Monday, September 06, 2010

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Oats and Coconut

This one used up the rest of the flour in the house. I am sure burning through it! For fine french breads I like to use bread flour, which has about 25% more protein (aka gluten) which makes the bread structure stronger internally and lets it rise high. But, with breads with lots of additions like this I feel like it is kind of pointless and general flour works just as well.

I added egg in this time, and I can't really tell what it does to the bread. I think it gives it fluff by binding things together similarly to what the gluten does, but I can't find any information on this online. Anyone know?

Otherwise, I just let the raisins, yeast, sugar, and coconut soak for a while, then added the flour until it mixed right. But, I forgot to leave any for flouring the counter for kneeding, so I tried using the silicone mat Megan uses for chocolate and it worked great. A good thing to know for working with wet dough that you still want to work with.

Another nice tip I found for softer/chewier crusts is to just toss in a 1/2 cup of water into the oven while it is baking. The steam transfers heat well and it makes makes the crust not crumble.

I am also working on the cuttings on the top of the loafs, since they make them look so nice! And that works with my philosophy: good looking food tastes better.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Daily Bread

This is our 1000th post, and in an attempt to mimic one of our favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, I took some nicer pictures of my evening bread. Challenges in food photography! The bread itself is a whole wheat and oats cinnamon rasin bread with zucchini. I didn't know before I started making bread that most normal "whole wheat" bread contains just a fraction of whole wheat flour, 1/4th in this case. I have used the zucchini before and if you shred it it makes the bread lighter and moist, but it doesn't give it much flavor.

When making my bread I don't use any recipe, besides the basic ratio of flour to water, salt, and yeast. So far so good, and I have made about 10-12 loafs so far. My one complaint is I can not manage to get that big round artisan bread loaf look yet, and keep getting flatter round loafs. Still good, but that height isn't there. To fix it, I am going to allow more rising, drier dough, and use parchment paper instead of cornmeal.

Bread making like this really is just like brewing. Get the basics right and follow those rules very close. Then, throw in whatever sticks and try it out! Don't worry, the yeast will save you in both endevers.