March 9, 2010

March Recipes: Yeast Breads

Hello Coven members. Our March recipes were picked by Dana, and she knows bread. Here is what she had to say:

"When Harvard and I were in our early 20s we taught “University For Man” bread basics classes. I wanted to help people to see that using yeast needn’t be just for grandmothers or James Beard kind of people. Yeast casserole breads were an easy transition to give confidence. This one is beautiful and easy to wow company with without much effort. It is also delicious!"

Dilly Casserole Bread

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 c. creamed cottage cheese (lg. curd better)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. dill seed (Note - not dill weed)
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. soda
2 1/4 - 2 1/2 c. flour

1/4 c. warm water
¼ c. finely minced onion (not instant)
1 tsp. salt
1 egg

Sprinkle yeast over warm water. Heat cottage cheese to lukewarm in microwave. Combine in mixing bowl with sugar, onion, butter, dill seed, salt, soda, egg and yeast mixture. Add flour to make stiff dough, beat well after each addition of flour. Let rise to double in size in warm place, 50 to 60 minutes. Stir down, turn into well greased round casserole. Let rise again until light and double in size. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Brush with butter, sprinkle with coarse salt. Remove from pan when cool. Makes 1 round.

Nothing beats real bread dough coming alive under the heel of your hands though. I had planned to post pictures of some of the kneeding/shaping techniques when I post my entry. This recipe is my own adaptation based on wanting one loaf at a time now and wanting something that would hold a little longer without going stale so quickly (the bane of good bread with no preservatives added)…thus, it is a little denser and chewier than the average bread. Makes GREAT toast and I use it a lot for feeding guests because it stays moist when sitting in a basket.

Here is another yeast bread option to try this month:

Maple Oatmeal Bread-one 1.5 lb loaf

Sprinkle 2 tsp. yeast (bread machine or regular) over 1 c. lukewarm (105-115 degrees) water—let stand while combining

¼ c. oil

¼ c. real maple syrup (not pancake syrup)—can substitute honey

1 ¾ tsp. salt

add yeast mixture.

Stir in 1 c. rolled oats

Stir in enough of the 3 cups bread flour (opt. substitute 1 c. whole wheat flour and 2 c. bread flour) until a stiff dough

Kneed in the rest of the flour, and more if necessary, until the dough can be kneeded for 5-10 min.

The ball should spring back into shape when indented and be smooth and not sticky.

Roll in a greased bowl and leave to rise in a warm place with a damp towel over the top until double (1.5-2 hours)

Punch down and shape loaf

Let rise uncovered up to 1 hour or until less than double in bulk (don’t let it over rise)

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 40 minutes.

Here is a link to the printable version. If you haven't ever made a yeast bread before - feel free to post some questions in the "comments" section and I can try and answer them - if I can't maybe Dana will be able to step in.

Happy Baking

The lovely Lady Baker

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