Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Elul 21, 5774

Making Bread the Old-Fashioned Way

December 18, 2013
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Bread is a staple food prepared by baking a dough of flour and water. It is popular around the world and is one of the world’s oldest foods.
 
A wide variety of additives may be used, from fruits and nuts to various fats, to chemical additives designed to improve flavor, texture, color and/or shelf life.
 
Bread can be served in different forms at any meal of the day, eaten as a snack, and is even used as an ingredient in other culinary preparations. Try these recipes from Estee Kafra’s Cooking Inspired.
 
Whole-Wheat Herb Pull-Aparts
These rolls are soft and tasty and the topping adds great flavor. This is a smaller recipe, but it can be doubled.
 
Dough Ingredients:
2 and 1⁄4 cups very warm water
2 and 1⁄2 Tbsps. active dry yeast
2 Tbsps. sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄2 cup oil
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 and 1⁄2 cups white bread flour
1⁄4 cup sugar
2 and 1⁄2 tsps. kosher salt
1 tsp. oil
 
Onion Filling (Optional):
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 large Vidalia onions, diced
2 Tbsps. poppy seeds
 
Egg Wash:
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. water
 
Herb and Seed Topping:
2 Tbsps. each poppy seeds, sesame seeds, rolled oats and raw sunflower seeds
2 tsps. dried thyme
1⁄2 tsp. rosemary, crushed (optional)
 
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let the yeast proof for 15 to 20 minutes or until frothy.
 
Add all the remaining dough ingredients, except the 1 teaspoon of oil, leaving the salt for last. Knead for 15 minutes on medium-high speed.
 
Place about 1 teaspoon of the oil in the center of a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and flip it to completely coat with oil. Place the bowl in a large garbage bag and knot the bag. Let rise for 1 hour.
 
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Lightly grease 2 round 10-inch pans. Meanwhile, make the filling, if using. Heat the olive oil in a large pan set over medium-high heat; sauté the onions until they are transparent and just beginning to brown. Add the poppy seeds. Set aside to cool.
 
Remove the dough from the bag and transfer the dough to a work surface. Cut the dough into 14 equal-sized pieces; roll each piece into a ball shape. If using the onion filling, insert the filling in the center of each roll and cover well with the dough. Place 10 balls in each pan.
 
Stir together the yolk and water for an egg wash; brush over rolls. Combine the seeds and thyme and rosemary (if using) in a bowl. Sprinkle over the rolls.
 
Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
 
Remove the pans to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove the rolls from the pans and let cool completely on the racks.
 
Makes 14 rolls.
 
Honey Quinoa Rolls
 
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1⁄4 cup quick-cooking oats
2 and 1⁄4 cups water
1⁄4 cup milk
3⁄4 cup hot (not boiling) water
2 Tbsps. sugar
2 and 1⁄2 tsps. active dry yeast
1⁄3 cup honey
1⁄3 cup oil
3 cups white bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 and 1⁄4 tsps. salt
1 egg yolk, beaten
additional quinoa or sesame seeds for sprinkling on loaf
 
Combine the quinoa, oats, 2 and 1⁄4 cups water and milk in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Let cool.
 
Place 3⁄4 cup of hot water in a large bowl or the bowl on an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle the sugar and yeast over the water and let stand for 5 minutes or until frothy.
 
Stir the honey and oil into the yeast mixture, then add 1 cup of the bread flour, salt and the cooked quinoa mixture. Mix by hand or with the mixer on low speed until combined.
 
Add the remaining bread flour and the whole wheat flour, kneading for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, removing to a work surface if kneading by hand. The dough should feel slightly sticky, but if it is too wet, add 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup additional flour, as necessary.
 
Place about 1 teaspoon of oil in the center of a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and flip it to completely coat with the oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm draft-free area for about 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
 
Punch down the dough. Transfer the dough to a work surface. Divide the dough into 18 to 20 small, equal-sized pieces. Shape into balls and place in rows on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with the raw quinoa or sesame seeds. Let the rolls rise again, uncovered for 1 to 11⁄2 hours or until almost double in bulk.
 
Preheat the oven to 375˚.
 
Bake the rolls in the center of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
 
Makes 18 to 20 dinner-sized rolls.

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