Friday, October 30, 2009

Calling All Breadbakers!

onion cheddar breadsticksBeth's Onion Cheddar Breadsticks (recipe here)

We're making a list and checking it twice...

Do you bake bread and write about it on the web? Post bread porn photos somewhere? If so, please drop a link in the comment section.

To make this easier for us, please make the link as focused on bread as possible, meaning if you write about food in general and have a 'bread' tag or category, link that. Same for flickr, if you post bread photos with a tag, or have a bread set, link to that.

Please make the link text match the site name, and add descriptions after the link.

As an example, my links would be:
kitchenMage: Bread
kitchenMage's Bread flickr set
A Year in Bread (where I write about bread with my Breadie BFF (BBFF) Farmgirl Susan.

I know this is a wide open offer, but we trust y'all to behave. That kid sitting next to you, however, has shifty eyes that keep sliding to 'bread porn' - not sure I trust them!

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's sites.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Slacker Sunday: Friday Favorites: Fauxcaccia

Welcome to Friday Favorites, where A Year in Bread readers guest blog about their best bread recipes (also sometimes known as Slacker Sunday if we're posting one of our own favorite recipes). If you bake a Friday Favorites bread at home, we hope you'll come back and share your experiences with us in the comments section of that post. Click here to find out how you can become a Friday Favorites guest blogger, and click here. You'll find links to all the previous Friday Favorites at the end of this post.

Susan wrote about Parisian Daily Bread, which this bread is based on, early in our first year, when we dedicated an entire month to Daniel Leader's wonderful book, Local Breads. Leader was generous enough to let us post the complete recipe from the book, with detailed instructions, and help on shaping beautiful baguettes (something many of us struggle with, even after decades of baking). You can find that recipe here: Parisian Daily Bread.

That recipe has been my go-to quick baguette since the first time I made it in the summer of 2007. It is often the companion to a market salad of whatever is fresh at the Farmer's Market this week, a role that used to be filled by focaccia when Don and Kitty of The Inn at Crippen Creek Farmsold bread at the market. I missed the focaccia that was left after dinner; it was perfect with sandwiches and other summer weekend fare.

One day I decided to add a generous dollop of olive oil - okay, a couple of huge glugs - to a batch of
Parisian Daily Bread. The dough loosened up enough to make a flatbread, maybe a little too flat, but the result was not bad for a quick lamb burger. Since then, I have tweaked the recipe a bit and developed the laziest ever method of making bread I really like. I have no idea what it qualifies as technically, but I call if fauxcaccia.

Fauxcaccia Recipe
Ready in a few hours, this not-quite-focaccia is great for those busy days when you crave fresh bread. Squash the dough a bit flatter as it rises for sandwich bread or let it rise higher for slices to accompany dinner. This version is a quick hack and assumes a certain comfort with making bread by feel. You may want to take a peek at Susan's post if you want more specific instructions on this bread.

Ingredients | US volume | metric volume | US weight | metric weight
water - 1 1/3 c | 315 ml | 10.6 oz | 300 g
instant yeast 1 tsp | 5 ml | .2 oz | 5 g
flour 3 1/4 c | 770 ml | 17.6 oz | 500 g
olive oil 1/3 c | 80 ml | 2.65 oz | 75 g
sea salt 1 1/2 tsp | 7 ml | .4 oz | 10 g
fresh rosemary, chopped 1 tbsp (optional)

Combine flour, yeast and water in mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Pour olive oil in a pool on the edge of the dough, add salt to the oil. Cover the bowl and let it rest 20 minutes.

If you are making dough in stand mixer:
Mix on low for about a minute, until the oil and salt are incorporated. Increase speed to med-high and beat for 5-6 minutes, until dough is sort of silky and smooth. Cover bowl and rest for another twenty minutes. Turn on low for about 15-20 seconds, just enough to knock the air out of the dough and give it a spin or two.

If you are mixing by hand:
Stir dough until the oil and salt are incorporated. Continue stirring vigorously for another minute or two, then turn out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead for about 5 minutes, cover and let rest for 8-10 minutes. (If your arms don't take the workout, you can knead for a couple of minutes, rest for 5 minutes, and repeat a few times. It's pretty forgiving dough.)

Shape the dough:
Once you are finished kneading the dough, shape into a rough rectangle. Place a sheet or parchment paper on a baking sheet and drizzle a little olive oil on it. Place the dough in the middle of the parchment, drizzle more olive oil on top of the bread. Gently poke the dough all over, starting at the center and working out to the edges, careful not to poke all the way to the baking sheet. Continue to do this for the first half hour or so of rising time.

Preheat the oven to 450. If you have a pizza stone, place it on the middle rack and preheat for at least 30 minutes.

Let the dough rise until it has increased in height about 50%. The surface should be a little bit dimpled and rough from your fingers and have a thin coat of olive oil, you may need to brush on a bit more. You can sprinkle a bit of coarse salt or more rosemary on top, too. It makes a pretty loaf.

Bake for about 20 minutes still on the pan, even if it is on the stone. Otherwise, the oil will make a mess.

Let cool completely on rack. (I sometimes brush a little more olive oil on the bread when I take it out of the oven so the crust keeps that lovely sheen.)

Previous Friday Favorites:
Anne's Oatmeal Toasting Bread
Marielle's Overnight Bread/Burger Buns/Cinnamon Roll Dough
Kelli's Pain au et Noisettes ou Pacanes for the People

A Year in Bread Recipe Index

© Copyright 2009, the laid back bread baking blog where tardiness is perfectly understandable—but a meal without homemade bread is grounds for some serious disappointment.

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