This book got me started on cooking for boyfriends and family. There are classic recipes and great technique tips ... to boot, I only had to read one or two pages at a time to get good results - and I'm NOT talking a grade or a positive comment from some pompous ass of a professor! I'm talking something much more substantial and 'stick-to-your-ribs'! Over the years, I've lost the dust cover, spilled on the pages, split the spine, and marked favorites.
This month's random 'open sesame' brought me to Spiral Bread on page 467. Never made it! Totally random! It seems fitting, as Dom has been the 'King of Sourdough' of late. While this is no sour dough, it has something else to recommend it - a pretty herbed filling. Actually, the recipe gives you a choice of fillings - herbed or anchovy. I am not into salty fillings today and I am really craving bright greens in honor of our spring weather (at last!), so I went for the parsley, scallion, and garlic mash.
Voila! Let's get going! This bread starts out with a scalded milk, shortening, sugar, and salt solution that gets cooled to about 109° F. Let's not kill the yeast, which is dissolved in a cup of lukewarm water and allowed to 'work' itself into a nice froth.
One of the questions I've had in my years of breadbaking is ... what exact temperature is 'lukewarm' ? I've come to the conclusion that is is 106° F ... or one degree up or down. How's that for exact?
Ten minutes of working gives the yeast a nice froth. The milk solution is cooled enough to work with and I have my flours out and ready to make dough.
I used bread flour for the first four cups of the flour measurement and switched over to all purpose for the last three cups. However, when it came to mixing in the all purpose flour, the dough seemed saturated at 2½ cups, so I left out the last ½ cup.
King Arthur makes a good product and that's all I need to say on that subject.
Taking aggressions out on the bread dough, as I get the last of the flour incorporated ... then, the dough (and my poor arm!) rested for ten minutes before another ten minute knead session.
Finished dough is ready for its first rise. This is a stiff compact dough. I was a little worried at first, I'll be honest. I put it in a big greased bowl and tucked it up by the warm woodstove, said a prayer to the 'kitchen gods' and went on to make the filling.
Oh, what a warm woodstove and a good yeast can do! The dough doubled beautifully. It got a punch down and then rested for another ten minutes ... while I drank beer and yakked on the phone.
Make toast! Enjoy!
So that was the long of it. Here's the short of it : Spiral Bread - printer friendly
Thanks, Dom for this challenge! This random find is a keeper. Special thanks, too, go out to Denise Fletcher at bread expectations. Denise has given me encouragement as I become more involved in this thing called breadbaking.