Friday, January 19, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
A few days ago, someone on the Fine Cooking message board posted a recipe for "Milk Bread" from Beth Hensperger's book, Bread Made Easy.
We had brief flurries of true, fluffy snow yesterday, but today Austin is under a layer of ice. It's a perfect day to bake bread! This recipe is truly easy, and it makes 2 beautiful loaves of soft, pale yellow sandwich bread. I've had several pieces already, and I think it will make excellent cinnamon toast for breakfast tomorrow!
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour
2 T. sugar
1 scant T. (1 package) active dry yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 cups warm milk (about 100 degrees)
1/4 cup boiling water
3 T. oil
1 egg beaten with 1 T. milk, for glaze
Combine 2 cups flour, the sugar, yeast and salt in large bowl. Combine milk, boiling water, and oil in small bowl (mixture should read 110-125 on a thermometer, and should feel hot to the touch).
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Using a balloon or dough whisk, beat three minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat vigorously for three more minutes. Switch to a wooden spoon if the dough clogs the whisk. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the mixture forms a stiff, shaggy dough that just clears the sides of the bowl. [Mine did not take anywhere near the full amount of flour!]
Turn out onto a floured surface, knead 5-10 minutes, dusting with flour a Tbsp at a time as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
Place in oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise at room temp until double in bulk, 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Lightly grease bottom and sides on two 9x5 loaf pans. Turn the dough out on a clean surface, it will deflate. Without working further, use a bench scraper or chef's knife to divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Using the palms of your hands, roll each section into a fat oblong sausage, each about 10 inches long. Holding two pieces at one end, twist one over the other 2-3 times to create a fat twist. Place in the pan and tuck the ends under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, let rise at room temp until dough rises about an inch over the rims of the pans, about one hour.
Preheat oven to 375 (350 if using glass pans). Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the loaves with the egg glaze. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown (instant-read thermometer should read 200). When done, turn out of pans and cool on a rack. Let stand at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
My friend Julia made the Seared Tuna with Fennel Seeds & Caper Brown Butter from Fine Cooking #83. I decided to give it a try too.
We loved the tuna and we loved the capers, but I didn't care for the brown butter sauce. Gary didn't say one way or the other on the sauce. I have other seared tuna recipes I would make again before this one.
I served it with roasted fennel, as suggested by the magazine. Good thing I can eat a whole bulb of fennel, because Gary didn't finish his.