Friday, July 31, 2009

No Knead English Muffin Loaves

Today we're making No Knead English Muffin Loaves using the Kneadlessly Simple method. These English Muffin Loaves are delicious! They are crispy on the outside, and light and airy on the inside. They make great toast!

This is the last bread we'll be making in this series of No Knead Breads. I really like the Kneadless Simple method of making bread and will definitely try some more of these breads in the future.

If you would like to bake along with us, turn to page 45 in
Kneadlessly Simple to locate the recipe and list of ingredients.


English Muffin Loaves
 


Preparing for the First Rise

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until thoroughly mixed. In a measuring cup, whisk or stir together the oil and ice water.  Vigorously stir the ice-water mixture into the dough.




Scrape down the sides and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. If the mixture is too dry, add additional water, a little bit at a time. Or, if necessary, add a little extra flour until it forms a fairly soft dough. I added a little extra flour.




Spray the top of the dough evenly with cooking spray. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap.



For enhanced flavor, refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. The dough after refrigerating it for 5 1/2 hours.


 
Then let the dough rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. I don't have a cool room temperature but I let it rest on the counter anyway to develop the flavor.



If possible, stir the dough vigorously once during the rise.  Here is the dough a little while after stirring it down.  Look how bubbly it is!



This is the dough after resting on the counter for 15 hours.




Preparing for the Second Rise

Stir the powder milk into the dough. Then vigorously stir in enough more flour to yield a very stiff dough.




I switched to the dough whisk to make sure the dough was completed mixed.



Grease two loaf pans (8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch) and sprinkle them with cornmeal.

Using well-oil kitchen shears or a serrated knife, cut the dough in half and place the portions in the pans. The dough was really wet so I used a dough scraper. However, at this point, I should've put the dough in the refrigerator to let it firm up a bit, then I could've used shears to cut it.





Brush or spray the tops with oil, then smooth out the surface and press the dough evenly into the pans. Tightly cover the pans with nonstick spray-coated plastic.
 


 
For a regular rise, let the dough stand at warm room temperature 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Or for an extended rise, refrigerate the loaves in the pans, covered, for 4 to 24 hours, then set out at room temperature to finish rising.

Because the dough was really wet, I contemplated going with the extended rise in the refrigerator but I wanted to bake the bread sooner so I decided to set it out on the counter for the regular rise instead. I went shopping with my son for a couple of hours and when I got back, the dough had exploded all over the counter. It was really hot and humid in Atlanta so I should've gone with my first thought. You know what they say "Hindsight is always 20/20".


I didn't take a picture of the mess. I was too busy cleaning it up and trying to salvage the dough. I did manage to salvage it. I put the dough back in the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for about an hour. Then, after I got everything cleaned up, I put the dough back in the loaf pans, and covered them with clean plastic sprayed with cooking oil. Then I put the loaf pans back in the refrigerator for the extended rise. 
 
The salvaged dough smoothed and ready to go in the refrigerator overnight.

 

I refrigerated the dough for about 15 hours. Then I took it out of the refrigerator and let it finish rising on the counter for a couple of hours.




Continue the rise until the dough nears the plastic. Remove the plastic and continue until the dough just reaches the pan rims.





Baking the Loaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 15 minutes before baking time and place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Spritz the loaf tops with water. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake on the lower rack for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tops are well browned.

Continue baking for another 10 to 20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.



Cooling the Loaves

Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Then remove the loaves to the rack and cool completely.



Serving the English Muffin Loaves

Cool completely before slicing or storing.

This bread looks a little funky but I like it - it has character. The dough had three rises instead of two so that's probably why it looks like this. However, it tastes wonderful and the texture is incredible so I'm not complaining.
 


I had a slice of this bread toasted for breakfast. Then for dinner, I toasted a couple of slices, buttered them and made a fried egg and cheese sandwich. It was delish!


Storing the Loaves

Store in plastic or aluminum foil. The bread will keep at room temperature for 3 days, and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months. I decided to eat one loaf and freeze the other one. I double-wrapped it in plastic and put it in the freezer for later.

 
Thanks for visiting The Bread Experience Bread-Baking Blog.

Happy Baking!
Cathy


Thursday, July 30, 2009

English Muffin Bread: BBA Challenge

It's Day 12 of the BBA Challenge and we're making English Muffins. At the request of my taste tester and my sons, I'm making English Muffin Bread instead of muffins. I must say that this bread is really good! It's made with buttermilk so there is a little bit of a tangy flavor. Mmmmm...so glad I made the loaf instead of the muffins.
 
I'm participating in a Group Bake next weekend and one of the breads is English Muffins so I'll get another opportunity to make the muffins. Yummy!

If you're following along with us in the Bread Baker's Apprentice turn to page 157 to locate the recipe and list of ingredients.

English Muffin Bread


 
Mixing the batter

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. You can mix it by hand if you prefer. Mix in the shortening and 3/4 cup buttermilk until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and form a ball.

I had a little loose flour left in the bowl so I dribbled a little more buttermilk into the mixture. The dough should be soft and pliable, not stiff.


Kneading the Dough

Knead the dough using the dough hook for about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in more flour if necessary to make a tacky, but not sticky dough.



First Rise:

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl and roll it over a couple of times to coat it in oil.


Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes.


Shaping the Loaf:

Wipe the counter with a damp cloth and transfer the dough to the counter. I sprinkled the counter with flour so I could shape the loaf.

 

If you're making the English Muffin Bread instead of muffins, shape the loaf as shown below:

Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Then roll the dough into a log.

 

Pinch the seams together. Turn the dough seam down. Lightly oil a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan and place the loaf in the pan.

 

Second Rise:

Mist the top of the loaf with cooking spray and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Proof the dough for 60 to 90 minutes, or until it nearly doubles in size.

 

Baking the Loaf

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Using a serrated knife,score the loaf down the center and rub a little vegetable oil into the slit.

 

Bake the loaf for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through for even baking. I rotated the bread after about 15 minutes. The tops should be golden brown and the sides should also be golden. The loaves should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

 

Cooling the Loaf

Remove the loaf immediately from the pan and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing or serving.

 

Serving the Loaf

The beautiful golden loaf is ready to be eaten. I think I’ll have a slice. This bread tastes great as a grilled cheese sandwich.

  

Thanks for joining us in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. Next time, we'll be making Focaccia. Oh boy! I can't wait for this one!

Happy Baking!

Cathy

Sunday, July 26, 2009

No Knead Spiced Cranberry Coffeecake

I’m continuing my no knead baking series by making a Spiced Cranberry Bundt-Style Coffeecake using the Kneadlessly Simple method.
 
This bread is made with an all-purpose enriched sweet dough. The dough is very versatile. It is slightly sweet and suitable for making coffeecakes, various enriched loaves, and dessert breads.

This is a really easy method.  It takes a couple of days from start-to-finish to make this coffeecake, but most of the time is spent fermenting the dough.

The first step involves making the enriched dough and letting it ferment for 15 to 18 hours in the refrigerator.

The next step is to make the Cranberry Coffeecake Dough, spread it in the Bundt pan and let it rise again.  You have the option of doing a shortened rise or an extended rise in the refrigerator for about 15 hours.

After the 15 hours, you take the pan out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature for a couple of hours and let it continue rising.
 
 
Once the bread has finished rising, you bake it and let it cool on a wire rack until completely cooled.

 
Then brush off any crumbs from the surface of the loaf and transfer the loaf to a serving platter. Sift powdered sugar over the top just before serving.




The coffeecake slices best when cool, but is good warm, at room temperature, or toasted. I can attest to this. In fact, I asked my taste tester how he would describe the coffeecake and he said, "I would just call it delicious!" It is a delicious breakfast bread or dessert bread. Yummy!


This bread stores well.  Just cool completely before storing airtight in a plastic container or cake keeper. Keeps at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.



This bread has been submitted to Bread Baking Day #22: Sweet Breads.

Be sure to view all of the delicious breads in the Bread Baking Day #22 Roundup.



Happy Baking!
Cathy

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread #BBA Challenge

We're moving right along in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge.

For Day 11 of the BBA Challenge, we made a beautiful and delicious Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread.

I was out of town this week on business and thought I would be too tired to make this bread, but then I remembered how much I enjoyed making it last year. It's a very easy and rewarding dough to work with. Not to mention it tastes great.

This festive bread is a wonderful treat for holiday gatherings but it can be enjoyed anytime of the year. It makes great toast!

You can form the dough into a braid or loaves. I decided to do the double-braided version again because it makes such a beautiful presentation.

I made this bread a couple of times last holiday season. It's always good! 

To learn how to make this lovely braided bread, view my previous post here. 


Thanks for joining us for the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge.


Happy Baking!

Cathy

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cornbread: BBA Challenge

This week in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge, we made Corn Bread. This particular corn bread is very moist, very sweet and very filling. Peter Reinhart created this version as an accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner or to help recreate Thanksgiving flavor memories throughout the year. That sounded like a pretty good idea to me. I love holiday meals and I love corn bread...but not necessarily in July.



What is corn bread?

Corn bread is the generic name for quick breads made with cornmeal. We take corn for granted these days, but bread made from cornmeal was a mainstay of colonial diets, in both the North and the South, for almost two centuries.


Southern cooks prefer to use white cornmeal, while Northern cooks tend to use yellow cornmeal and add sweetening to their breads. You can decide which type of cornmeal and method you prefer.


If you're baking along with us, turn to page 151 in the Bread Baker's Apprentice to locate the recipe and list of ingredients.

 
Making the Cornmeal Soaker
Soak the polenta (coarse cornmeal) in buttermilk the night before you plan to make the cornbread. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight. I made the soaker in the morning and let it sit all day. Then, I decided not to bake the cornbread that night so I refrigerated it until the next day. I took the soaker out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before I baked the bread to take the chill off.




Preparing the Bacon

The next day (or night) when you're ready to make the cornbread, prepare the bacon by baking it in the oven until it is crisp. Once the bacon has cooled, crumble it into coarse pieces. Drain off the bacon fat and save for greasing the corn bread pan (or just use vegetable oil to grease the pan). I decided to use the bacon fat this time, but I think next time, I'll forgo the bacon fat and just grease it with vegetable oil. I don't like the thought of all that fat!



Making the batter


Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugars.

Lightly beat the eggs. Dissolve the honey in the melted butter. Then stir the warm honey-butter mixture into the eggs.  Add this mixture to the cornmeal soaker.


 
Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon or whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly blended and the batter is smooth.



Stir in the corn kernels until they are evenly distributed.




Baking the Corn Bread


Grease a 10-inch round cake pan (or a 9 by 13-inch baking pan or a 12-inch square pan) with the rendered bacon fat or vegetable oil. I love to make corn bread in my trusty 10-inch iron skillet so that is what I used. Place the pan in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until the grease gets hot. Then remove the pan carefully (with heavy oven mitts or potholders).


Tilt the pan to grease all the corners and sides, then pour the batter and spread it evenly in the pan.
Sprinkle the crumbled bacon pieces evenly over the top and gently press them into the batter.



Bake the corn bread for about 30 minutes or until it is firm and springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



The top of the bread should be a medium golden brown.




Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before slicing it into squares or wedges. Serve warm.





I love cornbread, but I decided it's too hot for such a rich version. I enjoyed the first bite because it was very flavorful and the texture was wonderful! However, I had a very hard time finishing even one piece because it was really heavy!


It was really hot in Atlanta this past week so that's probably the reason I didn't enjoy this bread very much. I decided to freeze it and save it for later. I think it would taste good with a bowl of soup or chili in the Fall. I'll let you know...




Thanks for joining us in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge.  Next time, we'll be making Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread. I made this bread for Thanksgiving last year and it is wonderful!

Happy Baking!
Cathy







Thursday, July 16, 2009

Crusty Yeasted Corn Bread

Today in the bread-baking blog, we're making a Crusty Yeasted Corn Bread with Coarse Salt. I must say that this bread surprised me ... it's really good! I love real corn bread and what I mean by that is Southern corn bread. However, this corn bread has become one of my favorites. I highly recommend it!
 
Let's get started...

If you would like to bake along with us, turn to page 77 in
Kneadlessly Simple to locate the recipe and list of ingredients.

Crusty Yeasted Cornbread with Coarse Salt
This yeasted corn bread is made using the Kneadlessly Simple method by Nancy Baggett.

Makes: 1 large loaf (12 to 14 portions or slices)
 

First Rise:
 
In a medium bowl, stir together the polenta and boiling water until lump-free. Let the mixture stand until cooled.





Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until well mixed.




Whisk the water into the polenta mixture.  Scrape down the sides and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.



If the mixture is too dry, add additional water, a little bit at a time. Or, if necessary, add a little extra flour until it forms a fairly soft dough. I added a little extra flour.

Brush the top of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. I refrigerated it for 10 hours overnight.



Then let the dough rise at cool room temperature (about 70 degrees F.) for 15 to 20 hours. If convenient, stir the dough about halfway through the rise.


The dough after resting on the counter 10 hours




I stirred down the mixture about halfway through the rise.



The mixture after 18 hours of resting on the counter.


 
Second Rise:

Using an oiled rubber spatula, lift and fold the dough in towards the center. Don't deflate it completely and don't stir.




Oil a 9- to 9 1/2-inch deep-sided pie plate. Sprinkle cornmeal on the plate and tip the plate back and forth to spread the cornmeal on the bottom and sides.





Use an oiled rubber spatula to loosen the dough from the bowl all the way around.




Then, gently invert the dough into the plate.  Sprinkle the dough with more cornmeal.  Pat and press the cornmeal into the dough with your fingertips.



 
Then firmly tuck the sides of the loaf underneath all the way around to form a smooth, round, high domed loaf. It should be about 7 inches in diameter.




 
Cut 5 or 6 2-inch curved shallow slashes starting from the center of the dome to create a pinwheel effect.

 



Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and then tent the dough.





Let the dough stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Continue the rise until the dough doubles from its deflated size. Remove the foil if the dough reaches it.





Baking the Bread

20 minutes before baking time, put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set a broiler pan on the oven floor.


Generously sprinkle the loaf top with water. Then sprinkle coarse salt over the top.  Prepare the pan for steaming by pouring 1 cup of ice water in the broiler pan. Then reduce the heat to 425 degrees.





Bake the loaf uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes until the loaf is nicely browned and the loaf is firm.




Then, transfer the loaf from the pie plate to a baking sheet. I think I must've missed this part because I baked my loaf in the pie plate the whole time. I did cover the top with foil to keep it from browning too much though.



Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes more (depending on your oven) until a skewer inserted into the thickest part comes out mostly clean. Then bake for 5 to 10 minutes more to be sure the center is done.



Cooling the Bread

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool for a little while.  Let it cool completely before slicing or serving.




Serving and Storing

Serve the bread warm or cooled. It will keep at room temperature for 2 days or you can freeze it for up to 1 month. To maintain the crisp crust, store the bread wrapped in a clean tea towel or heavy paper bag. You can re-warm it uncovered on a baking sheet for a few minutes if you like. I just microwaved my slices for a few seconds and buttered them. Yummy!


Here is a slice just for you. Can't you just taste it? Mmmmm....



This bread is so good! I've never had yeasted cornbread before, but I will definitely make this one again. Like I mentioned before, I highly recommend this bread! It goes well with homegrown vegetables from the garden.


Thanks for visiting The Bread Experience Bread-Baking Blog.

Happy Baking!
Cathy

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