Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Archive for August, 2008

Barley Bread (bbd # 13)

Posted by bakinghistory on August 28, 2008

A tasty bread made with barley flour and a touch of maple syrup

bbd #13  ROUNDUP HERE

Jude of Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté is the host of bread baking day#13 (a monthly bread baking event initiated by Zorra) and proposed whole grains as a theme.  Among the many recipes I had bookmarked I finally chose this one because it is made with a good amount of stone ground barley flour.  Barley bread has a very long history—it is for instance often cited in the Bible. In the Book of Judges Gideon hears of a man’s dream in which a cake of barley bread went rolling down from the hill where Gideon’s army was stationed, and tumbling into the host of Midian.

Barley was grown and used for bread in many places and cultures since ancient times, including Greece and Rome, Egypt, Scandinavia, the British Isles, Mesopotamia, and East Asia. Bread made with it was usually coarse and dark and as a consequence not very appreciated,  although more affordable than bread made with wheat.

This recipe calls for 50% barley and whole-wheat, and it also contains mashed potatoes and a small amount of butter and maple syrup. The result is a hearty but very tender loaf, with a  thin, crispy crust and a moist crumb. The flavor of barley shines through and the subtle sweetness of maple can be detected as well.

It is perfect to accompany a thick vegetable soup, with sharp cheeses, or just simple and unadorned, to enjoy its hearty flavor.

This bread also goes to Susan’s Yeast Spotting

From the original recipe by Amelia Doddridge

In: “Liberty Recipes”, 1918—USA

Ingredients

3/4 cup (160 g) mashed potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold)

1 tbsp (15 ml) pure maple syrup (Grade B)

1/2 cup whole milk

1 tsp (5 g) unsalted butter

1 cup (120 g) whole-grain, stone-ground barley flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1-1/4 cup (150 g) white whole-wheat flour (King Arthur’s)

1 tsp (5 g)  fine sea salt

1-1/4 tsp (5 g) active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water

fine semolina for the pan

Peel the potatoes, rinse them well and dice them. Boil the potato pieces in the milk until tender, then drain them reserving the milk. Mash the potatoes through a  ricer than mix in the salt, maple syrup, and butter. Add 1/2 cup of the hot reserved milk (add water to make up the measure if necessary) and set aside to cool.

Once the potato mixture is lukewarm add the yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp of warm water.

Let the mixture cool completely. Then add the flours (sifted together) and knead on low speed until the dough is well developed and just barely tacky. If the potatoes are kneaded with the flours while still warm they will turn gooey and require extra flour which will make the final result heavy.

Let the dough ferment in a covered and lightly greased bowl until doubled, then knead again briefly and let ferment again until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)

Prepare an 8 x 4-inches bread pan or a small cast iron Dutch oven: lightly grease bottom and sides of the pan and sprinkle generously with fine semolina. Once the dough is ready knead it again then place it in the prepared pan or pot. Cover and let ferment until light then sprinkle with about 2 tbsp of water and score the surface.

Place it in the oven and bake, covered, for 25 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F (180°C), uncover and finish baking until golden, about 25 minutes more.

Carefully lift the loaf out of the pan or pot with a thin metal spatula (if enough semolina was used this should be easy) and let it cool on a rack.

This is how the crumb should look:

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cast-iron cooking, Eggless, whole grains, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Bean Bread

Posted by bakinghistory on August 23, 2008

A pleasant bread with a thin, crispy crust and a tender, moist crumb

This is my entry for My Legume Love Affair-Second Helping hosted  by Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook

ROUNDUP IS HERE

and for

Yeast Spotting hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast.

In the vintage cookbooks that I have read I have found that beans are used in bread in two forms: cooked and mashed or as flour. The addition of either was done at times for health reasons (improving the bread nutritional value) and at times for economy.

I recreated the recipe for this bread from one suggested by Eliza Acton in her influential “The English Bread-book: for domestic use”.  Miss Acton’s instructions were brief and I added a few details myself.  The recipe required “French-beans” which here are usually called navy beans.

I included a little butter and used 50% bread flour and 50% whole wheat flour, to approximate wheatmeal, which was originally called for in the recipe. I did not add any sweetener, but a little brown sugar or honey might be added to taste. I baked the bread in a covered cast iron Dutch oven.

The bread develops a thin, very crispy crust and a fine, moist crumb. The beans do not add much in terms of flavor but provide the moisture for the velvety crumb.

From the original recipe by Eliza Acton

In: “The English Bread-book: For domestic use”, 1857—UK

Ingredients:

For the overnight sponge:

1/8 tsp active dry yeast

250 g (2 cups) white whole wheat flour

150 g warm water

For the dough

1/2 lb cooked navy beans, pureed

250 g (1-3/4 cups) bread flour

2 tbsp brown sugar or honey (optional)

2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and thinly sliced

9 g fine sea salt

1 tsp active dry yeast

130 g warm water—or as needed

Make the sponge: stir the yeast in the warm water then add the flour and knead briefly until smooth. Shape into a ball place it in a covered glass container and let the sponge ferment overnight in a cool place (12-14 hours).

Make the dough: stir the yeast in half the amount of water, (the sugar or honey if you want) then mix in the pureed beans and finally the sponge cut into small pieces. Mix at low speed for a minute or two, then add the flour and salt and enough of the remaining water to have a dough that is soft and supple. More water or flour might be necessary. Knead at low speed until the gluten is well developed (about 10-15 minutes), and towards the end add the butter, kneading until well incorporated.

Let the dough ferment until doubled in bulk, in a covered bowl. Briefly knead again and let the dough ferment once more until doubled.

Shape the bread and place it in a large cast iron Dutch oven (or clay pot) that you have previously lightly greased and sprinkled with semolina). Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and once the bread is light score it, sprinkle with water and place the pot (covered) in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes then uncover the pot (carefully!) and let the bread finish baking until golden brown.

Carefully take the pot out of the oven and lift the loaf out —it should be easy, especially if you used a cast iron pot, the bread won’t stick.

Let the bread cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Posted in Beans, Blog Events, Cast-iron cooking, whole grains, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Junket (Got Milk?)

Posted by bakinghistory on August 6, 2008

A delicate jelly-like milk dessert flavored with almond

A delicate jelly-like milk dessert

This is my entry for the blog event Got Milk? hosted by Linda from Make Life Sweeter! for world breastfeeding week.

ROUNDUP IS HERE

Junket is an old-fashioned dessert made very simply by curdling fresh milk with rennet and adding a bit of sugar and flavoring—in most of the earliest recipes a little wine (sack) is added as well.

It is very easy to make and  a very pleasant, delicate and refreshing dessert that is also ready in almost no time and with very little work involved.

I used a kosher vegetarian rennet but liquid rennet or regular animal rennet tablets can be used, following manufacturer’s directions.

It can be flavored with vanilla, lemon oil, caramel, cocoa, coffee, fruit juice, cinnamon…possibilities are almost endless. My personal favorite is almond extract. It is also nice to pair it with fresh fruit such as berries.

From the original recipe by Frances Elizabeth Stewart

In: “Lessons in Cookery”, 1919—USA

Ingredients

1 quart fresh whole milk

1 junket tablet

1 tbsp cold water

2-8 tbsp sugar (I used 8 )

1-2 tsp vanilla extract (or to taste) or any other flavoring

dash of salt

Heat the milk in a double boiler (or in the microwave) just until lukewarm (96.8 F—37C)—not higher than that or the milk won’t set.

Dissolve the sugar and salt in the milk and add the flavoring of your choice. Dissolve the rennet in cold water.

Get ready 6-8 stemmed glasses. Mix the rennet water into the milk stirring very gently and very briefly and immediately pour the milk into the prepared glasses. Cover each with a piece of plastic wrap and let the milk set in a warm place. It is important not to stir, move or otherwise disturb the milk while it is setting, or the curds will separate from the whey, ruining the final result.

As soon as the milk is set (it will have the consistency of a soft jelly) place the glasses in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly. Serve immediately—if the junket is left to stand it will become curdled and separate from the whey.

Once ready it can be sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg and/or sugar.

the recipe can be halved.

Note: Junket tablets or liquid rennet (regular or vegetarian) are sold in most supermarkets, health food stores, and cheesemaking supply stores.

Posted in Blog Events, Dairy, Desserts, Eggless, Milk, Puddings | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Corn Flour Rolls (bbd #12: Small Breads)

Posted by bakinghistory on August 1, 2008

Soft dinner rolls made with corn flour and flavored with lemon zest

Roundup part 1Roundup part 2

breadbakingday #12 Bread Baking Day is a monthly blog event initiated by Zorra and hosted this time by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen.This month’s theme is “small breads”.

These corn flour rolls are soft and light, slightly sweet and wonderfully flavored by a good amount of lemon zest and a touch of butter which combine perfectly with the taste of corn.  Corn flour is finer than cornmeal and provides a nice chewiness without making the texture gritty.

The recipe comes from an American collection of recipes published in 1918 and meant to provide people with ways to conserve precious resources such as wheat flour and sugar. Despite the economy of ingredients these rolls truly taste rich and wholesome, and are well worth trying.

From the original recipe by Amelia Doddridge

In: “Liberty Recipes”, 1918—USA

Ingredients

1/2 cup scalded  milk

1 egg, well beaten

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp melted butter

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

zest of 1 (organic) lemon

1/2 cup (60 g)  corn flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water

3/4 cup to 1-1/2  (105g to 210 g) cups bread flour (or as needed) (I used King Arthur bread flour)

Pour the scalded milk over the sugar and salt, mix well and set aside to cool. Once the milk mixture is lukewarm add 3/4 cup of bread flour and the dissolved yeast. Mix vigorously and let the sponge ferment,covered, until doubled.

When the sponge is light add the melted butter, egg, grated lemon rind and corn flour. Mix well at low speed then add just enough bread flour to make a dough that is very soft but well developed and just slightly tacky.  Do not add too much flour or the rolls will turn out dry and heavy.

Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough to rise, covered, until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Gently transfer the risen dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide it in 12 equal pieces. Shape each into small round rolls (the dough is too soft to keep well any other shape more complex than rounds or ovals). Place each roll onto a rimless baking sheet and lightly brush with milk.

Let the rolls rise, covered, until doubled. Brush again with milk then with sharp kitchen scissors cut a decorative pattern on each roll.

Bake for about 20 minutes until nice and golden.

These rolls are great to eat either warm or cold. They can also be split and toasted to have with jam or marmalade, and can be frozen once cooled.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Grains, Rolls, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

 
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