Sunday, January 21, 2018

Strange Bread

I recently bought Stella Parks's wonderful dessert cook book, "BraveTart". Of course I had to try some things - so the recipe for a Japanese style bread was attempted.  It didn't turn out as intended, but it was wonderful, nonetheless.
There were several issues.

  • I had a timing problem - was due to meet some friends for lunch so didn't quite give it enough time
  • The recipe called for malted milk - but I didn't have any
  • The coconut oil/fat that I had was very strongly coconut flavored
But apart from that, it was a matter of improvisation.

I did have some dry non fat milk lying around, so I thought it might be cool to add that instead of the malted milk powder. But, of course, I wanted some toasty flavor. So i baked it in a 350 oven for 8 minutes to get it toasted. It worked a treat!

Also, because this was from an American cook book, most of the measurements are in lbs/oz not in metric measurements.

The technique hydrates some of the flour with hot liquid first - a way to get water into the recipe without making everything too sloppy. 

Ingredients (Paste)

1 1/2 oz AP flour
6 oz 2% milk

Ingredients (Bread)

15 oz AP flour
2 oz sugar
2 oz toasted milk powder
1 1/2 oz virgin coconut oil (solid)
2t active dry yeast
5 oz 2% milk
1 oz half and half
1 1/2 t kosher salt

Method (Paste)

Mix the flour and milk together in a saucepan. Heat gently stiffing occasionally until the mixture thickens. Keep it on the heat until the flour mixture comes away from the sides of the pan (while you are stirring with a silicone spatula).
Let the paste cool for about 20 minutes

Method (Dough)

Dissolve the sugar in the milk/half and half. Add the yeast and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Combine the flour, paste, salt, coconut oil, milk powder together in the stand mixer. Add the salt and the milk/yeast mixture, stir to combine and then knead for 15 minutes (in the mixer). It needs to be kneaded until the dough window -panes.
Cover the dough and leave to rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place. It should be a bit fuffy. 
Set the oven to 350 and preheat for 20 minutes.
Turn out the dough and shape into an 8" square. Fold the dough like you would fold a business envelope.  Pinch the edges together to make a seam. 
Place in a loaf pan, seam side down and leave to rise a second time until the top of the loaf is just above the edge of the pan.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350. Internal temp should reach around 202 degrees.
Turn the loaf out of the pan onto a wire rack. For at least an hour before cutting it.
Eat with mashed avocado - or just with butter and jam.

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