Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bread Baking Babe-orama

What's this?



Why, yes it is typing here!

And not only is there typing here but this is the beginning of me blogging with some regularity again. I'll go into my whereabouts, my reasons behind my taking such long blogging break, what is new in my life and how those new things are going to effect what happens here at The Sour Dough in a future post.

But for now, I have some long outstanding posts about the past two breads my lovely and understanding Bread Baking Babes (Karen, Elizabeth, Elle [Pat], Gorel, Sara, Natasha, Ilva, Tanna, Lien, Astrid, and Susan) have already posted about. I guess this makes me the Bad Babe in the Corner sent to the back bench of our classroom without her supper or her bottle of scotch.

In June, Ilva presented us with the recipe for the most fantastic soda bread I've ever made! Ballymaloe White Soda Bread with Herbs

BBB logo June 2011

I hate to say it but saying this was the best soda bread I've ever had includes my long kept family recipe of my great grandmother Sarah Kate Burgess of County Wexford in Ireland AND Michigan.

I made this bread when my mother was visiting.

Bread Baking Babe Ballymaloe White Soda Bread with Herbs

It was so easy and quick to make that I made it for an afternoon snack on the day she arrived. We took the leftovers with us when we visited the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park, NY

Vanderbilt Mansion

to have as a picnic dinner in the garden.

Mom in garden

The deep purple iris


and white waterlilies


made a lovely backdrop to our light dinner

Bread Baking Babe Ballymaloe White Soda Bread with Herbs sliced (YUM!)

of soda bread, fruit, cheese and of course wine!

This past month, July, Sara gave us the freedom to make hamburger buns any way or shape we wanted to using a recipe from Williams Sonoma.

BBB logo July 2011

For my birthday in June, my brother and sister in law sent me a gift card to King Arthur Flour and I used it buy a pan to make homemade hot dog buns. I hadn't had a chance to use it yet but Sara's recipe was too much to resist.

BBB Buns from the pan

After making my own hot dog buns, I don't think I'll ever buy them again. I've become addicted to turkey Italian sausage. I've been grilling it on my new grill at least two times a week. These buns are the perfect compliment to them.

Bread Baking Babes Williams Sonoma Hamburger Buns

I've made them at least three times this month and even made the buns using whole wheat flour last week. This recipe is a keeper.

I'm afraid it's too late to be buddy for either of these breads but I really suggest you give them a try. You won't be sorry.

Thanks Babes! I promise to try and be a better Babe for the rest of the year...

White Soda Bread with Herbs
from The Ballymaloe Bread Book by Tim Allen

1 loaf

450 g/1lb plain white four
1 level teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon bread soda, finely sieved
1 dessert spoon each of rosemary, sage and chives, all freshly chopped
400 ml/ 14 fl oz buttermilk

Heat up the oven to 230 degrees C/450 degrees F

Sieve the flour, salt and bread soda into a large, wide mixing bowl. Add the freshly chopped herbs to the dry ingredients.

Make a well in the centre. Pour most of the milk into the flour. Using one hand with the fingers open and stiff, mix in a full circle drawing in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky.

The trick with all soda breads is not to over-mix the dough. Mix the dough as quickly and as gently as possible, keeping it really light and airy. When the dough comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface. Wash and dry your hands.

Gently roll the ball of dough around with floury hands for a few seconds, just enough to tidy up. Then pat it gently into a round, about 5 cm/2 in high.

Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet. With a sharp knife cut a deep cross in the middle of it, letting the cuts go over the sides of the bread. Then prick the four triangles with your knife: according to Irish folklore this will let the fairies out!

Put this into your preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200 degrees C/400 degrees F for a further 25 minutes, or until cooked. When the bread is cooked it will sound hollow when tapped.

Homemade Hamburger Buns
from Williams-Sonoma

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
8 Tbs (1stick/125 g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
4 cups (625 g) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water
sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter and heat until the butter is melted, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to 105-155'F (40 to 46'C). Add the yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 4 cups of flour, the sugar and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the milk mixture and knead until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, oil the inside of the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 10 by 7 1/2 inch (25 by 19 cm) rectangle. Using a ruler as a guide, cut the dough into 2 1/2 inch (6cm) squares. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing the buns evenly apart, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400'F (200'C)

Remove the plastic wrap from the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg mixture (I brushed the tops with milk) and sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. Bake until the buns and golder and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a bun registers 190'F (88'C), 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the buns to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut in half and use as hamburger buns. Makes 12 hamburger buns.

For slider buns: Follow the instructions above but roll out the dough into a 9 inch (23 cm) square. Cut into 1 1/2 inch (4cm) squares and place on 2 parchment lined baking sheets. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Position one rack in the upper third of an over and one rack in the lower third and preheat to 400'F (200'C). Brush the tops with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. Bake for about 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and 180 degrees halfway through baking. Makes 36 slider buns.