Can you believe EIGHT years? I can not. Eight years times twelve months equals ninety-six breads! Even missing a couple, it has been an incredible journey.
I think I felt pretty good about baking bread back then. I wasn’t a total novice; yeast didn’t bother me any more. But I realized in the big picture, I’d hardly baked much bread.
Eight years and about ninety breads later plus more than that in-between Babe breads how is it with me? I still find the mystery in yeast, water and flour ever fascinating and the challenge of bread enthralling. Shape may always be a fascinating challenge. I love new techniques but I don’t always push myself to them; I should try harder in that area. Reading … I love reading with my 8 year old grand son. I see how we read words without needing to know anything like an exact definition. I see how we can read and skip big parts of a sentence and how it can then be nonsense and still we push right on. Read, yes, I see that is often how I read recipes and miss key elements.
When I presented this recipe to the Babes I copied it exactly as it had been written. I’ve rewritten all but two parts of it below. I’ve tried to put in “alerts” where one of us missed seeing something. I’m not saying I wrote it better, I’m saying I tried to change somethings that would allow me to read the recipe better and follow the direction more completely the next time.
Next time: yes this bread is good enough and interesting enough to bake again. I want to aim for that scoring pattern on the book cover one day. I hope you like it and want to bake along with us in our journey finding good breads.
CARAMELIZED ONION BREAD
Recipe By: Bien Cuit by Zachary Golper, Peter Kaminsky & Thomas Schauer
Yield: 2 medium loaves
Total Time: about 3 days (but most of that is dough resting)
125 grams (3/4 c + 21/2 tbsp) white rye flour (I only had dark rye)
0.3 gram (generous pinch) instant yeast
125 grams (1/2 c + 1 tsp) water at about 60°F (15°C)
425 grams (3 c + 21/2 tsp) white flour, plus additional as needed for working with the dough
75 grams (1/2 c + 11/2 tsp) buckwheat flour
15 grams (21/2 tsp) fine sea salt
1 gram (generous 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
350 grams (11/4 c + 31/2 tbsp) water at about 60°F (15°C)
50 grams (21/2 tbsp) honey
25 grams (13/4 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
50 grams (1/4 c) Caramelized Onions (you know how to caramelize onions, yes?)
1. STARTER: ROOM TEMPERATURE 10 TO 12 HOURS
Note: At no point in this process of resting did my dough double in size.
“Push the dough to one side of the bowl. Roll and tuck the dough (see Rolling and Tucking), adding the reserved flour mixture and a small amount of additional flour to the bowl and your hands as needed. Continue rolling and tucking until the dough feels stronger and begins to resist any further rolling, about 10 times. Then, with cupped hands, tuck the sides under toward the center. Place the dough, seam-side down, in a clean bowl, cover the top of the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.”
4. FIRST STRETCH AND FOLD ~ TOTAL OF 4 times
6. THIRD STRETCH AND FOLD ~ ADDING ONIONS AND BUTTER
8. SHAPING ~ 12 TO 18 HOURS REFRIGERATED
Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill for 12 to 18 hours.”
10. SCORING ~ OVEN
Score the top of each loaf. The cover of this book pictures a gloriously scored loaf that I hope to one day truely capture, until then this is a good try.
Add 3 cups ice cubes to the hot cast iron skillet.
Bake, rotate the loaves 3/4 way through the baking time, until the surface is a deep, rich brown, with some spots along the scores being very dark (bien cuit), about 25 minutes. My loaves registered 205° at that time.
11. Using the baking peel, transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. When the bottoms of the loaves are tapped, they should sound hollow. If not, return to the stone and bake for 5 minutes longer.
Let the bread cool completely before slicing and eating, at least 4 hours but preferably 8 to 24 hours.
About this book: I understand this book has a very unusual binding and the pages are printed on black paper. Since I am currently on the road, I ordered the iBook. I’m very happy with it. There are many fabulous looking recipes I look forward to trying. This recipe turned out excellent.