Goth Panda

February 25, 2016

No-Knead Crusty White Bread

It has been a while since I have posted about bread baking. I still do it fairly often, and the easiest way I have found to maintain the habit is using this recipe. It makes three loaves at a time, and I bake all three and then freeze them until needed. Since we usually don’t eat more than a loaf a week, if that, I can bake once every three weeks and never run out of bread. Not to mention that the recipe itself is easy and not at all time-consuming, and the bread is delicious.

No Knead Bread

Look at that crumb!

This recipe comes from my old standby, King Arthur Flour, and the ratios are perfect. This is especially important for no-knead bread. If you are kneading, you can use experience and judgment to know when you have the right mix of bread and water in the dough, but for no-kneads this is not easy to know because the dough is so wet. It is especially important to weigh out the ingredients with a scale – I usually weigh down to the gram in order to get the balance right. But the upside is the bread is perfect every time.

No-Knead Crusty White Bread

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

680 g lukewarm water (24 oz)
907 g unbleached all-purpose flour (32 oz)
14 g (1 tbsp) salt
14 g (1-1/2 tbsp) instant yeast

Directions

Measure out all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, or a large (6-quart), food-safe plastic bucket. I use my largest dough-rising bucket.

Mix and stir everything together to make a very sticky, rough dough. I do this with my dough whisk until it gets too tough to stir. At that point, I reach in and stir it with my hands, folding the dough over itself until there are no streaks of flour and everything is incorporated.

Cover the bowl or bucket (I just place the lid on the top but don’t snap it on), and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

After it’s been out for 2 hours, put the bowl or bucket in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or for up to about 7 days. The longer it is refrigerated, the more it will taste like sourdough. I usually bake all the loaves at once, but you can bake them one at a time as long as you use all of the dough within seven days.

When you’re ready to bake, remove the bucket and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour to make it easier to grab a hunk. Grease your hands, and pull off a chunk of the dough. I like to make 3 loaves with this dough, and I weigh each dough ball in a greased bowl to be around 17 ounces each.

Roll the sticky dough onto a floured work surface, and round it into a ball as best as you can. Do the same with the other two loaves.

Place parchment paper on a half sheet pan, and put the loaves on it. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to keep the dough moist.

Let the dough rise for about 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450°F while the dough rests.

When you’re ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the bread 2 or 3 times.

The King Arthur Flour recipe has you add in a water tray for steaming the bread when you put it in the oven, but I usually skip that step. The steam tray will make the crust crispier, but I like it fine without.

Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until it’s a deep, golden brown. I always check the internal temperature with my bread thermometer; you want it to be above 180 degrees.

Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Once it’s cool, I double-bag (bread bag and freezer bag) two loaves and put them in the freezer. The other loaf I leave out to eat, and put it in a plastic bag at room temperature.

June 3, 2013

Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits

I was a little bit disappointed in these biscuits. Although they rose prettily, they did not have as rich a taste as I am accustomed to in biscuits. I think this is because the recipe is light on butter, so there was less fat in these biscuits than in other biscuit recipes I have tried. They were still very good, and if you are looking for a lighter biscuit recipe, you might want to try this one.

Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits

From Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and Better Homes & Gardens

2 c all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
1/2 c milk
1/2 c sour cream
2 rounded tbsp chives or green onions

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl stir together milk and sour cream until the mixture is almost smooth. Stir in the chives.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the milk mixture all at once. Using a wooden spoon stir just until the dough sticks together.
Push the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, flour your hands and knead gently 8 to 10 times just until dough holds together.
Pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough with a bench knife or a biscuit cutter and place on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch space between each biscuit.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Brush with melted butter before serving, if desired.

May 31, 2013

Cheddar Cheese Bread

Cheese Bread

I am always on the lookout for a good cheese bread recipe. This one is a moist, delicious, savory quick bread. It is easy to make and delicious to eat. It disappeared quickly in my house.

Cheddar Cheese Bread

From the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook via The Quixotic Table

3 oz (1 c) Parmesan cheese grated on large holes of box grater (I used finely shredded Parm and that was probably a mistake, but it was still delicious.)
3 c AP flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 ounces (1 cup) extra-sharp cheddar cut into 1/2″ cubes
1-1/4 c whole milk
3/4 c sour cream
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 with a rack in the middle position. Spritz a 9 by 5″ loaf pan with vegetable oil spray and sprinkle half of the Parmesan evenly over the bottom.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and peppers together in a large bowl. Add the cubed cheese and toss in the flour to ensure it is well coated. Whisk milk, sour cream, butter, and egg in a separate bowl. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry with a rubber spatula until it is just combined, with no streaks of flour. The batter will be very thick, but do not over mix.

Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with rubber spatula. Evenly sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top. Bake 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.

Allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan onto a cooling rack. Let the bread cool completely, for at least 1 hour.

March 25, 2013

Little Sally Lunns

Sally Lunn's Tea Shop

I visited the official Sally Lunn tea shop in Bath when we went to England. The buns they serve there are flat and fluffy, a little bigger than a standard hamburger roll. They were served with jam and clotted cream, and they were delicious.

Sally Lunn Bun

These buns are a little different, since they are baked in a muffin tin. They are slightly sweet, but not sweet enough to make jelly superfluous. King Arthur Flour suggests having them for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea. We ate them throughout the day yesterday, without butter and jelly even, and they were delicious.

The recipe is very easy and doesn’t take long. I opted to add vanilla instead of lemon, but I’d like to try the lemon option. I didn’t have the yeast formulated for sweet dough, but I let the dough rise longer and didn’t have any trouble with it.

The only problem I had was that the recipe only made 12 buns, instead of 24. I weighed the dough out to the recommended 70 g and everything. The buns were almost too big for the muffin cups, so I wonder if halving the weight and making them 35 g would be the right way to go in the future.

Little Sally Lunns

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (8 oz) whole milk
6 tbsp (3 oz) butter
1/4 cup (1.75 oz) sugar
1/8 tsp lemon oil or 1 tbsp grated lemon rind (zest); or 2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups (14.75 oz) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 large eggs
1 tbsp instant yeast

Directions
1) Combine the milk, butter, and sugar in a saucepan and heat to lukewarm, stirring to melt the butter. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl, and let it cool until it’s below 120°F, about 15 minutes.

2) Add the lemon or vanilla, salt, 2 cups of the flour, the eggs, and yeast.

3) Beat the mixture on medium speed for about 3 minutes.

4) Add the remaining flour to the mixture and beat for about 3 minutes, until it becomes a soft, cohesive dough.

5) Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in bulk.

6) Lightly grease the cups of two standard muffin pans (24 cups total). [My note – as I said above, I only needed one pan.]

7) Divide the dough among the cups of the muffin pans. If you have a scale, fill each cup with about 70g (2 3/8 ounces) dough; the cups will be a bit more than half full. [My note – I might use less than 70g of dough per roll next time, to try to get more rolls.]

8) Cover the pans, and let the rolls rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until they’re puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

9) Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one reads at least 190°F, about 15 minutes.

10) Remove the rolls from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack. Wrap completely cooled rolls airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.