My Loaf, My Bread

Been a week since i had my last bread and i was craving for something to snack on one night i went down for a midnight raid on the fridge. There was nothing plain, all sweets, some donuts, some pastries and i did not want to fry an egg that late.

There was a loaf of …., and though i do not eat this anymore, i was really hungry so i grabbed one slice and munched on it. Nah. Just not the same. I just knew that night that back pain or not, i have to bake something that would last me a week at least. Do not want to go through this again. Why? Because the next choice if i couldn’t find something not sweet to eat for a quick fix is yes, chocolate. Which always happens if i do not have any breads in my stash.

So here’s my version of a loaf bread. This is made with brown sugar and of course it has oats and nuts and whatever i manage to grab from the drawer. The sugar is way too low and the fat i used is canola oil instead of the commercial trans fat we know as lard or margarine. It doesn’t have eggs, no preservatives so naturally, i have to keep this inside the refrigerator a day after i bake them.

A third of the dough is kneaded with grated cheese for extra flavor,  and the other third is made into cinnamon rolls which is not really for me but for the rest of the tribe. After the bake, i cooled the loaves down and sliced them for easy pickings.

Recipe:

bread flour   100%           30% of which is made into an overnight sponge

brown sugar  10%

salt                 1.7%

canola oil        6%

skim milk        6%

yeast               1.5%, i don’t mind waiting so i use less

water             variable, dough is not too slack

add ins: oats, ground flax, chopped nuts

I do not add these 3 during mixing, but i knead them in after or pulse them at low speed after the gluten is developed, or at the latter stage but never during the first and middle stage of mixing. The nuts will be crushed.

The tiny brown dots are the Parmesan cheese, so hearty and flavorful no need to add anything to it, just slice and eat while warm with soup and salads. Yum:)

First to do is to roll the dough into a very long 20 to 24 inch strip, about 4 inches in height just so you can knead the cheese lightly into the dough. I rested the dough first so i can roll it long, do not attempt to do the rolling without the resting or you will tear the dough or have a hard time doing so.

Form the Kaiser Roll, (i forgot to take a photo or video of this so next time i will) and place on a greased round pan. In this case, i used a Pottery Barn blue bread bowl which i adore so much. Proof until the dough triples in size.

The sliced Parmesan Kaiser Bread.

You can add chives, spring onions and parsley, or minced garlic into the dough before the bake.

When i say triple in height, notice the before and after. This takes time and patience. Exactly what makes bread making not for the faint of heart. I always tell my students that if you don’t think waiting for 3 to 4 hours is worth a loaf of bread that may cost you only 60 to 70 pesos then quit. Find something else you will have more fun with. I find waiting fun. So i do it. A lot.

For the Cinnamon Roll version, i rolled the dough into a rectangle, about 1/8th of an inch, not too thin and about 20 inch in length to 11 inch in height. Spread some butter on the dough and then sprinkle brown sugar with cinnamon powder and then roll.

I have to cut it into 15 pieces to fit my pan, that would make 5 pieces of 3 rows.

Notice again the proofing. This is before and below is the dough just before baking.

The cinnamon rolls was baked with the others but i pulled it out of the oven ahead of the loaves. 325 F for about 18 minutes only.

Lastly, the 3 loaves which is my share of this one hunk of a dough is knead with a mix of the oats, ground flax, and chopped almonds and walnuts. I didn’t roast the nuts beforehand but you may if you like them crunchier.

Why knead them in instead of mixing them into the dough?  Like i stated before, to avoid crushing the nuts but the ground flax seems to have an effect on the gluten and i have observed this before. I don’t have a scientific data to back this up but i would rather avoid the dough sort of getting tacky during the make up stage when i use too much wheat germ and ground flax.

Once again, proof until the dough triples in height like the photos show. It is a long wait but that’s what makes summer at the very least enjoyable, no long waits compared to when it is winter. Just make sure you put the pans in a draft free area.

I baked the loaves longer until the internal temperature reached to 200 F, then release them a minute after the bake to cool. Bake time is around 40 – 45 minutes.

Look at how even the bake is, i like turning the loaves on to their sides and if i have my cooling rack then no need to do this. I somehow forgot all of them in New York.

Last but not the least, cool them down before slicing.

All sliced up and stored in plastic for longer keep. Then i can eat them.

text 09495705091 for baking lessons, one on one and group sessions or visit www.breadmakinglessons.com

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