About Me

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Featherpuff Bread

Another late post after another busy work week. I hope to not make a habit of this though. In keeping with Laurel Robertson's recipes I have been trying, this Featherpuff Bread had to happen sooner or later. It promises to be exceptionally light and airy, is protein fortified with cottage cheese and is of course 100% whole grain.

The dough
I made the given recipe amounts which is for two loaves. I would be giving one of the loaves to my father-in-law for his third month Christmas present. This recipe takes cottage cheese and eggs as the non-basic ingredients. It also uses powdered milk which I don't stock, so I used regular (1%) milk instead for the water measure. I halved the honey required because I didn't want to make a sweet loaf. Also, I replaced the butter with equal amount of vegetable oil.

The ingredients

The cottage cheese is warmed gently in a saucepan. The eggs, honey, (oil) and half the water (milk) are mixed in. The mixture should be about 80° F at this point. The active dry yeast is dissolved in water (milk in my case) in a separate bowl

The ingredients grouped and ready to be mixed

When I first put the ingredients together the small curd of the cottage cheese stood out and I wondered if it would stay so until the end.

After getting the ingredients mixed in

However after the 20 minute kneading period, the curd had blended in well, with only tiny specks visible.

After 18 minutes of sincere kneading

The dough rose very well, faster than expected. It is hard to measure 'volume doubling' in a bowl, but the wet finger poke test clearly passed. Also, LR warned about not waiting too long for this dough, to move on before the 'sighing' stage.

After the first rise

Deflated, rounded and ready for the second rise

Second rise is done

Shaping and proofing

Split into two, rounded and rested

Shaped and ready for proofing

I had pressed down the loaf in the upper pan fairly firmly trying to flatten it to the edges. It ended up rising unevenly and spreading out over the rim of the pan. The loaf in the lower pan was shaped minimally. It rose evenly, maybe not as high as the upper pan. The two pans might vary in volume too, I have not tested that.

Proofed well

Slashed and ready for the oven

Out of the oven and registering a good 207° F

The bread

Brushed with some butter

Sliced well.

Oven spring along the sides as well as the top.

Crumb shot

The crust was thin and crisp and the bread did feel light and airy when first sliced. However, I made the mistake of leaving the bread in a container with the lid half open for over a day. I believe that caused the bread to dry out. It could have also been the quality of cottage cheese. LR's book was written in 1984, maybe cottage cheese used to be a little different then? Or it could have been because I used oil instead of the butter (Although I don't think so). The bread sliced okay after that but the slices would fall apart way too easily. I think it is a good candidate for some homemade bread crumbs, or altus in one of PR's recipes.

Date: Mar 3, 2011
Recipe: Featherpuff Bread from Laurel Robertson's book, 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book'

Flours: Whole wheat flour
Bread specific ingredients: Cottage cheese, eggs
Sweetener used: Honey
Liquid: Milk

First rise: 80 minutes
Second rise: 45 minutes (followed by rounding and 20 minutes of rest)
Proofing time: 50 minutes
Comments:The bread baked at 325° F for 45 minutes. A lower temperature is needed because of the dairy and eggs in the recipe. I didn't add any vital wheat gluten this time. I halved the honey and used oil instead of butter. I used a total of 1 C milk instead of the 1 C water and ½ C powdered milk. In the introduction to this section in the book LR mentions that they wouldn't use more than ¼ C per two loaf recipe, so this high content surprised me a bit. I didn't have powdered milk to use anyway. (I read online that the usual reconstitution for powdered milk is 1 : 4 (dry milk to water). Mine worked out to lesser than that.)

I had said in an earlier post, not long ago, that I would be making more LR breads (vs PR breads). But I am changing my mind about that. As much as I like that LR's breads look great and work with less fuss than PRs recipes, I do think that PRs breads have a better, complex flavor whereas the three LR breads that I have made recently, all tasted more or less the same. Agreed, they were all wheat flour only + some diary and they tasted good, just not necessarily 'interesting'. I need to find a good multigrain recipe in LR's book or I might go back to PR for another shot at his multigrain struan.

I didn't bake a bread this weekend. (I made some morning glory muffins, in loaf form, from Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian... and they are yummy). I missed baking bread, but I confess that it made my weekend more relaxed (Also in part because I decided not to cook the couple advance meals for the coming week like I normally do). I will be making Irish Soda Bread on Tuesday for a potluck at work on Wednesday (A day earlier than St. Patrick's day, I know). Any suggestions for good soda bread recipes to consider besides the couple that I have already shortlisted here and here? My first and only soda bread recipe was quite changed from the original in order to make it whole grain and although I would gladly eat it again, I'm not sure how a crowd would like it.


No comments:

Post a Comment