Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bread, glorious bread

I am almost out of the super special wheat bagels I made last time I posted.   I am not out of bread... just bagels, which means I need to make something I can share with my girls this week for breakfast.

I'm conducting an experiment.  I'm taking the poolish from one recipe and mixing it into another and making bagels out of it.

The poolish contained:

  •  1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  •  1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  •  3/4 cup whole wheat flour
Per the instructions, I mixed this up yesterday evening, covered it with a damp cloth, and left it until this morning when I decided to deviate from the instructions and leave it covered on my kitchen stove for the rest of the day so the flavor could develop.   

After I beat it down, it looked like: 

I took out my trusty circa 1988 Kitchen Aid stand mixer proceeded to follow the bread recipe from the nice Israeli lady who helped me start all this for the bagels. 

Note: I only used what was left in the yeast envelope for the yeast  because the rest o f it was in the Poolish.  

I took: 
2 c. warm tap water
remaining yeast
2 tbl sugar

and mixed them up with the paddle attachment   I let that sit for a minute while I got my leftover burnt pizza and put it in the microwave.   Then I added 2 c. All purpose flour and the Poolish and mixed that up. I gradually added a total of 5 c. all purpose flour.   Give or take some until it looks right.   After it was all blended, I switched to the dough hook, and began gradually mixing and kneading all this.   I'd say we're talking about twenty minutes mixing and kneading. 

Various stages: 

In the beginning, there was mush. 

I added more flour: 

Action shot with the dough hook. 

Non action shot.  Note it still looks moist and kind of mushy.  This is before I added the last two or three cups of flour.   

This is with most of the flour in the mix.  Note how the gluton is starting to develop and give the dough body. 

Another action shot.   I've noticed when I'm making bread in the kitchen aid mixer that turning the speed up to full power so all the dough spins off the hook helps mix it more thoroughly.   It's also a lazy way to clean off whatever attachment you're using.  :) 

Once the dough is nice and developed, I oiled a nice not metal bowel for the first rise with canola oil.   I rolled the dough in the canola oil and covered it up on my kitchen stove to rise for about two hours or until it doubles in size. 

 Right now, I'm taking a break waiting on the bread to rise.  I just enjoyed my reward for coming straight home from work and mixing up bread dough so I can go to bed at a decent hour.

In a probably ill advised mood I'm going to rock the exercise bike for 30 minutes while I wait. 

As it turns out, not terribly ill advised.   The bread is still rising.  I didn't fall off and I feel pretty good (from working out.). 

Two hours later...  I rolled the bread up into a ball and punched holes in it.  Let it rest about ten minutes and then boiled it about two minutes on each side.

I think the cracking means I did it right.

Twenty minutes later and we have bagels.  They're done when you can knock on them and they sound hollow. 

Two cents for the day:   Bread was pretty good with the poolish.  Not entire sure it mattered but it is tasty.  

I think it might have just been that little bit of wheat flour in the dough that made the difference. 

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