Sweet Milk Bread

Nope, I haven’t forgotten about making bread… it’s just that therehave been too many things going on… but here is one – a variation of the same theme (no knead) but using milk and a bit of condensed milk.

I can confidently say that this experiment is a success!

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Whey Bread, No Knead!

I have my friend T to thank for introducing the no-knead bread to me.  While I had the book for some time already, I had not bothered to read it (it was a gift) and had been making bread by kneading.  But I was plagued with RSS which caused me much pain, so much so that my dough kneading (and yes, also my frosting piping) became greatly reduced.

But having tried the no-knead bread, I was hooked and went on to experiment a bit.  My experiments gave me my go-to recipe, a slightly modified version of the original…

I actually use half of the original formula, (it is a good idea to read/know the original formula/method first) because [1.] I cannot find a 6-liter capacity container!  not that it would fit in my fridge… and [2.], while we like bread, we are basically rice eaters, and half a recipe, which gives us a couple of (sometimes even 3) boules, actually last us a week.

What is my secret?  Whey!  I make 3 to 4 liters of yogurt every week, which I strain to make Greek-style yogurt.  I am left with (sometimes a lot of) whey.  While my younger brother drinks it (or uses it for shakes, etc.) I found that it makes bread a tad more flavorful…

My halved, adapted recipe:

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup whey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 tablespoon fine salt
3-1/3 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar, optional

The procedure is easy – just mix everything in a 3-liter capacity container (with a loose lid, do not use airtight containers).  Cover lightly and leave to dough to rest for 2 to 3 hours.  Then put the dough in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, sprinkle a little flour on the dough.  Grab a third or half of the dough (use scissors to cut the dough) and quickly form into a boule (check out the video)

To bake, I don’t really use a dutch oven or baking stone.  After forming the boule, I let it rest on an oiled, floured piece of parchment or greaseproof paper for 45 to 60 minutes.  About 10 minutes before time is up, I preheat my small electric oven.  And I also heat my 6-inch cast iron pan (or a 7-inch one) and grease it with canola oil.  I plop my dough CAREFULLY in the heated cast iron pan and (using scissors) make cuts or slashes on top of the dough.  I also sprinkle some flour on top (as opposed to cornmeal) before placing it into the preheated 400*F oven.

The bread bakes 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temp reads 200*F.

00_sunseed-boule

And it’s done!

Sometimes for variety, I would add a handful of raisins, or mixed dried fruit, or in this particular instance, a handful of sunflower seeds!

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It is absolutely great slathered with butter, jam, cream cheese, or a dried fruit-honey spread!

 

Cream Boule

The thing is, I promised my brother some bread every Sunday.  How we got to that arrangement I no longer remember with any clarity but so far, my brother is a good and effective guinea pig for my bread experiments!

Here’s another one using no knead method.  But it is definitely not lean!  Part of the liquid was replaced with whipping cream and about 5 to 8% of the flour reduced to maintain a wetter dough.

The resulting is texture is different… somehow soft yet still hefty.  And still absolutely delicious and tasty!

 

Bread Pudding

When I was little, bread pudding was a popular dessert.  I never realized that it was made from bread until I was much much older!  It was also one of those things that was made from “a feel for it”, no specific recipe to speak of.

The way I was taught to make it?  It first depends on how much bread cubes we had… basically, spread the bread cubes in a single layer in a Corningware square dish (how specific!)  For the “middle-sized” dish, it meant 2 grande eggs (XL-sized).  Now, for every egg used, we add 3/4 cup milk (no low fat milk… we used to use evaporated milk!), 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, a large pinch of apple spice (or cinnamon) and a small pinch of salt.  This recipe or proportion is by no means a strict one… in fact, we always eye-balled it!

Anyway, our pudding almost always had raisins added to it.  But since I was using the dried fruit bread from the other day, I decided to add chocolate chips instead!  And while I was at it, I added 2 tablespoons of rum too!

The secret?  Leave the bread soaking in the milk mixture at least 4 hours before baking!!!

The verdict?

Everyone loved it… even my hard-to-please mother!!!

 

Bolo Rei

Like I said, this is the year of fruitcake for me.  And I know I said I had baked my last fruitcake, but hey, technically, this is not cake, it is bread!

Bolo Rei is the Portuguese Christmas King’s Cake, but like I said, it is really bread, with yeast and everything.

I basically followed the recipe here – https://food52.com/recipes/2157-christmas-king-s-cake-bolo-rei-portugal but I scaled the recipe down to a third.

Yes, this was Christmas Day breakfast!

 

 

Ensaimada!!!

Ensaimada (or ensaymada) is a Filipino sweet bread that is slathered on with butter, sugar and cheese.  It may or may not have its origins with the Spanish ensaimada (mallorca) but it has evolved to be the quintessential Filipino bread (pandesal notwithstanding).

I have been on a quest to make THE ensaimada that I like for almost 5 years!  My attempts have all been flops… until this one… and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a no-knead one!

As always, I based the recipe on one that is in the The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François.  But I tweaked the brioche recipe in order to make it even richer because as far as I knew, the dough for ensaimada has more egg yolks and virtually no egg whites!  (I kept a couple of whites in the recipe though).

Wonder of wonders, I not only succeeded, but it was the perfect one for me!

Yay!

Soft American-style Loaf

Several days ago, I mixed up a half a batch of the Soft American-style bread and used a third of it to make Raisin Bread.  For the remaining 2/3 of the dough, I made it into a loaf bread since the little girl and Lola N like sandwiches.

I divided the dough into 4 and formed each piece into an oval piece.  I placed the 4 pieces in a lightly oiled large loaf pan and I let it rise for at least an hour and a half.  Then I placed the risen loaf in the fridge and baked it the next morning!

So what did we have for breakfast the next morning?  Spam and egg sandwiches, that’s what!

Yum!

 

 

 

Raisin Bread

The little girl likes her bread soft and fluffy… so does her A-te and Lola.  So while hubby and I prefer the chewy, slightly crusty bread, I have to bake bread for the others too…

Good thing the book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, has it covered!  One of the recipes in the book is the American-style soft bread!  As always, I always halve the recipe… and this particular instance, i also added raisins and cinnamon-sugar, as an added bonus for the little girl!

I was able to find the recipe online, but I seriously urge anyone and everyone to get the book – it is well worth it!

Anyway, as far as what I did – I dumped 495 grams of bread flour, 1/2 tablespoon of instant yeast, 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar, and 1/2 tablespoon of fine salt in a bowl.  Then I poured in 1-1/2 cups water and 1/4 cup melted butter.  After mixing well, I left it on the counter, lightly covered, for 2 hours.  Then I shoved it into the refrigerator.

The next day, I plumped up 1/3 cup of raisins by soaking them in hot water for about an hour; after which I drained them and patted them dry.  Then I made my cinnamon sugar mix with 1-1/2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

Taking roughly a third of the dough, I flattered it into a rough rectangle and sprinkled the cinnamon sugar all over and scattered the raisins.  The dough was rolled into a cylinder then coiled and placed in a 7-inch buttered aluminum round pan.  I let it rise for about an hour then baked it at 350*F for about 20 minutes.

Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, I brushed butter all over the top and since I had some cinnamon sugar left over, I sprinkled it on the bread as well!

The little girl was quite happy with her fluffy raisin bread!