Wednesday, 31 March 2010
The American Boulangerie. I followed it to the letter. I questioned the amount of butter as when mixing it seemed far too much for a single loaf. But oh wow... when it came out of the oven it the smell took me right back to Paris! The buttery goodness gave it a firm texture and a nice delicate crumb. The egg wash gave it a wonderful shiny crust for that boulangerie chic. Definitely try this one...
MAKES ONE LUSCIOUS LOAF
1/3 cup water at room temperature
2 tsp (1/3 ounce) compressed fresh yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup (4 ounces) European style butter, softened, plus additional for pans
2 1/3 cups organic bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 large egg, beaten, for egg wash
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the water and yeast. Let rest until creamy (around 5 minutes). Place the bowl on the mixer and fit with the dough hook (I mixed half portions in my processor with a bread blade). Add the milk, butter, flour, sugar and salt. Mix on low speed, turning the machine on and off a few times, until it seems the flour will stay in the bowl and not fly about. Increase the speed to medium and mix, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, (about 10 minutes). Transfer the dough to a large floured bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature, until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
2. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf tin and set aside. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a rectangle with a 9 inch width. Start rolling the dough form the short edge. Roll tightly, pressing down the seam with the heel of your hand as you roll. Transfer the dough roll to the prepared pan, seam side down. (The bread may look small in the pan, but don't worry it will grow.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough is level with the top of the pan (about 2 hours). While the bread is rising, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
3. Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash. Bake for 40 minutes or until dark brown. Remove the loaf from the pan and check it for doneness. It should be hollow when tapped on the bottom. If you have any doubts, put the loaf back in the oven (without the pan) and leaving the door slightly ajar, bake for 5 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a plastic bag and slice when needed. It will stay fresh for at least 5 days. the bread can be frozen, wrapped airtight, for up to a month.