Sunday, February 15, 2009

French Bread

1 Package Active Dry Yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast Water*
1 Cup Boiling Water
1 Tablespoon Shortening
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
6 Cups Sifted Bread Flour
1 Egg White

*Use very warm water (105F to 115F) for dry yeast; use lukewarm (80F to 90F) for compressed yeast. Sprinkle dry yeast or crumble cake into 1/4 cup water. Let stand for a few minutes; then stir until dissolved.

Pour boiling water over shortening, salt, and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup cold water and cool to lukewarm.

Add yeast and gradually beat in enough flour to form a stuff dough.

Turn out on floured pastry cloth or board and knead until smooth and satiny.

Put in greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

Shape into 2 oblong loaves about 12 inches long. Place on parchment paper.

Brush with beaten eg white and with knife, make 3 slashes across top.

Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Place in a pre-soaked greased Romertopf French/Italian Bread Baker along with the parchment paper. Bake in a cold oven 425F for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F, bake for 20 minutes more.

Makes 2 loaves.

Purchase your Romertopf Clay Cookware:

French Bread, originally uploaded by Chef Madd Maxx.

Buttermilk Bread

5 1/2 Cups Bread Flour (5 1/2 to 6 cups)
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Packages Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Yeast
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/4 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Cups Buttermilk
1/3 Cup Butter, cut-up

If you are using a Romertopf Clay Bread Baker, (recommended) soak the lid and base in cold water.

In large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, salt and baking soda.

Heat buttermilk, and butter until very warm (approx 120 to 130F). Stir into dry ingredients.

Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 7 to 9 minutes.

Cover and let rise for approx 2 hours, or until double in size.

Punch down dough, shape into round ball. Place round dough onto parchment paper and allow to rise until double, approx 1 hour.

Transfer dough with parchment paper to a greased Romertopf Baker. Cover baker and place in cold oven. Set oven at 450F. Cook for 40 minutes. Uncover clay pot and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

Purchase your Romertopf Clay Cookware and Recipe Book here:

Buttermilk Bread
Originally uploaded by Chef Madd Maxx