Wednesday, May 20, 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.


PANE DI PASTA TENERA CONDITA or ITALIAN KNOT BREAD
Notes are Ilva's

biga:
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.

bread:
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.
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This knotty, knotty bread has been Yeastspotted!