“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

James Beard (1903-1985)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

BBB - Gluten-free bread

Gluten-free bread is eh........interesting. I work with it on a regular basis but never eat, let alone bake it. I'm glad to see that some of the other bakers had better results with this recipe but my experience was definitely challenging. Gluten-free bread is this month's Bread Baking Buddies topic and is hosted by BreadChick.

I must have done something wrong because, for starters, the bread didn't rise much, if any at all. (At first I thought it might have been the yeast but I used it the day after on another dough which rose beautifully). Then the long first rise caused an almost pungent smell to the dough that did not leave, even after the bake. Nevertheless, it was an interesting challenge and I am grateful for it. It has given me a new insight into some of the challenges that people with gluten allergies have to deal with, and it has allowed me to have a newly found respect for those that bake professionally and somehow make gluten-free bread look so good.

Gluten Free No Knead Hearty Seeded Sandwich Bread from Nancy Baggett’s Kneadlessly Simple

Makes one loaf

1 2/3 cup of white rice flour, divided (may need more depending on your dough)
1/2 cup of cornmeal (or brown rice flour)
1/2 cup of cornstarch
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of ground flax seed
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of instant yeast
1 1/3 cup of ice water
1/3 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup of molasses (not black strap)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup of plain yogurt, drained of excess liquid
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
3 tablespoons of millet (can also use poppy seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, or a combination), divided

First Rise: In large bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups of white rice flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, tapioca flour, flax seed meal, salt, yeast, and 2 tablespoons of millet. In another bowl, whisk together water, oil, molasses. Add to flour mixture and mix thoroughly. (If too stiff to blend, add more water to form a barely firm dough). Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 3 – 10 hrs then let stand at cool room temperature for 12 – 18 hours. Dough will stiffen as it stands and it is alright if it doesn’t rise very much.

Second Rise: Whisk egg in a small bowl and set aside 1 tablespoon of it to brush on top of loaf. Add the yogurt, baking powder, and 1/3 cup white rice flour into the remaining egg and stir to combine. Vigorously stir the yogurt mixture into the First Rise dough until completely mixed. (If it is too soft, you can add more of the rice flour). Turn dough into a well greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and brush a little oil on top of loaf. Brush the reserved egg and remaining seeds over the surface. Using a well oiled serrated knife, make a 1/2″ deep cut lengthwise down the loaf. Cover the pan with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.

Third Rise: Let dough stand for 2 1/2 – 4 hours in a warm room until dough extends 1/8″ above the pan rim. Loosen plastic wrap as dough nears top of pan to prevent dough from smooshing down.

Baking: Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake bread on the lower rack for 55-60 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. If the top starts to over brown, cover with a piece of foil. Continue baking until a skewer inserted comes out with few crumbs or the internal temperature of the bread reaches 206-208 degrees. Bake for 5 minutes more. Remove bread from oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let it cool completely before slicing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

BBD#28 - Tiger Buns

They are known as "tiger buns" in Holland, or here in the USA as Dutch Crunch rolls. Tiger buns are wonderfully tender with a crunchy top and look fantastic, whether served with savory or sweet items.

As a child I loved "tiger bread", the big brother version of the tiger buns. I think it was partially the name: it sounded exciting and wild! The other reason was because I was able to pick the crunchy bits off the top and still have a crust available to hold the rest of my sandwich together.

When I read on Tangerine's Kitchen that the theme for BBD#28 was buns, I immediately thought of these "tijgerbollen" or tiger buns. I've been wanting to make these for a while and, at least, now I have a good excuse! BreadBaking Day is an event created by Zorra. Check it out!

I used my standard recipe for buns but found the recipe for the crunchy crust on an old 2006 posting on the Baking Sheet blog, the original recipe coming from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger.

Tiger buns
For the dough
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup of warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of butter, melted

For the crust
3/4 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Mix the flour, salt, yeast and sugar. Add the warm water and knead until a soft dough. Add in the tablespoon of melted butter, knead together. Let rise until doubled, punch down and divide into equally sized rolls ( I measure mine out at 3 1/2 oz each, leaving some extra dough to experiment with.)

For the crust, mix flour with water, yeast and the sugar. Stir, then add the salt and the oil. Let sit for about fifteen minutes (get a cup big enough because it will rise extensively!). Brush the rolls with the mixture, applying a layer of the paste on the top and sides of the rolls.

Proof the rolls for another ten minutes, then bake in a 375F oven for about 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.