Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Dilled Petits Pains for Bread Baking Day

It's spring! And Bread Baking Day is all about Spring Country Breads this month. April's bread baking celebration is hosted by Cindystar and the deadline to participate is May 1st, 2009.

In Italy, like many countries, spring is celebrated by cooking and eating outside. Picnics abound while flowers and herbs are in bloom. In Canada this means one thing, barbecuing! I made some cute little petits pains, French rolls, that I rolled in dill weed, and used them as little burger buns for some awesome sliders. Tucked in each cute little burger is a nugget of bleu cheese all melty from the grill. What could be better than that? Beer? Yes, we have plenty of beer. This is Canada, after all.

French Bread Made in the Food Processor
This is my first time making a bread in the food processor, what fun!
Recipe from: The Bread Bible
by Beth Hensperger
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unbleached bread flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cool water (80 degrees F)
Yellow cornmeal, for sprinkling
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for glaze

In a 2-cup liquid measure, pour in the warm water. Stir the yeast and sugar over the surface of the water. Stir to dissolve and let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes.
In the work bowl of the food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the all-purpose bread and semolina flours and salt. With the motor running, immediately pour the yeast mixture and the cool water through the feed tube in a steady stream as fast as the flour mixture will absorb it. After the dough forms a soft, elastic ball and clears the sides of the bowl, process 45 to 60 seconds more to knead. If the dough is too sticky, add flour by the tablespoonful. If it is too dry, add water by the teaspoonful.
Using a plastic dough scraper, transfer the dough ball to a clean work surface. Give a few kneads by hand to even out dough consistency.
Place the dough in a lightly greased container and turn once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until tripled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The dough can be refrigerated overnight.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. The boule, batards, and petits pains are best baked on a parchment-lined baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal; the baguettes are best in well-greased baguette pans, sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough into the desired loaves. Place on the baking sheet or baguette pan. Place the dough round, seam side up, on a clean floured dish towel or in a cloth-lined banneton, cover with the edges of the towel, and let rise. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest again at room temperature until tripled in bulk, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, placing a baking stone on the lower third shelf. If rising on the towel or in a banneton, turn the dough out onto a wooden peel heavily sprinkled with cornmeal. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of all the loaves with the egg glaze. Using a sharp knife, slash the surface a few times diagonally across the top, no more than 1/2 inch deep. Place the baking sheet or baguette pans directly on the stone, or with a quick action of the wrist, slide the loaf onto the baking stone. Reduce the oven thermostat to 425 degrees F. Bake 1 round boule 35 to 40 minutes; the 2 batards bake 25 to 30 minutes; the baguettes bake 20 to 25 minutes; and the 8 petits pains bake 18 to 24 minutes, or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with your finger. Transfer to a cooling rack. Eat the bread warm, or the same day it is baked.

Who's a cute little burger?

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Flatten each into a thin 10-by-5-inch rectangle with the palm of your hand. Starting at the long end, roll each up each rectangle, using your thumbs to help roll tightly. With the side of your hand, define a depression lengthwise down the center of the dough. Fold over and pinch seams to seal. Roll back and forth from the center out to adjust the dough and make a tight cylinder slightly shorter than your baking sheet or pan. Gently transfer, seam side down, to the prepared pans.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Pat each portion into a rectangle and roll up tightly, as for baguettes, but shape each roll into an 8-inch elongated oval with tapered ends and a thick middle section. Gently transfer, seam side down, to a prepared baking sheet. With a serrated knife, slash the top 3 times on the diagonal, no deeper than 1/4 inch, or make 1 long slash down the middle of each loaf.
Pat the dough into a thick, uneven circle. Pull up the sides and knead to form the dough into a tight round. Pull the sides down into the bottom seam to create a ball with surface tension. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Let rise. Glaze, and using a serrated knife or kitchen shears, slash an X on top no deeper than 1/4 inch.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Form into small rounds or ovals. With the rounds, form into tight balls as for miniature boules. Pinch the ends to form a spindle shape with a thick middle and tapered ends. Using a serrated knife or kitchen shears, slash the tops of the rounds with a cross and the ovals once down middle, no deeper than 1/4 inch. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheets. Let rise only 15 minutes. I made mine as mini-boule shapes, and rolled them in dill right after shaping.
These buns are going Yeastspotting!