15 April 2018

weekend sourdough.

When April days are channeling January. When the rain continues from days to weeks, though it feels like months. When you want to heat your kitchen with a hot oven and warm your hands through a cracked oven door.

Spring will come at some point, but today we're making bread.
Quick Sourdough Starter

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast

Mix together flour, water, and yeast in a large glass bowl. Cover bowl with a towel and let stand overnight or up to 48 hours in a warm place.

After fermenting, the starter is ready to use or store, covered, in the refrigerator. Feed once or twice a week with 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water.
Weekend Sourdough
adapted from Emilie Raffa
1/4 cup bubbly, active starter
1 1/3 cups (plus 2 tablespoons) warm water
4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Friday Evening - Make your starter
Saturday - Make the dough and let rise overnight
Sunday - Shape the dough, let it rise again, and bake

To make the dough:
Whisk the starter and water together in a large non-reactive bowl. Add flour and salt. Combine until a stiff dough forms, and finish mixing by hand until all flour is incorporated. Dough will feel dense and shaggy and will stick to your fingers as you go - scrape as much dough off your hands as you can. Replenish your starter with fresh flour and water.

Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes. After the dough has rested, work the mass into a fairly smooth ball, grabbing portions and folding it into the center with your fingers.

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise overnight at room temperature. The dough will double in size. This will take 8 to 10 hours.

In the morning, coax the dough onto a floured surface. Shape into a round, folding outer sections of the dough into the center. Line a large bowl with a towel, liberally dusted (almost coated) in flour. Place the dough, seam side up, into the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rise 30 minutes to 1 hour.

To bake:
The dough is ready when it is puffy and has risen slightly but has not yet doubled in size. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to the size of your Dutch oven, leaving enough excess around the sides to remove the bread. Place the parchment over the dough and invert bowl to release.

Sprinkle the dough with flour and gently rub over the surface with your hands. Score the top of the loaf as desired with a sharp knife. Use the parchment to transfer the dough to the Dutch oven.

Bake on the center rack of oven for 20 minutes, covered. Remove lid, and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes. For the last 10 minutes of baking, remove the loaf from the Dutch oven and bake directly on the oven rack to crisp the crust. When finished, transfer to a wire rack to cool.

15 January 2018

baker, baker

I asked the maid in a dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone;
The silly girl had been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone.

The Oxford Dictionary reports that the first mention of the word scone was in 1513. Derived from the Scottish, the Dutch, possibly the German, or Gaelic - a quintessential piece of bread, from tea culture old and new - whose names have merged to make its way to our tea tables.
Cream Scones
recipe from Bon Appetit

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for surface)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (plus more for brushing)

Preheat oven to 375°. 

Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups flour in a large bowl to combine. Add butter and toss to coat. 

Using your fingers or a pastry blender, work butter into flour until only pea-size pieces remain. Make a well in the center; add egg and cream and mix with a fork, incorporating dry ingredients a little at a time, until a shaggy dough forms (it’s okay if it looks a little dry; don’t overwork). 

Lightly knead dough in bowl until it just comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1"-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Brush dough with cream. Bake scones until golden brown, 25–30 minutes.