Monday, March 9, 2009

SueP Garlic and Herb French Bread

I don't do yeast. I am afraid of yeast. I can do pizza dough and wheat bread, but after that, my motherboard shuts down. I am afraid of my efforts of making the dough won't work. I won't get a good rise and it will be for nothing. I don't do well with disappointment. So to avoid disappointment, I don't do it at all. Kind of like fudge. Did you know I CANNOT make fudge? I have tried twice. Once with the real way and again with the marshmallow fluff. Both times, no go. I am not going to be disappointed again, so I have come to terms with the fact that I am not a fudge-maker. Do you make fudge? Congrats! I do not.

Since I no do yeast, you can go ahead and assume I didn't make this. My mother did, who happens to have a very cohesive, healthy relationship with yeast. My mom is a yeast whisperer. She can coax yeasty little bubbles out of all of her bread attempts. If you too are a yeast whisperer, give this baby a go. Anyways, I will now turn the time over to Sister Peterson for her lesson on garlic french bread.

2 Tbsp salt
6 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup gluten flour
6 cup white flour
2/3 cup olive oil OR roasted garlic oil (the better choice)
4 cup hot water (120-130 degrees)
4 Tbsp Saf-Instant yeast
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp thyme
1/2 cup or more of grated Parmesan or asiago cheese
3/4 cup cornmeal
6 cups combination of white and wheat flour (easy on the wheat if you want a lighter bread; heavy on the wheat of your feeling healthy or guilty)

In a the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine salt, sugar, gluten flour, white flour, oil and water. Mix until moistened. Add yeast. Mix for about 15 seconds. Add garlic, rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme and cheese, cornmeal. Mix until just combined.

Add white and wheat flour a cup at a time and mix after each addition. You want your dough to be a tad bit sticky, but able to clear the sides of the bowl. Depending on your location and humidity, and the time of year and temperature, add five cups and then wait and see how your dough reacts. Five might do - then again - you might need seven. (Slightly sticky dough means soft bread, that's what you're shooting for.)

Put the cover on your mixer and knead for six minutes. Pour a half-dollar size pool of olive oil on your counter and spread it around with your hands. With your oily hands, remove the dough from the mixer. (I don't flour my counter, I oil it when I'm working with dough.) Separate the dough into four equal sizes. Using a rolling pin (rub your oily hands on it), roll each into a rectangle to get out the bubbles, and then roll up jelly roll-style. Fold the ends under and pinch to seal. (Each is about the thickness of a wrapping paper tube.)

Place on a cookie sheet or french bread pan seams down. Cut a few slits on the top, and raise for 25 minutes.

Set your oven to 350 and continue to raise the loaves while it's heating up, about 10 minutes. Bake loaves for 20-24 minutes. (I use a convection oven so I can bake them all at once - but you can do two at a time in a regular oven.) Remove from oven and pans and let sit on cooling rack and cool for ten to fifteen more minutes. The insides will continue to cook.

If you want a soft crust, rub with a cube of butter at this point, else leave them be for a crispier crust. Copious amount of butter slathered on thick slices is recommended when this is warm!

Hen's Notes: I use a Bosch mixer. Whatever mixer you have, make sure it can handle 12+ cups of flour. This recipe makes 4 loaves - so you can cut the recipe in half if you need to.

Saf-Instant Yeast is A MUST. This yeast is the bomb and the only kind I ever use. I never need to proof it, it's tough and can take high water temps, and it rises fast and does not require a "first rising" before you shape it into rolls or loaves. Buy it online if you can't find it in your store. It comes in a small brick, not little packages. Store in a covered container in the freezer.


rabidrunner said...

The secret to yeast is adding the salt as late as possible. If you add the salt in the beginning with the other stuff it can cause inconsistent results.

That and gluten. Gluten saves everything.

Two cents... over and out.

Maria said...

I love herbed bread!!

Vanessa Sanchez said...

I don't do yeast either, but maybe it's time to try.