Whole Grain Pita

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 I found this recipe on epicurious and I must say that they were easy and great fun to make!  We loved them.  Another bonus!  Note that the preparation and final photos are by Chew Wanna Eat?  

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/whole-wheat-pita-bread-108122

Why make your own pita when it’s readily available at supermarkets? One bite of these, fresh and warm from the oven, will tell you exactly why. The dough is simple to make, and because the dough rounds are thin, they bake in less than 5 minutes. But if you don’t have time to make your own, store-bought pita can be warmed, wrapped in foil, in a preheated 350°F oven.

Yield Makes 8 (6-inch) pita loaves

Ingredients

    • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1 1/4 cups warm water (105–115°F)
    • 2 cups bread flour or high-gluten flour, plus additional for kneading
    • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheets
    1. Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
    2. While yeast mixture stands, stir together flours in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Stir in oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour mixture until a dough forms.
    3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
    4. Punch down dough and cut into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten 1 ball, then roll out into a 6 1/2- to 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round to 1 of 2 baking sheets lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Make 7 more rounds in same manner, arranging them on baking sheets. Loosely cover pitas with 2 clean kitchen towels (not terry cloth) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
    5. Set oven rack in lower third of oven and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 500°F.
    6. Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto oven rack. Bake until just puffed and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake 1 minute more. Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Bake remaining 4 pitas in same manner. Serve warm.
Cooks’ note:
Pitas can be baked 1 week ahead and cooled completely, then frozen, wrapped well in foil in a sealed plastic bag. Thaw before reheating, wrapped in foil, 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great recipes, home hacks, gardening, and health information!    You won’t be sorry.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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ONION CHEDDAR BREAD

onion-cheese-bread

Also pictured is my Split Pea and Ham Soup which was cooked in a Pressure Cooker.  You will find the recipe by searching my blog.

  

This outstanding recipe comes from Marye Audet from Restless Chipotle.  Like me, Marye is an avid from scratch cook and I think you will LOVE this easy recipe.  I’ve made it a few times now, and hardly changed a thing.  That’s saying a lot for me, right?  You all know how I am.  Basically, the only thing I changed was to reserve a bit of onion and cheese to put on the top of the loaves during baking.  I believe next time I will also add some cooked crumbled bacon.  We’ll see.  I told Marye that I would link back to her site, and you’ll find that, as well as the original recipe below.

     Marye describes this bread as a savory onion and cheese bread, light with a crisp crust, tender crumb, and great onion and sharp cheddar flavor. Try it for your next grilled cheese or ham sandwich.

 

Ingredients for 2 loaves 

2 cups chopped onions

¼ cup butter

1 envelope yeast

¼ cup lukewarm water

Pinch of ginger (helps activate the yeast)

1/3 cup sugar, divided

2 cups lukewarm buttermilk

1 tsp salt

¾ tsp baking soda

1 ½ cups shredded extra sharp cheese

6 +/- cups bread flour

1 egg yolk

 

PREPARATION:

In a large saucepan, cook the onions in ¼ cup butter over low heat until caramelized.  (This could take 15 minutes).  Make sure you let them cool somewhat before adding to dough.  You don’t want to kill the yeast.

While the onions are cooking, add yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and ginger to lukewarm water in mixer bowl.  You will need to have your dough hook installed.  Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add buttermilk, remaining sugar, salt, and baking soda.  Give it a quick mix and begin adding 3 cups Bread flour.  Mix until smooth.

It’s time to mix in the cooled onions and grated cheese.  If you want to reserve some for the top of your loaves, do so now.

Add remaining flour one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.  Once dough pulls from the sides of the bowl, start feeling the dough with your fingers.  It shouldn’t be too sticky.  If it is, add a few TBSP of flour and mix again.  The dough will need about 5 minutes mixing time total.  (Or you can now knead by hand if you don’t have a heavy duty mixer).

Lift the dough hook and smear a little olive oil or butter on the inside of the bowl.  Scrape the dough down into the bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for about 90 minutes.

Punch dough down and let rest for a few minutes.  Remove from bowl and form into two loaves.

Place dough in greased loaf pans and grease the tops with olive oil or lukewarm melted butter.  Cover with plastic wrap and a towel to retain heat.  Let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Brush tops of loaves with egg yolk mixed with a tsp of water to make the crust beautifully glossy.

Bake for 20 minutes and quickly sprinkle the reserved cheese and onions to top of loaves.  Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn out and cool before slicing.

NOTE:  This bread will freeze well for up to three months.

You can find Mary’s original recipe at: http://www.restlesschipotle.com/?s=onion+cheese+yeast+bread

Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great recipes, home hacks, gardening, and health information!    You won’t be sorry.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

 

onion-cheese-bread

CIABATTA ROLLS

Ciabatta Rolls (3)

KAF says, “Italy’s light-textured ciabatta bread, with its overnight starter and long rises, develops wonderful flavor. Translated to rolls, ciabatta becomes the perfect vehicle for an overstuffed sandwich. Sturdy enough to hold any filling, these flat rolls — they fit beautifully in the toaster — are mostly crust, meaning you don’t have a lot of bread competing with the cheese, meat, and veggies.”

     I’ve said it before, “I simply cannot make anything without altering it.  I even do it to my own recipes.  *sigh  The original recipe makes 12 rolls.  I normally make about 15, so the baking time is a little longer.  I love topping them with seasonings.  I mention it in the recipe when to add them.  The original recipe says to dent the rolls before baking.  I tried it and wasn’t happy, so I omit that step.  You will see that KAF added instructions to make the ciabatta dough in a breadmaker.

STARTER

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup cool water
  • 1/16 teaspoon instant yeast

DOUGH

  • all of the starter (from above)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast (Measure because if using a packet, there will be some leftover).
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup Bread Flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk powder
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients in your mixer bowl until well combined. Cover the starter and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or for up to 15 hours. It will become bubbly.
  2. Add all of the dough ingredients to the Starter. If you want to add seasonings to the rolls, i.e. garlic, rosemary, onion, basil, etc. now is the time to do it.  Beat at medium speed, using the dough hook, for 6 – 7 minutes. The dough will be very smooth, soft, shiny, and elastic. Push the dough aside and lightly grease the bowl.  Cover, and let rise for 2 hours, deflating it midway through. Alternatively, knead the dough ingredients in your bread machine using the dough cycle, and allow it to rise for an additional hour after the dough cycle has ended.
  3. Lay silicone sheets on two half-sheet baking pans (18″ x 13″) or similar large baking sheets. Lightly grease them with olive oil. If you don’t have a half-sheet, turn your largest baking sheets upside down and lay your silicone sheet on it.  It will give you a little larger surface.  (Another of my old Indian tricks).
  4. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly greased work surface. Knead for one minute.  Let dough rest for ten minutes.  I always work with some olive oil on my hands.  It keeps the dough from sticking.
  5. With a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 – 15 Round each into a ball. Gently stretch the balls into flattened disks. (See photos).  If the dough is fighting you by pulling back, let rest for 5-10 minutes and it will relax.  You can also make loaves of Ciabatta bread instead of rolls.
  6. Transfer the rolls to the oiled baking sheets, leaving about 3″ between them. Roll them over so the top is oiled and sprinkle on poppy seeds, minced onion, sesame seeds, garlic powder, basil, parsley or whatever else you’d like.  I used a combination and press down gently so the toppings remain.  I haven’t tried Parmesan or Romano yet, but I plan on
  7. Lightly cover the rolls with sprayed plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow them to rise for 2 to 3 hours, or until they’re nice and puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  8. Spritz the risen rolls with lukewarm water and place them into the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. (Depends on size). Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.
  9. Slice crosswise, and add your favorite fillings. Store any leftovers, tightly wrapped, at room temperature. You may also freeze them. Rolls may be reheated just before serving, if desired; tent lightly with foil, and heat for about 8 minutes in a 350°F oven.

     Now, you all know that I love taking something that I’ve cooked or baked and create something new from the leftovers.  I made Bruschetta out of Ciabatta Rolls.  I often make Bruschetta from my leftover Italian bread.  Here’s a pic to get your taste buds going.  I’ll be posting more photos and the instructions in another post.

To see the original recipe for ciabatta,  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/ciabatta-rolls-recipe

Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great recipes!    You won’t be sorry.

 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

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Ciabatta Rolls (5)

Ciabatta Rolls

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Ciabatta Rolls (2)

Ciabatta Rolls (3)

 

RYE BREAD, BY TIKA

Rye Bread (5)

     Those of you who know me or follow Chew Wanna Eat? know that I am a seasoned bread baker.  I do it all; knead, use my bad boy mixer, and also make the no-knead breads.  Why, oh why, couldn’t I make a great rye bread?  Rye is my very favorite and I’ve tried recipe after recipe and none of them were what I wanted.  I wanted a delicious bread, one that we could also make sandwiches out of.  I simply couldn’t find a recipe that I liked.  I had to put my thinking cap on, and do it my own way.  It worked!  I finally have a good rye bread recipe.  Here’s what I did:

 

I started with a sponge.  Rye bread takes longer to rise, so I decided it needed a sponge.

SPONGE:

2 tsp dry malt (diastatic powder)

2 ¾ cups water, at room temperature

1 ½ tsp instant yeast

2 TBSP honey

3 cups (15 oz) bread flour

DOUGH:

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
2 ¼ cups rye flour

1 ¼ cup dark rye flour
2 tbsp caraway seeds

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 ¾ tsp salt

1 tsp Fennel (optional)

2 tsp dried minced onion (optional)


Egg Wash:

1 egg white, beaten with 1 TBSP milk

 

SPONGE PREP:

Mix water, yeast, honey, diastatic powder, and flour in heavy-duty mixer bowl.  Using standard blade, beat only until everything is combined.  You’ll end up with a wet mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at least 4 hours.  Longer is better.  I left mine on the counter for a little over 7 hours.  You can let it sit over night.  The mixture will rise quite a bit and lots of bubbles will form on the surface.  This is good.  Don’t stir.

 

DOUGH PREP:

To the Sponge, add 1 ½ cups AP flour, 2 ¼ cups rye flour, and 3/4 cup dark rye flour.  (Hold off on the remaining 1/2 cup dark rye flour. I’ve learned that you will end up using just what the recipe calls for and not end up with an overly wet dough to which you have to sneak in more flour.)  Also add caraway seeds, oil, salt, and fennel.  Fit your mixer with the dough blade now and mix well on low speed.  Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then add the remaining 1/2 cup dark rye flour.    Beat about five minutes, until dough becomes cohesive and smooth.  Note that this dough is not a light fluffy dough like a white bread.  It is dense and much heavier.

I moistened my hands because the dough is sticky at this point, and transferred dough to a floured counter.  Form dough into a smooth compressed ball.  Grease the same mixer bowl with a bit of olive oil and place dough back in the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 ¼ hours to 2 hours.

At this point, put the dough into a large prepared bread pan.  I have a wonderful German brotform pan by Kaiser that holds a lot of dough.  I did make a small sub roll for Bob, which you will see pictured. You can also roll the dough into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle, and then roll it up.  Pinch the seams to seal.  Place the dough seam side down on a prepared baking sheet, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, and let it rise one more time.  It should take up to 75 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425° F.  Beat egg white with milk, and brush over sides and top of loaf.  Make ½” deep slashes on top of loaf with a serrated knife, lame, or scissors.   If you spray your tool with cooking spray, it won’t drag on the dough.) Bake loaf for 15 minutes, then lower oven to 400° F.  Bake until deep golden brown.  An instant-read thermometer should register 200° F.  It took a good 25 minutes.  The sub roll, of course, took less time.

Rye Bread Sponge

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Rye Bread

Rye Bread (2)Rye Bread Sub Roll

Rye Bread (5)

Rye Bread (3)

Rye Bread (4)

 

COUNTRY STYLE FRENCH BREAD BAKED IN A BANNETON BOWL

CHEW WANNA EAT?
COUNTRY STYLE FRENCH BREAD IN A BANNETON BOWL

Hi all! You might remember a recent post where I baked a free form loaf of this amazing bread. I want to introduce you all to Master Proofing bowls. They come in different sizes and shapes. The one I used for this bread is an 8″ round. You can read more about them here:http://www.thekitchn.com/bakers-tools-proofing-baskets-55238

Here’s the KAF recipe again: You could make this bread, and no other, for the rest of your baking career, and never feel cheated. It uses the sponge, or poolish, method: sort of a poor man’s or woman’s sourdough starter — no feedings, little pre-planning, lots of flexibility and superb bread. I usually make this dough, sponge starter and all, in the bread machine, but you can do it by hand, processor, or stand mixer. After barbecue season, bake this bread in the conventional oven but atomize it with water to get that crisp crust. If you’ve always wanted crusty, hole-ridden, French-style bread, this is the ticket.

Sponge Starter (Begin 2 to 16 hours ahead)
1 cup (8 ounces) cool to lukewarm water (90 to 100°F)
1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) King Arthur White Whole Wheat or Traditional Whole Wheat Flour

To Make The Sponge: Stir all of the sponge ingredients together to make a thick, pudding-like mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on a counter overnight or for at least 2 to 4 hours. If you’re making this in a bread machine, place the sponge ingredients inside, and turn the machine on for just a few seconds to mix the ingredients together. Turn the machine off and close the cover. Let the sponge rest for 4 hours or overnight (anywhere between 2 and 16 hours is fine, the longer the better).

Dough
All of the sponge starter (above)
1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water, preferably spring water (l00 to 115°F)
3/4 teaspoon active dry or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 3/4 to 4 cups (1 pound to 1 pound 1 ounce) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

To Make The Dough: Stir down the sponge with a spoon and add the water, yeast, sugar, most of the flour (hold back about 1/2 cup to use if required), and salt. Knead the dough, adding more flour as necessary, to make a soft dough, 10 to 12 minutes.

Note: You may also do this in your bread machine, using the Dough or Manual setting. After the dough has finished kneading, place it in a lightly greased bowl, and continue as directed below.

Big Tip: Mix ingredients together using up to 80% of the flour called for: it will be a loose, messy mass. Let the dough rest for 12 minutes, and you’ll see it change in texture, to be come much smoother. Continue, kneading and adding additional flour as required. Overall, the dough handles better once its had time for the flour to absorb the water while resting and relaxing. By using this method, you’ll tend to add less flour, and have much bigger holes in your finished bread.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or plastic container, (Don’t use Banneton bowl yet) Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and a damp towel, and let it rise until almost doubled (depending on the weather, this could be l to 2 hours). If you’re going out, or if you prefer, let the dough rise slowly in the fridge. If your dough has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature; it’ll warm up and rise at the same time.

After its first rise, deflate the dough gently, but don’t knock out all the air; this will create those “holes” so important to French bread. Form the dough into a round ball. Place two cookie sheets atop one another, and place a semolina- or cornmeal-dusted piece of parchment paper on top. Gently place the ball of dough on the cookie sheets, seam-side down. Cover it lightly with a tea towel, and let it rise the second time until it’s puffy and about 40% to 50% larger, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes (depending on the weather, luck, and magic). Slash or cross-hatch the bread with a sharp knife or lame. Dust it with a little flour.

For Regular (Oven) Baking: Preheat the oven to 475°F. Slash the bread, spritz water into the oven with a clean plant mister, and place the bread in the oven. Reduce the heat to 425°F and spritz with water every few minutes for the first 15 minutes of baking. Bake the bread for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until it tests done.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015

AUTHENTIC FRENCH BAGUETTES

AUTHENTIC FRENCH BAGUETTES
AUTHENTIC FRENCH BAGUETTES

Authentic French Baguettes (2) Authentic French Baguettes

     Let me start off by saying that this is not one of my original recipes.  Although not difficult, it is very time-consuming and requires a slow fermentation in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours.  Plan accordingly if you decide to give these a try.  You will NOT be sorry.  To say that they are out of this world might be a gross understatement.

Cooks Country says:  “Why this recipe works:

For a homemade baguette that rivals the best from Parisian boulangeries, we took a trip to France to learn firsthand what it takes. The problem with most published recipes, we discovered, is that all the small details that matter are glossed over. For an authentic wheaty flavor, we add a bit of whole-wheat flour (sifted to remove some of the larger pieces of bran that would otherwise add bitterness and make the loaf dense) to the white flour. Mixing the dough in a machine and then using a series of gentle folds to develop the dough creates the perfect tender, irregular internal crumb. Next we employ a long, slow rise in the refrigerator, which delivers the complex flavor of fermentation while making the recipe flexible, since we can bake the loaves anytime within a three-day window. To shape the loaves perfectly without overworking the dough, we employ a multistep approach that gradually transforms them into baguettes. Finally, we ensure a crispy, crackly crust by moistening the couche, the pleated linen cloth that holds the loaves as they proof, and by starting the loaves beneath a pair of upturned disposable roasting pans to trap steam as it evaporates from the exterior of the dough.

Authentic Baguettes at Home

Most American baguettes are doughy and pale, and the recipes we found weren’t much better. To get it right, we went to Paris to learn from the masters.

Watch the Video  http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/8048-authentic-baguettes-at-home?tag=atkntk-20&extcode=LN15B3QAA&sourcekey=CL15023AA

Makes four 15-inch-long baguettes

If you can’t find King Arthur all-purpose flour, substitute bread flour. For best results, weigh your ingredients. This recipe makes enough dough for four loaves, which can be baked anytime during the 24- to 72-hour window after placing the dough in the fridge. For tips on folding and slashing, see “Why Some Bread Doughs Are Folded” and “Slashing Rustic Loaves” under related content. It’s essential to watch our video on making baguettes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1 1/3 ounces) whole-wheat flour
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) King Arthur all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water
  • 2 (16 by 12-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pans

http://www.wisegeek.org/ Malt powder or malt flour is present in numerous baked goods where it imparts a natural sweetness. It tends to make baked goods browner and shinier. Malt powder may be used alone to make malted milk shakes, a combination of ice cream, sometimes flavored syrups, milk and maltpowder. Alone and uncooked, this flour can have a bitter aftertaste, which is usually not noticeable when it is mixed with other ingredients.

There are two types of malt powder available. Diastatic malt powder is allowed to develop enzymes, which digest starches into sugar. When diastatic malt is used in baked goods, it tends to result in sweeter, smoother, and higher rises. The extra sugar it produces helps feed yeasts used to make yeast dough, so less yeast can be used.

Much more common is non-diastatic malt. This does not have enzymes but it can still impart wonderful flavor, and lovely appearance to baked goods. Non-diastatic malt is common in malted milk powder. Both forms may be available at your local health food store, but non-diastatic malt is usually easier to find. Some non-diastatic malts are blended with maltodextrin, to be used as a sugar substitute.

In total, there isn’t much nutritional value to malt powder. About one and half teaspoons (4 grams) have approximately 15 calories. This is comparable to sugar, which has about 16 calories per teaspoon. It is fat free, but isn’t rich in vitamins. Mostly, it functions to provide extra flavoring in foods, and with diastatic malt, to help conserve yeast and rise bread. Malt affects appearance and may be desired for its ability to give nice brown crusts to bread or to cause bagels and biscuits to shine.

To use diastatic malt in bread, the key is to be sparing. You should plan to replace about one teaspoon of sugar in the bread with half a teaspoon of malt. The malt should be mixed in with yeast while it proofs. Malt is also used as a way to convert carbohydrates to sugar in beer. A lot ofmalt will give the beer a more alcohol taste. This is why it’s valuable to use a small amount in bread; too much can make yeast in bread overproofed, and the dough will be hard to work with. The final product can have a faint alcohol or sour smell, which is considered highly undesirable.

Instructions

  1. 1. Sift whole-wheat flour through fine-mesh strainer into bowl of stand mixer; discard bran remaining in strainer. Add all-purpose flour, salt, yeast, and malt powder, if using, to mixer bowl. Fit stand mixer with dough hook, add water, and knead on low speed until cohesive dough forms and no dry flour remains, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer dough to lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  1. Holding edge of dough with your fingertips, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward center. Turn bowl 45 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Cover with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding and rising every 30 minutes, 3 more times. After fourth set of folds, cover bowl tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 72 hours.
  2. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, pat into 8-inch square (do not deflate), and divide in half. Return 1 piece of dough to container, wrap tightly with plastic, and refrigerate (dough can be shaped and baked anytime within 72-hour window). Divide remaining dough in half crosswise, transfer to lightly floured rimmed baking sheet, and cover loosely with plastic. Let rest for 45 minutes.
  3. On lightly floured counter, roll each piece of dough into loose 3- to 4-inch-long cylinder; return to floured baking sheet and cover with plastic. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly mist underside of couche with water, drape over inverted baking sheet, and dust with flour. Gently press 1 piece of dough into 6 by 4-inch rectangle on lightly floured counter, with long edge facing you. Fold upper quarter of dough toward center and press gently to seal. Rotate dough 180 degrees and repeat folding step to form 8 by 2-inch rectangle.
  5. Fold dough in half toward you, using thumb of your other hand to create crease along center of dough, sealing with heel of your hand as you work your way along the loaf. Without pressing down on loaf, use heel of your hand to reinforce seal (do not seal ends of loaf).
  6. Cup your hand over center of dough and roll dough back and forth gently to tighten (it should form dog-bone shape).
  7. Starting at center of dough and working toward ends, gently and evenly roll and stretch dough until it measures 15 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide. Moving your hands in opposite directions, use back and forth motion to roll ends of loaf under your palms to form sharp points.
  8. Transfer dough to floured couche, seam side up. On either side of loaf, pinch edges of couche into pleat, then cover loosely with large plastic garbage bag.
  9. Repeat steps 4 through 9 with second piece of dough and place on opposite side of pleat. Fold edges of couche over loaves to cover completely, then carefully place sheet inside bag, and tie or fold under to enclose.
  10. Let stand until loaves have nearly doubled in size and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your fingertip, 45 to 60 minutes. While bread rises, adjust oven rack to middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  11. Line pizza peel with 16 by 12-inch piece of parchment paper with long edge perpendicular to handle. Unfold couche, pulling from ends to remove pleats. Gently pushing with side of flipping board, roll 1 loaf over, away from other loaf, so it is seam side down. Using your hand, hold long edge of flipping board between loaf and couche at 45-degree angle, then lift couche with your other hand and flip loaf seam side up onto board.
  12. Invert loaf onto parchment-lined peel, seam side down, about 2 inches from long edge of parchment, then use flipping board to straighten loaf. Repeat with remaining loaf, leaving at least 3 inches between loaves.
  13. Holding lame concave side up at 30-degree angle to loaf, make series of three 4-inch long, 1/2-inch-deep slashes along length of loaf, using swift, fluid motion, overlapping each slash slightly. Repeat with second loaf.
  14. Transfer loaves, on parchment, to baking stone, cover with stacked inverted disposable pans, and bake for 5 minutes. Carefully remove pans and bake until loaves are evenly browned, 12 to 15 minutes longer, rotating parchment halfway through baking. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Consume within 4 hours.

Making Parisian Quality Baguettes

Gentle shaping is key for authentic texture. For the best flavor, here’s what we do:

ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS WITH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS WITH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS WITH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

RECIPE FOR MY FAVORITE WHITE BREAD DOUGH

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening (Crisco)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups scalded milk cooled to about 120°

PREPARATION:

Pour lukewarm scalded milk into a large mixer bowl.  Add Crisco, sugar, and yeast.  Using a dough  hook, mix on low for one minute and then let rest for five minutes.  (The warmth and sugar will activate the yeast). Add salt and 3 cups flour.  Add a little flour at a time until you have added 6 cups.  Mix well and then start touching the dough.  It should be smooth and not sticky.  If it’s sticky, add flour a little at a time, mixing well after each addition, then touch dough again.  NOTE:  If you have a heavy duty mixer, the entire thing can be done in the mixer. After the flour is added and dough is not too sticky, beat it at low/medium speed for five minutes.

When dough is ready, lift dough hook and smear butter all over the inside of the bowl.  With your fingers, press dough into a round shape, and then turn it upside down, which will coat the top with butter, keeping it from drying out. Cover with greased plastic wrap and a dish towel to hold the heat in, and let rise in a warm place, out of drafts, for about 1 hour, or until doubled. When dough is touched, an indentation will remain.

(KNEADING BY HAND) Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as necessary to keep it from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a large buttered mixing bowl. Turn dough over so greased side is up. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel to hold the heat in, and let rise in a warm place, out of drafts, for about 1 hour, or until doubled. When dough is touched, an indentation will remain.

Punch dough down and divide into two equal portions. With a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about the width of your pan and however long it ends up being. (16” – 18” or so).  Starting at narrow edge, roll dough tightly; pinch long seam together. Fold ends under loaf. Place loaves, seam side up, in greased loaf pans, and then turn over so top gets greased (approximately 9 x 5 x 3-inch). Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until double, about another hour.

Preheat oven to 425°. Put pan of water on bottom rack of oven to keep bread moist and give you a nice crust.  Bake loaves at the center of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

To make rolls, it’s pretty self-explanatory.  Shape them, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise.

ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS  (YIELDS 12 CINNAMON ROLLS)

Half of dough

2 TBSP grated orange zest

1 TBSP milk

2 TBSP butter

2 TBSP sugar

1 TBSP cinnamon

½ cup chopped dates (optional)

½ cup chopped pecans

OPTIONAL: I LOVE adding dates to baked goods.  I have NEVER had a kid say that they didn’t like them.  I think they believe them to be some kind of awesome chocolate chip.  Dates come from mature date palms and are rich in minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants.  They are easily digested and full of fiber, as well as beneficial Vitamins A, K, B,  and iron.  They are delicious in these orange cinnamon rolls, oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and lots more.

Another great thing to add to orange cinnamon rolls is Craisins.  They are bright and sweet and add a nice additional flavor.

PREPARATION:

Lightly flour your work surface. Using only half of the dough (bake a loaf of white bread or rolls with the other half), quickly knead 2 tsp orange zest into dough.  Roll the dough  into a  10” x 17”rectangle and brush a little room temperature milk.  Spread the butter evently, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Sprinkle dates and pecans.

Roll up, beginning at the long side, and pinch edge of dough to seal.  Make sure roll is at an even height all the way across.  With a serrated knife, cut into 1” slices and place in greased oblong pan.  Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for half an hour.

Bake at 400 °F for about 20-25 minutes, or until browned.

ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

3 1/2 oz cream cheese, softened

2 TBSP butter, softened

1 tsp orange extract

1 TBSP orange juice

2 dashes of cinnamon

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 TBSP orange zest

PREPARATION:

Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until well blended and fluffy.  Add extract, orange juice, cinnamon, and orange zest, mixing quickly until incorporated.  Add the sugar slowly and blend well.  Frost rolls. Sprinkle a little orange zest on top for color.

ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS

ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS (2)

ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS (3)_crop

ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS WITH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
ORANGE CINNAMON ROLLS WITH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015

COUNTRY-STYLE FRENCH BREAD

COUNTRY-STYLE FRENCH BREAD
COUNTRY-STYLE FRENCH BREAD

(This is not my recipe, but it’s a good-un!) Bob loved it. Toasted? Out of this world. Instead of using my bad boy mixer, I kneaded it totally by hand for a change. It was fun! You can make it in the oven or on the grill.

“You could make this bread, and no other, for the rest of your baking career, and never feel cheated. It uses the sponge, or poolish, method: sort of a poor man’s or woman’s sourdough starter — no feedings, little pre-planning, lots of flexibility and superb bread. I usually make this dough, sponge starter and all, in the bread machine, but you can do it by hand, processor, or stand mixer. After barbecue season, bake this bread in the conventional oven but atomize it with water to get that crisp crust. If you’ve always wanted crusty, hole-ridden, French-style bread, this is the ticket.

Sponge Starter (Begin 2 to 16 hours ahead)
1 cup (8 ounces) cool to lukewarm water (90 to 100°F)
1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) King Arthur White Whole Wheat or Traditional Whole Wheat Flour

To Make The Sponge: Stir all of the sponge ingredients together to make a thick, pudding-like mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on a counter overnight or for at least 2 to 4 hours. If you’re making this in a bread machine, place the sponge ingredients inside, and turn the machine on for just a few seconds to mix the ingredients together. Turn the machine off and close the cover. Let the sponge rest for 4 hours or overnight (anywhere between 2 and 16 hours is fine, the longer the better).”

Dough
All of the sponge starter (above)
1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water, preferably spring water (l00 to 115°F)
3/4 teaspoon active dry or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 3/4 to 4 cups (1 pound to 1 pound 1 ounce) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

To Make The Dough: Stir down the sponge with a spoon and add the water, yeast, sugar, most of the flour (hold back about 1/2 cup to use if required), and salt. Knead the dough, adding more flour as necessary, to make a soft dough, 10 to 12 minutes.

Note: You may also do this in your bread machine, using the Dough or Manual setting. After the dough has finished kneading, place it in a lightly greased bowl, and continue as directed below.

Big Tip: Mix ingredients together using up to 80% of the flour called for: it will be a loose, messy mass. Let the dough rest for 12 minutes, and you’ll see it change in texture, to be come much smoother. Continue, kneading and adding additional flour as required. Overall, the dough handles better once its had time for the flour to absorb the water while resting and relaxing. By using this method, you’ll tend to add less flour, and have much bigger holes in your finished bread.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or plastic container, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and a damp towel, and let it rise until almost doubled (depending on the weather, this could be l to 2 hours). If you’re going out, or if you prefer, let the dough rise slowly in the fridge. If your dough has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature; it’ll warm up and rise at the same time.

After its first rise, deflate the dough gently, but don’t knock out all the air; this will create those “holes” so important to French bread. Form the dough into a round ball. Place two cookie sheets atop one another, and place a semolina- or cornmeal-dusted piece of parchment paper on top. Gently place the ball of dough on the cookie sheets, seam-side down. Cover it lightly with a tea towel, and let it rise the second time until it’s puffy and about 40% to 50% larger, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes (depending on the weather, luck, and magic). Slash or cross-hatch the bread with a sharp knife or lame. Dust it with a little flour.

Preheat your grill to High. Place the bread (on the doubled-up cookie sheets) on the grill, and close the cover. Immediately reduce the heat to Medium (400°F), and allow the bread to bake for 25 minutes, or until it’s well-browned. Reduce the heat to Low, and carefully place the bread directly on the grill. Continue to bake until completely done, about 5 minutes.

COUNTRY-STYLE FRENCH BREAD
COUNTRY-STYLE FRENCH BREAD

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BASIC WHITE BREAD RECIPE MAKES SO MUCH MORE THAN BREAD

WHITE BREAD AND ROLLS
WHITE BREAD AND ROLLS

The recipe will make two loaves of bread . . . so, make one white loaf and do something fun with the other half of dough. Oh yeah!

YIELD:  2 LOAVES

INGREDIENTS:  

  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening (Crisco)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups scalded milk cooled to about 120°

PREPARATION:

Pour lukewarm scalded milk into a large mixer bowl.  Add Crisco, sugar, and yeast.  Using a dough  hook, mix on low for one minute and then let rest for five minutes.  (The warmth and sugar will activate the yeast). Add salt and 3 cups flour.  Add a little flour at a time until you have added 6 cups.  Mix well and then start touching the dough.  It should be smooth and not sticky.  If it’s sticky, add flour a little at a time, mixing well after each addition, then touch dough again.  NOTE:  If you have a heavy duty mixer, the entire thing can be done in the mixer. After the flour is added and dough is not too sticky, beat it at low/medium speed for five minutes.

When dough is ready, lift dough hook and smear butter all over the inside of the bowl.  With your fingers, press dough into a round shape, and then turn it upside down, which will coat the top with butter, keeping it from drying out. Cover with greased plastic wrap and a dish towel to hold the heat in, and let rise in a warm place, out of drafts, for about 1 hour, or until doubled. When dough is touched, an indentation will remain.

(KNEADING BY HAND) Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as necessary to keep it from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a large buttered mixing bowl. Turn dough over so greased side is up. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel to hold the heat in, and let rise in a warm place, out of drafts, for about 1 hour, or until doubled. When dough is touched, an indentation will remain.

Punch dough down and divide into two equal portions. With a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about the width of your pan and however long it ends up being. (16” – 18” or so).  Starting at narrow edge, roll dough tightly; pinch long seam together. Fold ends under loaf. Place loaves, seam side up, in greased loaf pans, and then turn over so top gets greased (approximately 9 x 5 x 3-inch). Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until double, about another hour.

Preheat oven to 425°. Put pan of water on bottom rack of oven to keep bread moist and give you a nice crust.  Bake loaves at the center of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

To make rolls, it’s pretty self-explanatory.  Shape them, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise.

To make cinnamon or cinnamon raisin bread, roll out the dough, spread about 1 TBSP of lukewarm milk over the dough.  Spread about 2 TBSP softened butter with your fingertips, then sprinkle 2 TBSP sugar and 1 TBSP cinnamon on top of butter.  Roll and put in greased bread pan.  Quickly smear a little butter on the plastic wrap, then loosely cover the dough while it rises.

For cinnamon rolls, roll the prepared dough (with milk, butter, cinnamon and sugar), and cut with a serrated and floured knife.  Place rolls in baking pan, cover with buttered plastic wrap and let rise.

WHITE BREAD DOUGH, FULLY RISEN
WHITE BREAD DOUGH, FULLY RISEN
CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD
CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD
CINNAMON SWIRL BREAD
CINNAMON SWIRL BREAD
CINNAMON ROLLS WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
CINNAMON ROLLS WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
SUB ROLLS
SUB ROLLS
WHITE BREAD AND CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD
WHITE BREAD AND CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD

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