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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:

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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 »

Cornmeal Muffins (Homegrown Gourmet #5)

Posted by bakinghistory on February 7, 2008

cornmeal-muffins-2.jpg

Made with yellow corn meal and a touch of sugar, the corn muffin is the official muffin of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

                                roundup is HERE

This is my entry for the Homegrown Gourmet #5 blog event hosted this time by Gretchen from Canela & Comino and initiated by Bean’s Bistro.

Gretchen’s theme was Quick Breads and she specified that each entry should “somehow represent your home region, hometown, state, or area. Representation can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist”.

I write from the beautiful State of Massachusetts, so for this event my entry could only be Corn Muffins, which are the official muffin of the Commonwealth.

This recipe gives buttery, very light muffins, with a pleasant crunchiness provided by the stone ground cornmeal, and a nice touch of sweetness. Ideally, they should be baked in cast iron muffin pans, which should be heated in the oven before being filled with batter. This would ensure that the muffins turn out crispy on the outside and nice and spongy inside. Otherwise, regular muffin pans will work almost as well, of course without preheating.

From the original recipe by Lucia Gray Swett

In: “New England breakfast breads, luncheon and tea biscuits, 1891—USA

Ingredients (the recipe can be halved)

1/2 cup (115 g) butter + a little extra to grease the pans

1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar

4 eggs, divided

2 cups (245 g) yellow cornmeal (stone ground)

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups (250 g) AP flour (unbleached)

2-1/4 (535 ml) cups milk

3 tsp baking powder OR 1 tsp baking soda + 2 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). If you are using cast iron muffin pans preheat them in the oven.

If you are using baking powder, sift it with the AP flour. If you are using baking soda and cream of tartar sift the cream of tartar with the AP flour and dissolve the baking soda in some of the milk. Sift the cornmeal with the salt.

Cream the butter with the sugar, add the yolks, the AP flour (sifted with either baking powder or cream of tartar), and part of the milk (not the amount in which you dissolved the baking soda, in case you used it). Add the cornmeal and salt, then add the remaining milk (the amount in which you dissolved the baking soda if using it). Mix the ingredients quickly, by hand. Finally fold in the egg whites, beaten until stiff.

Grease the muffin pans with melted butter (using a small brush is best). Do this carefully if you preheated the cast iron pans in the oven. Fill each muffin cup for about 2/3 and quickly place them in the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 400°F (200°C) bake until the muffins are puffed and golden, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

P.S. The book recommended using cream of tartar + baking soda as they would give better results than baking powder, and I found this to be true.


 

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cast-iron cooking, Comfort Food, Corn Bread, Grains, Muffins & Biscuits, Regional American Food, State Foods | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Raised Oatmeal Muffins

Posted by bakinghistory on August 1, 2007

oatmuffins2.jpg
These muffins have a moist, spongy crumb, a touch of sweetness and the good flavor of oats. Great eaten warm as soon as they are out of the oven or split and toasted and spread with jam.

 

From the original recipe by Fannie M. Farmer
In “The Boston Cooking School Cook Book” 1896–USA

These muffins should be baked in a gem pan, similar to a muffin pan but with shallow cups. Cast iron gem pans are still made, easy to find and not at all expensive. Earthenware or glass ramekins, muffin rings placed in a baking pan, or regular muffin pans will work as well.

Ingredients

3/4 cup (180 ml) milk, scalded

1/4 (50 g) cup sugar

1/2 tsp (3 g) salt

1/8 tsp (.5 g) active dry yeast

1/4 cup (60 ml) milk, lukewarm

2-1/2 cups (315 g) all purpose flour (unbleached)

1 cup cooked oatmeal, cold (I used 1/2 cup (80 g) steel cut Scottish-style oats (pinhead oats) cooked in 1-1/2 cups (355 ml) milk + 1/8 tsp (0.75 g) salt for about 20 minutes–you can use any type of oats you like as long as they are not instant. Cook them following directions given on the package)

Add sugar and salt to scalded milk and set aside to cool. Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm milk and set aside. Place the cooked oatmeal in a bowl and mix well with the flour. Add the milk and yeast mixture, and finally the milk mixed with sugar and salt. Beat the mixture throughly, then cover the bowl and let rise overnight. The following morning grease a muffin pan (or ramekins, muffin rings placed in a baking pan, or a cast iron gem pan) and fill each cup 2/3 full.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and leave the filled pan on the stove to warm up. The muffins batter will rise quickly: when the batter fills the cups to the top it is ready to bake. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

These muffins stay fresh for a long time thanks to both a slow fermentation and the cooked oatmeal. They also freeze well.

 

Posted in American Cooking, Cast-iron cooking, Grains, Muffins & Biscuits, Yeasted Breads | 2 Comments »