drip off, and place the pretzels on the prepared tray. Repeat this process with the rest of the pretzels. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

 

(Note: I have never been able to do this two at a time. If you can only handle one at a time, that’s just fine)

 

Put the tray in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 450F. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the pretzels are dark brown.

 

Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the pretzels from the tray to a cooling rack.

 

Note: To make different shapes, scale and shape the dough accordingly. Follow dipping and baking instructions as above: For rolls, 2 ounces each. For stuffed sticks, 4 ounces each (5 inches long). For subs, 5 ounces each (5 inches long)

 


 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2013 at 14:21
That's a really good idea, Margi. In fact I had considered it, but hadn't reached a decision. Now that I know there's interest, it's on the list.
 
Stuffed breads can be simple, to be sure. But they also rank among the most complex breads to make. They often entail extra steps, and specialized shaping methods or baking containers. But the results can be incredible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2013 at 17:16
Brook Thanks so much in advance. Yes they do require some complex shaping, the rolling, the placing of the fillings and special baking pans sometimes. Though as you have stated, they are quite delicious ... Also special ingredients for toppings, egg wash glazing in some cases and time. Look very forward to your addition. TU again Marge
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Part 12

 

It should come as no surprise that I’m a big fan of flatbreads. All kinds, from all over the world.

 

Apparently, I’m not alone in this. Flatbreads have taken the country by storm. Everywhere you go, from casual dining to four star restaurants you find them on the menu. And celebrity chefs present them, seemingly, on every episode of their shows.

 

For a while there was an unfortunate trend to call any flatbread with toppings a pizza. Many of the---shall we say---strange toppings resulted. While that syndrome still applies, many of the celebrity chefs have stopped doing that. They now refer to the base merely as flatbread, or use the actual name of the particular bread.

 

Worldwide there are probably as many forms of flatbread as there are risen loafs. Although I can’t document it, my gut feeling is that the two most popular flatbreads in America are pizza and pita, with focaccia, perhaps, coming in a distant third.

 

I am not going to give you a recipe nor instructions for pizza. There are several reasons for this, but the most cogent one is that I can’t make pizza. At least not in any form you’d recognize. I’ve tried many doughs, listened to instructions ad nauseum, and spent countless hours watching pizza pros do their thing. But when it comes to actually handling the dough, and shaping it, there’s something in my make-up that rebels.

 

So, if somebody wants to pick up the slack, and add a chapter on pizza making, please do so.

 

Ironically, I don’t have the same problem with pita, which is a much more difficult bread to pull off successfully. I’ve tried numerous recipes and methods, and have settled on the one used in Flatbreads & Flavors as my most favored.

 

Ideally, pita is baked quickly, in a hot oven, on pre-heated quarry tiles. A baking sheet will work almost as well. But it has to be scorching hot. I put the pans in the oven when I turn it on to preheat to assure this.

 

You can also “bake” pita on a hot griddle, on top of the stove. I’ve never had consistent results with that method, but others have. It might be worth giving it a go.

 

Caution: If your idea of pita is those plastic-wrapped disks from the supermarket, don’t make this recipe. It will spoil you, and you’ll never be satisfied again with commercially produced ones.

 

Pita

 

2 tsp active dry yeast

2 ½ cups (20 oz) lukewarm water

3 cups (13.5 oz)unbleached bread flour

3 cups (13.5 oz) whole wheat bread flour

1 tbls salt

1 tbls olive oil

 

Combine the flours.

 

In a large bowl sprinkle the yeast over the water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in 3 cups flour, a cup at a time, then stir 100 times, about a minute, stirring in the same direction to activate the gluten. Let this sponge rest, covered, for at least 10 minutes or as long as 2 hours.

 

Sprinkle the salt over the sponge and stir in the olive oil. Mix well. Add more flour, a ckup at a time, until the dough is too stiff to stir. Urn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead eight to 10 minutes. Rinse the bowl, dry and oil it lightly. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ hours.

 

Place unglazed quarry tiles, or two small baking sheets, on the bottom rack of your oven, leaving a 1-inch gap all around between the tiles or pans and the oven walls to allow heat to circulate. Preheat the oven to 450F.

 

Punch down the dough. Divide the dough in half, then set half aside, covered, while you work with the rest. Divide the other half into eight equal pieces and flatten each piece with lightly floured hands. Roll out each piece to a circle, eight to nine inches in diameter and less than ¼ inch thick. Keep the rolled-out breads covered until ready to bake, but do not stack them.

 

Place two breads (or more if your oven is large enough---I generally do four at a time) on the tiles or pans, and bake two to three inutes, or until each bread has gone into a full “balloon.” If there are seams or dry bits of dough, or for a variety of other reasons---e.g. your baking surface isn’t preheated enough---the breads may not balloon properly. But don’t worry, they will still taste great. As you bake pita more often you’ll develop tricks and techniques to assure even ballooning.

 

Wrap the baked breads together in a large kitchen towel to keep warm and soft while you bake the remaining rolled-out breads. Then repeat with the rest of the dough.

 

Ksra, the ubiquitous flatbread of Morocco, is one of my favorites. It’s also a lot easier to make than Pita.

 

As is true with so many household breads of the world, there are numerous versions; thick and thin, large and small, flavorings added or left out. Almost universally, though, its hallmark is the surface decorations made with the tines of a fork

 

I’ve already posted one version, flavored with anise, which you can find at http://www.foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/moroccan-anise-bread_topic2000.html

 

Although Pita is the most well known flatbread of the eastern Mediterranean there are many others. One I’ve only recently started making is Barbari---Persian Sesame Bread.

 

This is undoubtedly the favorite breakfast bread in Iran, where they often top it with crumbled white cheese and sprinkled with fresh herbs. It’s also made in a spicy seeded version, which we’ll look at as well.

 

Barbari

 

1 tsp honey

1 ¼ cups (10 oz) water

2 tsp active dry yeast

3 ¼ cups (14.63 oz) unbleached bread flour

1 ½ tsp salt

2 tbls olive oil plus extra to glaze

2 tsp sesame seeds

 

Stir the honey into 2/3 cup of the water in a bowl, then sprinkle in the yeast. Let stand five minutes, stirring to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and our in the dissolved yeast.

 

Draw enough of the flour into the yeast to form a soft paste. Cover the bowl and sponge until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.

 

Pour about half the remaining water and the olive oil into the well. Mix in the rest of the flour. Stir in the reserved water, as needed, to form a firm, moist dough.

 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth, shiny, and elastic, about ten minutes.

 

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½-2 hours. Punch down, then let rest ten minutes.

 

Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a round five inches across and one inch thick. Cover and proof until doubled in bulk, about 30-45 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 425F. At the same time, preheat two baking sheets in the oven until very hot.  

 

Meanwhile, use your fingertips to gently press into the surface of the dough to form nine dimples, about ¾ inch deep, across the top of each round. Brush each with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 

Dust the baking sheets with cornmeal or semolina. Place the shaped dough on the hot baking sheets and bake 20 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.

 

To make the spicy version: Mix one teaspoon paprika and ¼ teaspoon cayenne into the flour before combining with the yeast. After brushing the shaped rounds with olive oil sprinkle each with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and cumin seeds evenly over the tops. Then bake as above.

 

If you share my fascination with flatbreads, I recommend you get a copy of Flatbreads and Flavors. It is, imo, the definitive work on the subject.

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2013 at 20:13
Chapati or roti. These are small unleavened flat breads about 5 or 6 inches in diameter and maybe a little more than 1/8" thick that are completely hollow inside. When cooking they expand into almost round spheres, after which they collapse into flat breads. These things are made all throughout Asia. It's a very old way of making bread. I wonder how many trillions of these little breads have been made over the last several thousand years.

I've made these a number of times. I'm good at it. They're simple things but interesting to make. Interesting in that to make a bunch of them you gotta move quickly. And it helps to have one special tool. I took a small pair of ice cube tongs and filed the teeth off and smoothed things well and flattened the ends a little so to create a tool to gently manipulate the rotis. You could do it with your fingers, but you gotta be fast and tough.

Anyway, here goes:

One rounded cup of whole wheat flour.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
Ghee

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add water to form a soft dough and knead for 5 minutes. Allow to rest for 1/2 hour. Knead again for 5 minutes.

At this point you can refrigerate it for several days.

When ready to make the Roti set up your work area. The stove should have enough clear space to allow a heavy flat pan (I use a cast iron griddle pan) to set over the burner and room for it to be slid off to the side. A clear area of counter space should exist right next to the stove top with room to roll out rotis and more room to have a flat plate with flour in it and more room for a covered dish to keep the cooked roti in.

Heat the flat pan till water sizzles off it quickly.

Take a deep breath because here we go.

Take a portion of dough and form into a smooth ball. Using some of the flour from the plate, in mid air, using your hands, form the ball of dough into a flat disk. Flour the rolling surface and roll the flattened disk of dough into a perfect circle of even thickness. Flip flop the formed roti between the palms of both hands to knock all the excess flour off, them flop it onto the hot pan.

Immediately begin to make a second roti and while you're doing that flip the roti that is already in the pan. Finish making the second roti.

Pull the pan off to the side and take the cooking roti out of the pan and throw it right on the burner flame. Put the second roti in the pan.

Using the tongs lift the roti that is on the flames by just the edges and look under it and rotate it several times (don't flip it over) till it's cooked. Then flip the roti that is on the flames over and repeat the lifting, rotating motions till the roti is completely puffed out and cooked. Remove the inflated roti to the warming dish.

Immediately slide the pan with the second roti back over the heat and flip the roti on the pan. Smear a bit of ghee on the finished roti and cover the dish to keep it warm.

Form another roti to replace the one finishing up in the pan, and keep going till you run out of dough.

Not working? Work faster.
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