Friday, April 20, 2012
I used to be scared of baking breads. Not the making part but the long hours of waiting for it to proof for the first time and then proof again... Certainly not something you would think you would do when you have a full time job.
Recently I came across the newspaper and it discussed the idea of no knead bread. I tried it and like the result quite a bit. The fact that it only takes 5 minutes to make the dough and the minimum of work is involved thereafter, it tastes even better!
However, I am not sharing the no knead bread recipe today - that will be another post. I am sharing with you a derivative of the version. It involves a slightly more amount of work but with a tastier result. Let's give it a try.
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp custard powder (optional)
1/2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk, lukewarm
1/2 tbsp yeast
1/4 cups cold butter, diced
The night before:
Put flour, sugar and salt into the stand mixer bowl. Dissolve yeast into the milk and add to the dry ingredients.
With a dough hook attachment, start the stand mixer at low speed until the mixture comes together.
Take the cold butter, one piece at a time, soften with your fingers and add to the dough while the machine is running. If the dough is slipping inside the bowl, let it incorporated before adding the next dice. By the end of the butter the dough should be sticky.
Continue the beating until the dough comes off the side of the bowl. Form into a ball and leave it in the bowl, cover with a warm wet towel and let it proof for 2 hours.
After 2 hours the dough should be double in size. At this time the dough can sit, covered, in the fridge overnight or until ready to use. (Mine was in the fridge for 24 hours and they were fine.)
The dough could be portioned and baked at this stage. See below for baking procedure.
(Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts)
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
25g custard powder
1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Mix eggs, custard powder and half the sugar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Heat the milk, the rest of the sugar and the vanilla bean in medium high heat until just before it boils. Use the hot liquid to temper the eggs, then return the egg mixture to the pot. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until it thickens.
Transfer to a mixing bowl/baking tray and put plastic wrap directly on the custard. Let cool completely and refrigerate until ready to use.
Portion the dough into 10 equal pieces and rounded up into balls. With your fingers, make a well into each ball and put about 1.5 tbsp filling into each ball. Close the opening and put the seam facing down on a lined baking tray.
Final Proofing and Baking:
Proof the bread until it doubles in size, about an hour. Brush with egg wash and bake at a preheated 375F oven for 23 to 26 minutes. Serve warm or could be reheated in the microwave.