Wednesday, 20 May 2009

This Babe is Twice as Knotty

It's that time again, the Bread Baking Babes have been baking up a storm and this month's Host Babe is none other than Ilva from Lucullian Delights. Ilva chose a beautifully soft and satiny smooth knotted bun, a family favourite and perfect for your Sunday dinner or even the holiday buffet.
Please see Ilva's site for a pictorial on how to form the buns, and to see how you can earn a Bread Baking Buddy badge for your site.

Notes are Ilva's

500 g /1,1 lb normal bread flour
5 g/0,17 oz fresh yeast
240 ml/1 cup water (I usually need a little more)

- Dissolve the yeast in a little water and quickly work the dough together.
- Put it in a high container, cover it with a half closed lid or a kitchen towel and leave it for 15-24 hours.

0,500 g/1,1 lb biga
1 kg/ 2,2 lb 00 flour
450-550 ml/ 1,9-2,3 cup water, finger warm
30 g fresh yeast (this is what I found: 18 grams of fresh yeast = 7-10 grams of active dry yeast = about 4-6 grams of instant yeast, I don't dare trying to calculate it right now)
50 g/ 1,7 oz extra-virgin olive oil
60 g/ 2,1 oz lard
25 g/ 0,88 oz honey
25 g/ 0,88 oz salt

- Put the flour either in a big bowl or on a baking board, add the lard and mix it with your fingers until it has 'crumbled' and is completely mixed with the flour.
- Dissolve the yeast in little tepid water and add it to the flour.Mix as well as you can.
- Mix salt, olive oil and honey with the finger warm water and add it to the flour. Now work it it until it holds together and then add the biga.
- Work the dough until it is smooth and doesn't stick. I do it by hand and then it takes between 5-10 minutes.
- Put it into a big bowl, cover it with plastic film and leave to rise until it has doubled.
- Now take up the dough and divide it into smaller parts, about 100 g/3,5 oz each, and roll them it into long snakes about 25 cm/9,8 in long but you can do them smaller if you want, no need the follow these indications religiously!

- Form the knots as per the pictorial on Ilva's site.
- Put the knots on baking sheets and leave to rise until they have doubled in size.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for 30-35 minutes. As always it is useful to check the bread and to use your common baking sense!

I loved these adorable little rolls, and found they also made excellent buns for mini burgers. I made them a second time with all whole wheat, just as an experiment, and found that they were also quite good. I used Peter Reinhart's method of using a soaker as well as a biga, to bring out the sweetness of the whole wheat flour.
In my soaker I put 2lbs of the flour, 4 grams of the yeast, all the lard and 15 grams of the salt. I soaked them overnight in some leftover whey that I had on hand. The next day I mixed the biga, soaker and remaining ingredients with some extra whole wheat flour to bind them all and get a smooth dough. This dough took longer to knead but turned out quite nicely.
I now have a lot of cute little buns in the freezer.. and am ready for burger season.
I didn't glaze the whole wheat buns with anything, and much of the flax fell off... next time I might try a little egg white or something.

The Bread Baking Babes
Check out their buns!
BBB blogroll is on left sidebar, click on each Babe to visit.
This knotty, knotty bread has been Yeastspotted!