CARROT AND SESAME SANDWICH LOAF

From the one and only Dan Lepard, a loaf to satisfy your cravings for a hearty sandwich bread, with the slightly nutty flavor of sesame seeds and a very subtle sweetness from grated carrots in the crumb.  Very easy to make, very easy to love…    You can find the full recipe on The Guardian site, by clicking here.

loaf
Here’s a little virtual tour of the process, starting with a quick preparation of your loaf pan.  You might be surprised to learn that I am a complete disaster when it comes to using scissors. I cannot make a straight cut to save my life.  So I was proud of my job here, although truth be told, it took me almost 15 minutes to do this.

prepbowl

You weigh your ingredients, and make a nice, smooth round of dough…
weighingdough
Thanks to the use of Rapid Rise Yeast (which is unusual for me, I normally go for the regular kind), you will end up with a shaped loaf that will threaten to escape its container, so make sure not to leave the house to run a few errands as the dough rises…  😉
risingslashed

The carrots are very evident in the dough, but they get baked into the crumb in a wonderful way. They won’t disappear, but you won’t feel any harsh bits of carrots as you bite into the bread.  A very soft crumb, with a nice crunchy top given by the sesame seeds.  Make sure to follow Dan’s tip on adding them: wet the surface of the slashed dough with a little water so that the seeds can stick better.  He used black sesame seeds, for quite a dramatic look.  I could swear I had black sesame seeds somewhere, but I could not find them, so I used regular, white seeds.
crumb

And I share with you a favorite lunch option: an open-faced sandwich made with  this bread, slightly toasted, some smoked ham, and cottage cheese with enough salt and black pepper to make it all shine…  Perfection, if you ask me!

sandwich

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting

ONE YEAR AGO: Border Grill Margaritas

TWO YEARS AGO: Goodbye L.A.

THREE YEARS AGO: Vermont Sourdough

A GOLDEN SANDWICH BREAD

The past couple years of sourdough baking turned me into a wild yeast purist, to the point that using commercial yeast feels like cheating. So, it’s time for a confession: I cheated last weekend and used commercial yeast to bake my bread. However, instead of penance, I got a beautiful, golden loaf to enjoy the rest of the week! 😉

SEMOLINA SANDWICH LOAF
(from Daniel Leader, Local Breads)

300 grams water (1 + 1/2 cups)   at 70 to 78  F
5 grams instant yeast (1 tsp)
500 grams fine semolina (durum) flour (3 + 1/4 cup)
15 grams granulated sugar (1 Tbs)
50 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
10 grams sea salt (1 + 1/2 tsp)

Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast, flour, sugar, olive oil and salt and stir just until a rough dough forms.

Use the dough hook and mix the dough on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid type mixer) until it is very smooth and elastic, about 9 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container, cover and leave to rise at room temperature until it doubles (1.5  to 2 hours).

Optional: go for a run during this time and come back to find out that 1 hour and 10 minutes later your dough is about to walk out the door to greet you).


Grease a loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2) with oil. Lightly dust the counter with semolina flour, place the dough on it, and shape it as a loaf. Insert it into the pan, with the seam side down. Dust the top lightly with semolina flour, and cover the pan. Let the loaf rise at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) until it crowns just above the rim of the pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (my loaf got there in only 45 minutes – must be the phase of the moon 😉

Bake in a 375 F oven until the loaf pulls away from the sides of the pan, and the crust is golden brown – 35 to 45 minutes.

Carefully remove the bread from the pan, and cool it over a rack for at least one hour before slicing it. Marvel at the beautiful, golden crumb, and…..

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I highly recommend this recipe if you are new to bread making.  The dough handles very well, and has impressive oven spring, baking into a gorgeous loaf that rises way above the pan. The semolina flour allows the  bread to last slightly longer than most homemade breads would – just store it at room temperature, inside a paper bag. Slightly toasted slices are delicious as part of a sandwich or just spread with jam or butter.

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting… make sure you stop by on Friday to see her weekly collection of breads.

ONE YEAR AGO: Tomato Confit with Arugula and Zucchini

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PAIN DE MIE AU LEVAIN

Just for a change, here’s a bread that’s not part of the BBA Challenge…  😉

Who doesn’t love a good bread? But, while some people prefer a hearty crust, uneven holes and an assertive taste, others like a tight, smooth crumb enveloped in a soft crust.  This  “pain de mie” joins the best of both worlds: it’s leavened with sourdough starter, but it’s moderate hydration produces a surprisingly closed crumb, especially if you bake it contained in a loaf pan. It’s a perfect sandwich bread, with more “pizzazz” than anything you’ll find at the grocery store.

I discovered this recipe in a wonderful French blog called Makanai: Bio, Bon, Simple. When a French woman (who has superb boulangeries on every corner) bakes bread at home, then I pay attention: she must be an outstanding baker! You can read Flo’s detailed description here.

PAIN DE MIE AU LEVAIN
(adapted from Makanai’s blog)

210 g  sourdough starter (mine was at 80% hydration)
420 g water
500 g bread flour
130 g rye flour
11.5 g fine sea salt (13 g if using unsalted seeds)
30-35 g seeds of your choice
(I used flax seeds and roasted, salted sunflower seeds)

Mix the flours, water, and sourdough starter until they form a shaggy mass.  Let it stand at room temperature, covered, for 30-45 minutes (autolyse).  Add the salt and mix it with either using a Kitchen Aid-type mixer for a few minutes, or by hand.  Add the seeds and knead with the machine for about 7 minutes at low speed.  Alternatively, mix gently by hand to incorporate the seeds and knead the dough by folding 4 times during the first hour, at 15 minute intervals.  Let the dough rise undisturbed for another full hour, in a warm place, covered.

Refrigerate the dough for 12 to 24 hours (very important step!), misting the surface lightly with olive oil, and covering with a plastic wrap.

The next morning remove the dough from the fridge, remove the plastic and cover it with a towel, to rest at room temperature for 2 hours before shaping.  Meanwhile, prepare a loaf pan by lightly coating it with olive oil and sprinkling flour, especially in the corners. You can make a single large loaf or divide it half depending on the size of your pan.  Mine was a 9×5 loaf pan, so I divided the dough in uneven pieces, placed the larger one in the loaf pan, and shaped the smaller one as a “batard“.   Ideally, the dough should fill 2/3 of the height of your pan.

Allow the shaped bread to rise 2 hours at room temperature, slash it with a blade, sprinkle some flour on top and bake it in a 435F oven for about 45 minutes, with an initial burst of steam.  Check the internal temperature: the bread will be done when it reaches at least 200F.

If you are patient enough, let the bread cool for a couple of hours before slicing it. Good luck with that… 😉

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was a fun bread recipe. If you’re a novice baker, then incorporating the seeds and folding by hand might be a little intimidating, so use a mixer instead. If you are experienced with minimal kneading and folding, then by all means use the technique here.

For the sandwich bread, I slashed the dough slightly off-center, as Flo did in her blog.

The same dough, baked in the loaf or free form, produced breads with different characteristics. The “batard” browned more, and the crumb was more open, reminiscent of a levain bread with a heartier crust.

My favorite method to create steam is to fill a large roasting pan (like this one) with hot water, and empty it before inverting it on top of the bread.  These affordable roasting pans, sold for cooking outdoors, effectively mimic a “steam oven.” Bake the bread covered in this way for the first 30 minutes, then remove the cover to promote full browning of the crust.  I used this method for both the breads in this post.

The textures and flavors of this bread were outstanding! Its slices stood out in ham and cheese sandwiches, and were hearty with a thin spread of fig jam. I normally don’t even care for bread with jam, but my husband twisted my arm and I’m glad that he did!

I am submitting this post to this week’s Yeastspotting, to join Susan’s fun on Friday….