Monday, July 16, 2012

Bread Magic

The art of bread is a matter of alchemy. It is possible to use the exact same ingredients in exact proportions and have it turn out differently every time.  It could be because the batter was too dry, the weather too humid, or the dough was not kneaded enough or possibly too much, baking with a little consistency is a skill that takes a good deal of practice.  I'm so pleased when my baking goes well you must indulge me.

I made a new type of bread; Hungarian Split Farmhouse bread. It's from a recipe book I bought at Barnes & Noble for about $5 and despite the directions having been written poorly it has been a pretty useful book.

The ingredients called for a ton of yeast so the dough wound up being an unruly beast.  I added a significant amount of water to the dough (it's supposed to be very sticky to start, I added a whole extra cup of water). I beat it back three times before I was happy with the texture. The book only suggested one good kneading before baking but I imagine the whole thing would have been full of air bubbles.

I've got to say this is possibly the prettiest bread I've baked in a good long while.  It's covered with Fennel and Poppy seeds (perhaps too much Fennel, I'm going to knock off a few).  I am sitting here enjoying a fresh slice slathered in butter along with a licorice tea and I am in heaven!  If you love licorice you need to experience this! 

... And Papa, just to make you proud I took a photo of the inside... nearly perfect texture! 


Anonymous said...

Looks perfect! Mom

Anonymous said...

As nice as I could do. I must send some awaini seeds to mix with the dough. They add a nice flavor. Another good topping is sea salt in a medium grind. DOD