Sunday, 13 February 2011

A Little Bit of... Toast!

In the end, it is the simple things that we keep going back to. Small comforts, special even in their everyday familiarity. Like toast. With what has to be the simplest of comforts, you know that no matter what condition your body or psyche is in, you can make toast. And it will be good. Because it is toast.

And, if this is a week that said body and psyche are feeling hearty and adventurous, you can try your hand at making the perfect toast bread, maybe even freeze some for the harder times. You know, just in case. Toast has your back, it's ready to bear the burden of whatever is going on for you right now and also whatever you want to spread over it. Naked for tummy problems, PB&J for nostalgic, cream cheese and lox for when you are getting fancy. It'll even take the place of a bun for your favourite burger. I ask you, is there a more versatile food in your pantry?

Let's hear it for toast!

Toast Bread
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread
for the Mellow Bakers
Makes one long pullman loaf and one small (regular loaf pan) loaf

Bread flour- 2 lbs
Water- 1 lb, 5.1 oz
Sugar- 2 tsp
Butter, soft- 1 Tbsp
Malt powder or syrup- ½ tsp
Salt- 1 Tbsp
Yeast, instant dry- 1½ tsp

Add all of the ingredients, in order, to your stand mixer. Mix on low with the dough hook for 3 minutes to incorporate. Turn mixer up to medium and mix for 3 more minutes to develop strength.
Turn dough out of mixer and finish by hand on a lightly floured board. Form into a ball and let rise for 2 hours (longer if cool), covered, folding halfway through.
Divide dough into two pieces, on will be 1kg and the other will make a small loaf.
Form into balls and let rest, covered, 20 minutes.
Roll into cylinders, making sure the ends do not taper, and put into fully greased pullman pan (with lid-don't forget to grease the inside of the lid!) for the larger and loaf pan for the smaller.
Let rise about another 1½ hours or until nicely risen.
Preheat oven to 430°F.
Bake larger pullman loaf for 40-45 minutes. Small loaf will be done at about 30 minutes.
Turn out of pans (pullman one should be turned out immediately)
Let cool on racks.
Make toast!

This bread has been Yeastspotted!