Monday, January 9, 2012

Composing Bread

(part ii)
given the challenge
of making better party bread
than last year
I set out to do something different
and came up with the idea of a savory
monkey bread instead of sweet

used a white bread recipe with water
olive oil and a pinch of saffron
the stuff between the rolls
was olive oil, garlic,
finely chopped
fresh basil and marjoram
sundried tomatoes
packed in olive oil
the oil from the tomatoes

taking advantage of
the properties of gluten
in a well processed bread dough
(see last post)
I created little balls of dough
but was careful to stretch
and fold the dough until
each morsel had a smooth skin
then taking the olive oil herb mix
dipped each bite in the mixture
making sure I picked up the herb bits
assembly included making sure
the smooth skin faced out of the whole

at the party
the bread disappeared quickly
but the pieces of sundried tomato
on the top of the loaf browned
and were thought to be chocolate
next time I will chop finer

© 2012 Sandy Vrooman

Saturday, January 7, 2012

But I Just Asked for a Sandwich

bread is a question where one asks
“how did they do that?”
a dear geeky engineering friend
went after the answer
and it is quite a chemistry experiment
the study of yeast itself
could take a life time
then you add the gluten molecules
in wheat flour
how they react with each other
the act of letting the yeast ferment
then stretching the gluten
until it forms long chains
gasses formed during yeast fermentation
make up the little holes in bread
it’s what makes it rise

after researching all this
my friend Phil Pettit
devised the following method
get a mixer that has a dough hook
and is hearty enough
to run for a long time
proof yeast water and sugar
(mix and wait till bubbly)
start mixer
add chosen shortening
liquids and flavoring
put in a cup of flour
go do something else
add another cup of flour
go do something else
this can take all day
the idea is to let the machine
do the work of kneading
the dough for you

this goes for any
yeast wheat flour bread

we could get into flour sifting
but will just leave you
with an old Greek saying
“those who do not sift the flour
must knead the bread for 5 days”

© 2012 Sandy Vrooman

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