A smattering of things from life and food
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Take a small bowl and place water in it. Dissolve yeast and let stand for 5 minutes.
Take a large size mixing bowl and combine together sugar, flour and salt in it.
Cut in about 3/4 cup butter using a pastry blender until mixture begins to resemble coarse meal.
Combine eggs and milk in the yeast mixture. Add this to the flour mixture. Stir to form sticky dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Punch the dough and divide into half.
Place each half on a floured surface and roll into a 12-inch circle. Cut both the circles into 12 wedges.
Roll up each individual wedge tightly, beginning at the wide end.
Seat the points and place rolls with point side down on the greased baking sheets.
Curve rolls to form crescent shape. Brush with melted butter.
Cover and let the rolls rise in a warm place (about 85° F), free from drafts, for about 1 hour or until the rolls become double in bulk.
Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and allow the rolls to cool a little.
Milk and Honey Whte Bread
Place the yeast and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon flour and the sugar. Mix well and set aside for about 5 minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the remaining flour and salt. Add the 2 eggs, butter, milk and honey. Blend ingredients thoroughly. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour if the dough seems too sticky. Dough should be soft but not sticky. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough, knead briefly and let rise again for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9” loaf pan. Place the dough inside the pan. Let rise for another 30 minutes. Brush the surface of the bread with the beaten egg. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and well risen. Makes one loaf
Ciabatta Bread (Italian “Slipper” Bread)
yield: Makes 2 loaves
In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl stir together yeast mixture, room-temperature water, and flour and stir 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
In a small bowl stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until
creamy. In bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook blend together
milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour at low speed until flour is just
moistened and beat dough at medium speed 3 minutes. Add salt and beat 4 minutes more. Scrape dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)
Have ready a rimless baking sheet and 2 well-floured 12- by 6-inch sheets parchment paper. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles (see note, above) arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425° F.
Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up far edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone or tiles in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. With a large spatula transfer loaves to a rack to cool.