Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Brown Bread

Brown Bread
200g/7oz rye flour
200g/7oz whole wheat flour
200g/7oz strong white bread flour
7g (1 packet) easy blend yeast, or 15g fresh yeast
1 tbsp salt
a little more then 300- 350ml/10.5-12oz warm tap water
1tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Put the flour yeast and salt into a bowl and pour in 200ml/7oz of the water mixing as you do. Be prepared to add more water, what you want is a shaggy mess. Add butter and mix that in, then start kneading. Knead for about 10 min, adding more four if you need to form the dough into a ball and put in a large oiled or buttered bowl turning once so the top of the dough is greased. Cover with cling film and leave to raise till about doubled (about an hour). Punch it down, and knead for a minute or two, then form into a ball and place on a baking sheet covered loosely with cling film. Let it raise again till almost doubled again while preheating the oven to 200c/400f. When it’s ready, uncover it, and dust with flour before placing it in the oven. Bake for 45 min. Test if it is done by tapping the bottom of the loaf, it should sound hollow.

This is from a Nigella Lawson cookbook called How to be a Domestic Goddess. I’m not yet, but hey, maybe someday.

I mentioned once before that her recipes tend to work best if you weigh your flours instead of using cup measurements. There is a reason for that, but I won’t tire you with the details. I ran out of rye flour, and just used a mix of half whole wheat and half white bread flour to make up the difference.

It’s a nice bread. It may be a little too in between for some people. By that I mean that it’s not as hearty as a really serious health bread, but it’s not as fluffy as a home made white bread. If you are looking for something in between though, this is a nice way to go. I made this one to go with the chorizo hash, and they worked nicely together.

Here’s a little tip about bread making, that is terribly obvious I guess, but I didn’t know it. You cannot make a white bread recipe into a whole wheat recipe just by replacing the white flour with whole wheat flour. I tried that once. The result was nice to look at, but it was kind of like a neutron star; a spoonful weighed a ton. It was dense and heavy and dry, all of the things that homemade bread should not be. It turns out that wheat flour requires more liquid, a different cooking temperature, and a different cooking time too. I have also noticed that most of the time whole wheat flour gets mixed other flours instead of standing on it’s own.


CookBad said...

You should try the no-knead bread recipe that was in the NYT a few months ago. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?ex=1172206800&en=cc9c8a91cf2831f0&ei=5070

People love it. I want to try it, but am off the wheat.

AteThat said...

That sounds really fun. Very different too. I'm printing it out as we speak, I think I'll try it this weekend. How are you doing with the wheat free? Is it tough, or do you get used to it?