Only two buddies for this 8th Anniversary Caramelized Onion Bread but they are both top quality!
I am so happy to celebrate a first time buddy this month – Shirley Flourish.en Test Kitchen. Here is a true bread head and a fabulous blog.
And I am super happy to celebrate our frequent no blogger, FaceBook friend Louise! Louise is a quick learner baking bread.
“Thank you for selecting this truly delicious bread from an interesting book. I appreciated the clear instructions for S and F, although the tuck step is one I’ve yet to master. The combination of caramelized onions and a hint of buckwheat was definitely a winner at our house. I baked mine on parchment on a baking stone, allowing it to crisp directly on the stone once firm. Great bread–I even bought the digital version of the book!”
Louise I also got the digital version of the book as we are traveling now. It is a most interesting book and I know I’ll be baking from it again soon.
Thanks to you both many times. It is a most memorable bread.
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
35 grams ground flax seed
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?)
DUSTING MIXTURE for the linen liner and shaped loaves
1 part fine semolina flour
5 parts white flour
1. STARTER: ROOM TEMPERATURE 10 TO 12 HOURS
Whisk flour and yeast together. Pour water over. Using wooden spoon or your hand mix carefully to insure all the flour is wet. Cover the container and allow to sit on the counter at room temperature for 10 to 14 hours. The starter will peak around 12 hours.
2. THE DOUGH
Whisk together white and buckwheat flours, salt and yeast.
Use approximately a third of the water to pour around the starter edges to release it from the sides of the bowel.
Mix remaining water and honey in large bowl and add the starter; mix starter into water with wooden spoon.
Because you may not need all of the flour, reserve a small amount (arbitary, maybe 1/2 cup). Mix the dry ingredients into the starter to combine then switch to a plastic bowl scraper.
The dough will now be sticky to the touch.
Note: At no point in this process of resting did my dough double in size.
3. ROLL AND TUCK
Some Babes, like some Buddies, are sticklers for following directions and amounts. Perhaps, over the years I’ve become jaded by too many crazy mis-reads and just down right mistakes and breads that are just good. When I read this recipe roll and tuck just morphed into stretch and fold for me which is what I did. You’ll find several Babes who were very particular and followed the technique.
*** TUCK in my experience has always been cupping hands around a dough and tucking/pulling the dough under. The result you’re looking for is a strong smooth finish.
“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
Dust the counter and your hands lightly with flour. Release the dough from the bowl and place it seam-side down on the counter. Stretch into a rough rectangular shape then, as you would fold a letter to place into an envelope, fold the rectangular into thirds. Using cupped hands again tuck the sides under toward the center of the dough ball. Give the ball a slight turn with each tuck and work your way around the ball at least once. Return the dough ball seam-side down back to the bowl and cover again with the towel.
Allow to rest again for another 45 minutes.
5. SECOND STRETCH AND FOLD
Repeat the step 4 and return the dough to the bowl, cover with the towel, and let rest for 45 minutes.
6. THIRD STRETCH AND FOLD ~ ADDING ONIONS AND BUTTER
Third stretch and fold encorporates butter and onions. Stretch the dough into a rectangle. Drop small pieces of butter across the top the rectangle. Spread the butter across the top then top the smeared butter with the onions.
Roll the dough tightly and press to flatten slightly. Turn seam side down. Fold into thirds and roll again; roll and fold until the butter and onions are completly incorporated into the dough. Mine took about 7 times.
Turn the dough seam side down and tuck around the ball.
Cover with the towel and let rest another 45 minutes.
7. FINAL STRETCH
Fourth and final stretch, repeat step 4, then return the dough to the bowl, cover with the towel, and let rest for about 20 minutes.
8. SHAPING ~ 12 TO 18 HOURS REFRIGERATED
Lightly dust the work area and hands with the dusting mix.
Divide the dough in half. I divided mine unequally as I wanted one loaf larger than the other. Roll into two loose tubes.
Let rest 5 minutes. Press each again and shape how you choose.
Quote from Bien Cuit: “Transfer to the lined pan, seam-side up, positioning the loaves lengthwise. Dust the top and sides of the loaves with flour. Fold the linen to create support walls on both sides of each loaf, then fold any extra length of the linen liner over the top or cover with a kitchen towel.
Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill for 12 to 18 hours.”
I placed my shaped loaves (seam side down – oh dear … ) onto parchment paper and covered. Let them rest for 15 hours in the refrigerator.
9. PRE-HEAT OVEN WITH BAKING STONE
Pre-heat oven with baking stone and cast-iron inside to 500°F (260°C).
Cast-iron skillet is for creating steam with ice cubes; it really works well.
10. SCORING ~ OVEN
Because my loaves were on parchment I simply lifted the parchment onto the baking peel. If you followed Bien Cuit directions above you’ll need to turn the loaves seam side down at this point.
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.
Transfer the loaves to the baking stone.
Add 3 cups ice cubes to the hot cast iron skillet.
Immediately lower the oven temperature to 460°F (240°C).
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.
I hope you’ll want to be a Buddy with us. This bread won’t disappoint. If you want to be a Buddy, we’d be overjoyed to have you join us. Bake the bread, post it to your blog (no blog: send we a photo of your bread (my e-mail is comments my kitchen at mac dot com) and what your experience was) before the 29th of this month, I’ll send you a Buddy badge and put you in the round up on as close to the 2nd of March as I can manage.
You will find Kelly is now a Babe. I think you’ll find her to be a very enthusiastic Babe. She’s baked a beautiful loaf this month as have many of our other Babes listed in the right column. We’re without our link tool this month but I’m going to try and get that back into operation as soon as possible.
Buddies … I can’t fully explain what bread baking means to me/us. I know it’s all mixed together with the feelings of touching the physical dough, connecting with a long history of bread bakers through the centuries, befriending those around my kitchen table and that strange creative process of relaxing kneading. It’s always fascinating to me that bread is such simple ingredients and is always different, glorious but always different.
Buddies … I can’t fully explain what our Bread Baking Buddies mean to me/Babes. I know it’s partly all the above of baking bread but it’s something above that and extraordinarily special. Strangers come into my kitchen, take a recipe, are willing to put time, effort and good ingredients into that recipe, make it their own and bake with us.
This time around I especially enjoyed Louise Persson’s words:
I’m pleased to have been able to bake this unusual recipe with the BBBs. I saw it posted at KAF sometime ago and thought I would never attempt crackers. Yet baking as a Buddy, I’ve stretched myself and added some new experiences, and happily, this was one of them.
I really can’t remember how I found the BBB while browsing through blogs one day, but I’m very glad I did! I look forward to each new bread, sometimes, like this month, thinking, “Oh, I can’t. I don’t have the time or skill.” But it’s amazing what we can accomplish, isn’t it?
Louise’s experience is typical of so many of us. Perhaps I should be less emphatic, I do know Louise expresses what I experienced when I started blogging and it continues to this day even though I do recognize I have more confidence when I approach a new recipe. Yes Louise it is amazing what we can accomplish when we give it a go.
On top of that empathy, what perhaps thrills me/Babes even more is to think that we have somehow influenced a few others to take up this BreadHead Cause and enjoy, experience, learn and share these experiences.
Bread Baking makes my heart happy. Bread Baking Buddies make my heart happier. I am so glad that you each give of yourselves and take time to bake with us. You are truly very special people. Thank you. Each one of you.
When you find a trusted source, you kept going back don’t you? Shoes you like, you’re likely to look for the brand again? A food blog you try a recipe from, you like, you’ll look to try another? For me there’s at least one site whose products I love and even order repeatedly from and use their recipes. For a bread lover, who do you think that might be? King Arthur Flour has proven itself over and over for me and these crackers are just another proof. This is a beautifully easy recipe to mix and bake but for me at least it’s glory lies in the topping possibilities and yes the use of a variety of flours.
Probably the most often spread we enjoy with these crackers is my spinach and artichoke, made with double spinach and given it’s own crunch with water chestnuts.
This recipe mimics an extra-crunchy, seed-topped whole-gain cracker you may find at your supermarket. These are great for spreads and dips of all kinds.
198 to 227g lukewarm water
170 g King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
120 g King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder or sugar – I used agave
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
14 g whole milled flax or whole flax seed ground
14 g sesame seeds or whole flax seeds
*Substitute 28g golden flax seeds for the flax and sesame, if desired.
71 g sunflower seeds, midget preferred*
28 g sesame seeds*
28 g whole flax seeds
sea salt or your favorite flavored salt, if desired
*Substitute 3/4 cup artisan bread topping + 1/4 cup whole flax seeds for the sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds, if desired.
1. Mix and knead together all of the cracker ingredients (except the seeds) to a smooth, fairly stiff dough. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of water if the dough is dry.
I used the larger 227 ml of water and regardless of the flour type used, I have found this to be a sticky wet dough. I’ve played very loose with the white whole wheat flour called for in the recipe: on different occasions I’ve replaced part of it with barley flour, buckwheat flour, spelt and rye flours. Perhaps we enjoyed the buckwheat flour the most but all were terrific. Each time I’ve baked these I’ve added chopped walnuts but my Babes have show me I must expand my nut choices ~ think pecans, pine nuts …
2. Knead in the seeds.
You may do as I’ve done at this point and refrigerate the dough: if you do that, allow the dough 90 to 120 minutes to re-warm to room temp and expand slightly as in step 3 below.
3. Let the dough rise, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s expanded a bit.
Don’t expect a large rise here. “Expand a bit” did not translate into doubling as you often expect with doughs.
4. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a rectangle approximately 14″ x 9″, a generous 1/8″ thick. This will probably require you to roll the dough until it fights back; give it a 10-minute rest, then come back and roll some more. It may need two rest periods to allow you to roll it thin enough.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve always played around using different flours or maybe it’s because I’ve always had that rest period in the refrigerator but I’ve never had this dough fight back, it’s always been easy to roll out.
I also use special rubber bands on my rolling pin to take the guess work out of how thick the dough rolls out. I’ve used the yellow bands in the past for the 1/8 inch but this time I went with the red 1/16. It worked just fine and gave me very thin crackers, crunchy!
5. For easiest handling, turn the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Spritz the dough with water. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the topping seeds, lay a piece of parchment on top, and press the seeds in with a rolling pin. Turn the dough over, peel off the parchment, and repeat. Set the seeded crackers on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining piece of dough.
Play: these seeds are suggestions, what’s in your pantry, what do you like, what wildness can you come up with? Seeds are great but consider using your favorite nut here. I chopped seeds and nuts. Because there are only two of us on most occasions, I generally divide this dough into half or thirds and bake over several days.
6. If you don’t have parchment, roll on a rolling mat or on a very lightly floured or lightly greased work surface; and transfer the seeded crackers to a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each sheet of crackers with some sea salt or flavored salt, if desired. Crush the sea salt between your fingers or grind it in a salt mill if it’s very coarse.
7. Prick the dough over with a fork or one of these. I ruined many a cookie sheet using forks to prick cracker dough until I found one of these rollers …
and cut it into rectangles, whatever size you like. This seemed like an insane gadget to buy at the time but after using it repeatedly for crackers and biscuits, I’ve really come to wonder why I put off paying the $20 for so long. It expands to cut any width you like and locks in place. Initially I thought this would be a bugger to wash but I just open it up wide and give each roller blade a wipe, close it up and swish it in the water: clean!
Pull the crackers apart just a bit; you don’t need to separate them completely. Let the crackers rise for 30 to 45 minutes. while you preheat your oven to 350°F; they’ll get just a bit puffy.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, until the crackers are a medium brown. Turn off the heat, wait 15 minutes, then open the oven door a couple of inches and let the crackers cool completely in the turned-off oven. When they’re completely cool, break apart, if necessary, and store airtight.
Once again I am KOM … Kitchen of the Month! The Babes have really gone crackers with this one so be sure to check them all out. They’re on the side bar there. If you’d like to be a buddy with us this month, I will be delighted to have you in the Cracker round up to be posed on the 29th September. To be a Bread Baking Buddy, just make the crackers, take some photos, write up your post – tell us your experience with the dough – and send an email to ~ comments my kitchen at mac dot com ~ you know to take out all those spaces ~ PLEASE PUT “Cracker Buddy” as your subject line and get those mails to me by no later than the 28th. I’ll send you the buddy badge and get you in the round up.
See those fire crackers in our badge, thank you Lien! Now get cracken and BAKE!
I suppose there are people in this world who are not fascinated by bread like I am … well, I know there are people like that because when I really start getting revved up telling somebody about my latest bake and their eyes glaze over … I know I’ve just run head long into one. But, I can’t imagine what they could possibly entertain themselves with when they wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep … on the other hand, maybe if I didn’t find bread and it’s many iterations so entertaining I’d be able to go back to sleep.
This month our charming hostess lives in Vienna Austria, has kitties and bakes! Astrid blogging at PaulChensFoodBlog has presented us with Pocket Book Rolls.
Recipe By: adapted from The Glory of Southern Cooking by James Villas
Yield: 2 doz. rolls
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm whole milk
1/4 cup shortening – I used butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1 large egg, beaten
3 cups all purpose flour – I used white whole wheat and buckwheat
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Whisk yeast, salt and flours together.
2. Cream the shortening, butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in the boiling water and warm milk.
Add the beaten egg.
When well blended add the flour, yeast and salt and mix very well.
3. You can keep the mixture up to one week in the fridge covered lightly with plastic wrap for further use.
4. Three hours before ready to use: Roll out the dough. About 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into rounds with a 2 to 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter.
Fold each round in half and place on greased baking sheet.
Brush each roll generously with melted butter, cover with a towel.
Let rise in a warm place for about 2 1/2 hours. In the book it says it is essential that you let rise them at least 2 hours to attain the right feathery texture they are famous for.
Preheat the oven to 400°F Bake the rolls until golden brown. Should take about 7-8 minutes
Serve hot – with more butter.
You will note that I did not dissolve my yeast in liquid, used all butter no shortening. I cut back on the sugar and I played with the flour making it a combination of white whole wheat from King Arthur and buckwheat flours. I was totally delighted with the sweet earthiness of the buckwheat; really why don’t I use this more.
It seems to me if you’re going to call something a pocket book well then it really wants to have something put into it. You put money into a pocketbook so I figured something equally valuable should go into these.
That’s how I ended up with Hot Lips. I created my hot lips with a splash of spicy tomato jam, just oh so nice.
I do love baking bread. I love the kneading, the rising. I love feeling it change. I love the feel of it. But like everybody, I love the smell of baking bread and the fresh from the oven experience. I’ve never gotten over taking fresh bread from the oven. Sometimes I’m known for halving recipes, just so I can bake again sooner. With these rolls you can have fresh bread coming out of your oven all day long if you want. I think it’s best to limit it to once a day for up to a week. How many days you bake with this is dependent on how many rolls you do each day. I baked these three days. And each time I baked them I used a different filling. Bad picture above was splashed with pumpkin butter and several dried cranberries. The next day I did mostly the same but added a few pistachios!
Yes, they were lip licking smacking good!
Now, I know you want to bake these so jump to it!!
I do hope you’ll want to be a Buddy with us on this one. 1.Bake the featured bread, snap a pic & share your thoughts about how you liked it (or not liked it) 2.Send an email to Kitchen of the Month. Please note in the subject line that this is for the BBB Buddy Bread. Kitchen of the month is Astrid blogging at PaulChensFoodBlog.