It was late at night on a weekday, and we are getting tired of eating our Rye bread although I still have a loaf of German Sourdough untouched. I bought quite a lot of ham, just a few days ago, to to finish them soon. A light bread will be great.
Looking at my bread books, I chose Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads - Feather Bread - described as feather light. Sounds good after eating days of heavy dense rye.
4 cup of bread flour
2 packets of dry yeast
1 1/2 cup of water (120-130F)
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp salt (reduced as 1 full tbsp is too much to our liking)
1/3 cup butter (unsalted)
1 egg white, slightly beaten mixed with 1 tbsp water
This is relatively easy to do.
Mix 3 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
Pour in water.
Stir with a heavy spoon (I used by wooden spoon).
Cut in the butter and mix well.
Slowly add in flour - I used 1 tbsp at a time.
Knead for a good 10 minutes (by hand)
Rise for 1 hour ( I popped into my oven which I had heated up to 50C and let it cool for a while). Put a cup of hot water in there as I decided to close the oven door and take a bath while my yeast works on the dough.
It took probably 35 minutes and it rose very well.
The original recipe calls for it to be shaped into french baguette. I decided to make mine small as it easier to eat. Divide the dough into 2, I decided to shape a few of them to small baguettes, and some round ones as well. The first batch baguette like, I put into the oven that was still warm, put in a fresh cup of hot water and let it rise. While the 2nd batch, as it was getting late, I decided to put them into the fridge after shaping.
The first batch of baguette rose slowly, took about 45 minutes before I put them into the oven for baking. Prior to baking, I score the dough, brush the egg white. I also decided to steam the oven to get a bit of crust. At 230C, the bread was ready in 22 minutes. I decided to go to sleep then.
In the morning, I was worried that my bread in the fridge will over-rise, I woke up at 6am to look at it. Well, it didn't rise at all. I bit up my oven again at 50C, before it's fully heated, I switched it off so that the oven stayed warm, and put the dough in to let it rise. It took about 45 minutes for the dough to relax and rise. I was able to bake it on time for my son to bring one extra small round bread.
Of course the small baguette was made with ham, and I added lettuce and cheese for myself and husband. We love this, as it is soft, light, as per the name, it is feather light, a the light butter brings out the taste well. I probably can do a variation to this, love those Subway Sandwiches, want to try bread with herbs.
Note: This bread has to be eaten fresh, quite immediately after it's baked.
Baked on 5 & 6 Feb 2010