Saturday, October 9, 2010

How to fill your house with the aroma of fresh baked bread

I doubt there is anyone around who doesn't LOVE the smell of fresh baked bread wafting through the air!  I absolutely LOVE the smell of baked bread so this morning I baked some fresh buns.  I have made this dough a few times over the past month.  Buns go into a zip top bag in the freezer and get used with supper or to make sandwiches for lunches.  If I decide to make loaves they get sliced (after they have cooled) and put into a freezer bag.  The slices are great for toast or sandwiches.  Homemade bread has no preservatives so it can go mouldy if you don't eat it or freeze it fairly soon after you make it.  This particular recipe I have adapted from Gordon Ramsay's 'Healthy Appetite' book.  !  People who know me know that I have trouble following instructions so many recipes I use are generally altered to suit my failure to follow along.  
As usual, I have doubled the original recipe.  If you are going to mess up the kitchen, you may as well make it worth your while!

Seeded Honey Loaf or Buns
In a bowl combine,
  • 4 1/2 tsps yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water 
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
While this mixture is working to get a foamy, in the bowl of a stand mixer combine:
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 1/2 cups white flour                 
  • 2 tsps kosher salt

You can play around with the ratio of whole wheat flour to white flour.  You can replace up to 1/2 of the white flour with whole wheat without sacrificing the texture too much.

Add aproximately 4 tsps of each of the following:
  • poppy seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • flaxseed
  • sunflower seeds
  • milled flaxseed
  • handful of wheat bran
This is the part where you can alter what you add.  If you don't like one of the items, swap it out for another item!

Mix the flours and seeds to combine.
Add the foamy yeast mixture and keep mixing with the dough hook.
As the dough comes together, you may need to add more flour. Depending on many different reasons, you may have to add up to 1 more cup of flour.  This is fine and will not alter the dough.  The dough will be soft but shouldn't be sticky.  Knead for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Knead the dough around with your hands for a couple of minutes and form it into a ball.  
Place the dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise to double. This will take about an hour.

Punch the dough down!  Get those frustrations out!

To form into 4 small loaves, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and shape into oval shaped loaves.  Place loaves on a parchment lined baking sheets.  Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise until double, about an hour.  Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes.  Fully baked loaves will be a dark golden brown and sound hollow on the bottom when tapped.

To form buns, measure out pieces of dough into approximately 100g portions.  I generally go for between 98 and 102g portions.

 Shape these portions of dough into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and allow to rise until double, about another hour.

Preheat the oven to 400degrees F during the last 15 minutes of the second rise.

Bake for 17 to 18 minutes until a nice golden brown on top.

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