Monday, December 10, 2007

Refrigerator Bread

Sat 8 Dec 2007

I've skipped from recipe 2 to recipe 66 in the The Big Book of Bread - I should have it done in no time at all!

On Saturday I spent too much time reading the newspaper and surfing the web to fit in a full bread bake before heading out to dinner. So leaving the bread to prove in the fridge for 15 hours was ideal. As my mum says, it's very hard to over-prove bread, and the fridge is the trick I always use for making hot cross buns for Good Friday.

I had to halve quantities (approximately) and the recipe is complicated only in that you need some mashed potato. So, one large potato was peeled, chopped, boiled, mashed and left to cool in the fridge.

The bread making itself was simple. I dissolved a teaspoon of caster sugar in approximately 60mL of warm milk with some warm water added and sprinkled over 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried yeast. While the yeast was doing its magic, I measured out about 275g of plain flour and mixed in some salt. I rubbed in about 25g of chopped, unsalted butter and then added half a beaten egg and about 90g of the mashed potato. When that was all incorporated I added the frothed up yeasty milk and finally turned the dough out on to the bench and gave it a good kneading.

It was quite a soft, sticky dough and it did take up a lot of extra flour. After the kneading, a quick slick of oil and back into its bowl and (covered with cling film) into the fridge for the 15 hour prove.

The recipe, rather foolishly (in my opinion), says that after 15 hours the dough will have risen to the top of the bowl. I would have thought that that would depend on how big your bowl was, and my dough was no where NEAR the top. It did look as though it had risen a little and the coolness of the fridge meant the dough was considerably stiffer and easier to handle than the day before. After a second knead, the dough was left for another rising - another couple of hours near the heater.

Another knead and eight rolls were produced. A final rest before heading into a 220C (fan) oven for about 10 minutes.

Apart from me not putting in quite enough salt, the bread was excellent - very fine crumb, but still quite chewy, although not particularly crusty.
The rolls came out a pretty, very pale yellow (thanks to the egg and potato, I imagine) and would be perfect for a dinner party.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want fine dinner rolls, try Marcella Hazan's milk rolls - so delicate.

Don't forget my new trick - always use bottled or spring water because the chlorine in a lot of tap water seriously inhibits the action of the yeast on the flour. I think this is particularly useful in Australia as our water is heavily chlorinated, possibly exacerbated by our current drought conditions.

11:10 am  
Blogger Suzer said...

Just a quick hello from a newbie to Adelaide who used to live in Leeds (for about a year).


6:12 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Hello Suzer

I'm sure the weather in Adelaide will be far more clement than the very grey and windy conditions we're enjoying in Leeds at the moment!

1:09 pm  

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