Ricotta and Fresh Chive Bread, page 369, June 6, 2015

My other guest this weekend, my cousin, Stacy, chose to have me bake her a loaf of Ricotta and Fresh Chive Bread.  The recipe states that it is a delicately flavored bread that loses its subtle flavor if frozen. As a result, I wanted to wait until the day she will be headed back home to bake this one. That way she can be sure to eat it fresh.

I bought a whole-milk ricotta for this loaf, the cookbooks recipe allows for your choice of whole milk or part-skim.  Ingredients for this loaf are 1 cup water, 1/3 cup ricotta, 3 cups bread flour, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon gluten, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, Dash of ground black pepper and 2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast.

As the dough first started mixing, I thought it looked really wet, but I didn’t want to add any more flour.  I amIMG_4154 glad I waited, because the longer the ingredients had to incorporate, the better the dough began to look.  I checked the dough as it was rising and was not encouraged.  It didn’t seem to be rising well at all.  Not just a crater top, this thing looks like a brick of cheesy, oniony bread.

Oh dear, was the dough too wet?  Should I have added more flour?  It smells incredible, so I won’t toss it.  I will just let the cycle continue.  This is a wait and see loaf at this point.

It finished baking, and never rose well.  It is a really pretty, golden brown colorIMG_4155 and the smell of cheese and chives is really tempting.  As I was scratching my head, trying to figure out how this happened, I discovered my error.  As I was measuring my ingredients, when it came to the 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, I shorted myself and used only 1 1/2 teaspoons.  I remember thinking, I will just use the 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, repeatedly.  I should have used it 5 times, and I only used it 3.  Another loaf, another lesson learned.  PAY ATTENTION, PAULA!

I will add more to this post after Stacy tastes it.  I am feeling really guilty about the texture, I am sure it will be really heavy, but she has already talked about having a slice warm with cream cheese, hopefully that will work.

I just heard from Stacy.IMG_4158  She enjoyed the bread and used it to make French Toast, serving it with butter and maple syrup.  Her exact words:

“Bread made with cheese made into French toast with butter and syrup – yes please!”

Way to think outside the box, Stace!

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