Thursday, October 14, 2010
Posted by Guff
This time around were were tasked with making Grissini, Pizza and Baguettes. A nasty job, but somebody has got to do it. As the basis for these breadstuffs Michelle gave us some options for the whole wheat dough we could use. I chose the Master. I did vary the recipe slightly, following a tip from Danielle at Cooking for My Peace of Mind who wrote about using Barley Malt Syrup. Following her lead, I added 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour. For those of you keeping score at home, Barley Malt Syrup weighs 7 grams per teaspoon, 21 grams per tablespoon. The bread rose well, but I did not notice a huge flavor difference, no doubt in part because the end products here were, themselves, fairly strongly flavored. I will continue to use it. Also, Carlyn at Baked With Luv suggested doubling the amount of vital gluten when using home milled flour. I plan to try that too.
I first made the Grissini (Olive Oil Bread Sticks). I rolled the dough out to about an eighth of an inch, cut it into strips with my pizza cutter, sprayed them with olive oil spray, sprinkled them with salt and rosemary, and baked them for about 15 minutes. They were great.
Then it was on to Whole Grain Pizza on the Gas Grill (right on the grates). I love cooking pizza this way. We had quite a discussion in our Discussion Group about the best way to get the pizza onto the grill, with many good ideas. I roll the crust out on parchment paper, using some flour so it does not stick too much.
Some folks do it paper side down, which is what I do in the oven, but it seems to me to be less likely to catch fire with the paper up.
For this pizza, instead of using crushed tomatoes I used some of Michelle's Tomato Jam. It went really well with the grilled crust. I also added some sliced mushrooms and, of course, some mozzarella cheese.
The pizza is sitting on my RSVP 10" Oven Spatula, which is a really great size for getting loaves of bread into and out of the oven (or on and off the grill). It is smaller and much handier than my large pizza peel.
The final assignment was 2 small loaves of Garlic Studded Baguette. I formed my baguettes, let them rise in my 1x2 couche, and studded them with garlic from the garden.
I used my Garlic Peeler gizmo to remove the peels, it is pretty handy when you have a lot of cloves to peel and you do not want to crush them.
I kept the loaves on the parchment paper when I put them in the oven, so I pulled them out 2/3 of the way through the cooking time to take them off the paper. I noticed that some of the cloves had popped out, so I took the opportunity to tuck them back in, it seemed to work pretty well.
The roasted garlic was great, and we ate the bread without butter, just the garlic. According to Garlic Central garlic has "a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the Plague! Raw garlic is used by some to treat the symptoms of acne and there is some evidence that it can assist in managing high cholesterol levels. It can even be effective as a natural mosquito repellent." Of course, eaten to excess it can also be a means of birth control. Did you know that the most effective birth control for lawyers is their personalities?
I still had some dough left, and when we made doughnuts last time Michelle baked hers in a mini-doughnut pan. Sounded like a great idea, so I got one, but I got the one that makes 6 regular size doughnuts, rather than 12 mini doughnuts. I mean, who are we kidding? Who is going to eat just 1 mini doughnut? I rolled out the dough and used my biscuit cutters just as I had to make the fried doughnuts. I sprayed the pan and let the doughnuts rise about half an hour.
Then I baked them at 325 for about 20 minutes. As soon as they came out I shook them in a paper bag with some sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Although this was not an enriched dough, they were pretty darn good.
In my spare time, I decided to do a 'speriment I had been considering all summer--zucchini bread. I used the Carrot Bread recipe from HB in 5, but substituted zucchini. Since zucchini is so wet, I shredded it, tossed it with a little sugar to draw out the moisture, and let it drain in a colander. Then I squeezed more moisture out using my potato ricer. I saved the zucchini liquid and used it as some of the water in the dough. Also, I meant to double the spices, which is what I did, for the full recipe, but since I only made a half recipe . . . .
Despite all my efforts and good intentions the dough was still a bit wet, but that meant the result was a little more dense, more like a typical zucchini quick bread. I am not sure I would change it.
I used my smaller loaf pan, but a half recipe of the HB in 5 doughs is a bit larger than in AB in 5, and a regular loaf pan would have worked better, avoiding the overflow.
The result? I think it was pretty good. My old Zucchini Bread recipe had 3 eggs, 2 cups of sugar and a cup of oil in it. In contrast, the half recipe of this bread I made had no eggs, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and no oil. This version was way healthier, though obviously not as sweet or rich. But that is a good thing in our healthy bread paradigm. (Just keep saying that to yourself--over and over and over.)
So that is it for this time. Be sure to see what everyone else did at the Big Black Dog, and check back next time.