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 am 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 color 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.
“Bread made with cheese made into French toast with butter and syrup – yes please!”
Way to think outside the box, Stace!