Pain D’Ail, page 343, August 3, 2017

“There are five elements: earth, water, air, fire and garlic.” — Louis Diat

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This recipe uses freshly peeled garlic, but if you prefer a more subdued flavor, you can used roasted garlic.  I had some fresh garlic I wanted to use and thought this loaf sounded delicious.  According to the cookbook, it is good served with roasted meats and rice casseroles.  I look forward to trying it with pasta as well.

The first step was to set 3 tablespoons unsalted butter aside to soften.  When the butter was ready, I peeled 4 garlic cloves and pressed them directly into the butter.  Then I mashed them together, well.

The prepared garlic butter went into the bread machine pan first, followed by 1 1/2 cups water and 1 3/4 teaspoons salt.

Next, I added 4 cups bread flour, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gluten and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.  I made a small well in the top of the dry ingredients, into which I added 2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast.

This loaf requires a “medium” crust setting and the “French” bread cycle.

WOW!

I may have met my version of ambrosia here.  This loaf is incredible.  Just enough garlic to be present but in no way overwhelming.  After tasting this, I may try making it again with roasted garlic, just to see how that turns out.  I can’t imagine it could be an improvement though.  This is really tasty.  The crust has a nice crunch to it and the bread itself is soft and just slightly chewy.  Great served warm with a little butter, but I plan on serving it for dinner tonight with some pasta bolognese.  This bread just cries out for sopping up the remaining sauce from a pasta bowl.

So, so good.   So, so garlicky.  So, so going to make this one again sometime.

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Coconut Milk White Bread, page 60, July 13, 2017

I thought this sounded like an interesting twist on the standard milk bread, and one I will be able to enjoy myself.  However, I will be headed to my parents’ home in a few days so if any is left over (and if I remember) I will bring along the leftovers.

“The two basic items necessary to sustain life are sunshine and coconut milk.” – Dustin Hoffman

There are a few notes worth mentioning with this recipe.  First, be sure to use coconut milk and not canned cream of coconut.  Second, before opening your can of coconut milk, take a moment to shake it well since the solids may have settled toward the bottom of the can.

The coconut milk replaces the need for any additional fat or sugar in this recipe, since it naturally provides both.  According to the cookbook, this loaf is perfect with Thai, Caribbean and Creole foods.

I am making a 2-pound loaf and put the ingredients into the pan in the following order:

1 1/2 cups canned coconut milk

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gluten

2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast  (if you are making this with bead machine yeast, use 1 tablespoon)

This loaf uses the medium crust and basic cycle settings on the bread machine.

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Now, officially I was supposed to let this get to room temperature before slicing it, but it smelled so good, I couldn’t wait that long.  This loaf is tender, flavorful and soft.  There is no flavor of coconut at all, but that is not really surprising.  This one is definitely a keeper.

Tomato Bread, page 346, June 29, 2017

I have always been a tomato fan, and ate them like apples when I was little.  This recipe looks intriguing and thought it would be a nice summer-time loaf.   My mouth is already watering thinking of cheese or bacon and avocado sandwiches, or even croutons made using this bread.

This is a loaf that can be made using the machine’s delay timer, but I am opting to make it using the basic program.  I am also making a couple changes to the recipe, because it calls for a small amount of whole wheat flour which I don’t eat, and the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes I have on hand contain garlic and herbs.  (I think the garlic and herbs will only add to the loaf, so I am unworried about that change.  I know that whole wheat flour is slightly lower in protein than bread flour, so I hope that substitution in this small an amount won’t negatively affect the finished product.  In the recipe below, I will list what I put in the pan, with the actual recipe ingredients in parentheses.

I put the ingredients into my bread machine in the following order:

3 tablespoons imported Italian tomato paste (the cookbook states that you can use standard canned tomato paste if the Italian is unavailable, but that the Italian can sometimes be found “stashed at the deli counter.” I found mine online.)

854693000102-mutti-double-concentrated-tomato-paste-in-tube.jpg1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, with their oil (Here is where I used tomatoes with garlic and herbs.  I also realized, as I am typing this, that the recipe calls for 1/3 cueae59e68-092c-4053-8558-7f435da98265_1.cebd291101106a824433ed896ace135e.jpegp, not 1/2 cup.  Hmmm, I really need to get my act together here.)

 

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 1/4 cups bread flour (Here, the recipe calls for 2 3/4 cups bread flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)

1 1/2 tablespoons gluten

2 teaspoons SAF yeast.

I then set my crust on medium and started the “Basic” cycle on my bread machine.

Well then, I just snuck a peek at the dough and it is a lovely red color and smells like tomato soup.  Let’s just hope my changes (and accidents) don’t cause any problems.

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As you can see from the photo, this loaf is intensely red.  The tomato flavor is just as intense as the color (good if, like me, you love tomatoes.)  I do wonder if it would have been a little milder had I got the amount for the sun-dried tomatoes correct. The bread is moist and delicious with a crunchy crust and bright bites of sun-dried tomato throughout.

Just a note, and I know this will seem trivial based on the fact that I got the measurement wrong anyway, but the “with their oil” direction regarding those tomatoes drove me a little nuts.  How much oil from the jar was I supposed to include?  Did this just mean I was supposed to NOT rinse the tomatoes, but forgo  purposefully including the oil from the jar?  Should I have made sure to get a lot of oil?  I spooned tomatoes and oil into my measuring cup, but was unsure if I had the proportions correct.  As with most bread I bake, as long as it tastes good, which this does, I am calling it a win.

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!