First of all, and without further ado, I’d like to finally announce the winner(s) of the scale giveaway from last week. Thank you all for leaving comments here, on my fan page, retweeting and everything. In the end, I had to go by “most enthusiastic”, and that had to be Vijitha from “Spices & Aroma”, who not only left a comment, but also “liked” my Facebook fan page and commented there, retweeted the original tweet AND befriended me on Facebook. The other one that I just didn’t have to heart to pass up, even though I had originally just promised ONE scale was Bronwyn, who also stood out in terms of enthusiasm, along with a great story. She will receive a “second place” scale (I’m in the process of researching which one). Both are being notified by email as we speak. Again, thank you all for participating, and stay tuned for more of the same, I have some great things planned!
On an unrelated note, I was actually going to tell you something about one of the best toast breads I know of – Vienna bread. It is phenomenal with just some butter and jam on it for breakfast, accompanied by a good cup of home-roasted coffee… There are two ways to make it, by “straight dough” method and “indirect dough” method. The first one just means that you combine your ingredients into a dough, let that rise etc. The latter involves the use of a pre-ferment, and it’s the one I personally prefer. The reason is easy: any bread that uses a pre-ferment will be improved in texture and flavor – plus, it stays fresh longer. This is especially important in a bread like this, as white bread has a tendency to dry out fast. Not this one. While it won’t keep as long as a loaf of sourdough, it will last considerably longer with pâte fermentée.
I have seen this bread with an egg wash on top, and just brushed with water and dusted with flour. Personally, I prefer the egg wash, as it will give the bread a nicer sheen and the bread won’t look so mottled (see the photographs). Yet, that is a cosmetic thing primarily and won’t really contribute one way or another to the flavor etc. of the bread itself.
The recipe below came originally from Reinhart’s “Bread Baker’s Apprentice”, with some modifications in the method and recipe that I made.
What kind of bread do you enjoy for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?
- 235 g (2 cups) whole wheat flour
- 235 g (1¾ cups) bread flour
- 9 g (1½ tsp) salt
- 4 g (1 tsp) instant yeast
- 275 g (1⅛ cup) cool water
- 13 oz (2⅓ cups) pâte fermentée
- 12 oz (2⅔ cups) bread flour
- 0.5 oz (1 tbsp) sugar
- 0.25 oz (1 tsp) diastatic malt powder
- 0.25 oz (1 tsp) salt
- 0.11 oz (1 tsp) instant yeast
- 1.65 oz (1 large) egg, slightly beaten
- 0.5 oz (1 tbsp) butter, at room temperature
- 6 oz (3/4 cup) water, lukewarm
- semolina or cornmeal
- 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons* water
- Combine all ingredients and knead until they form a smooth dough.
- Let slow-rise in the fridge over night (at least 8 hours).
- Remove from fridge at least an hour before using.
- Cut the butter and egg into the flour with a paddle attachment.
- Switch to the dough hook and add the pâte fermentée, yeast, salt and sugar.
- Dissolve the malt powder in the water and slowly pour it into the bowl. If the flour has not been hydrated completely, add up to 2 tbsp more water. Keep kneading until the ingredients form a smooth dough.
- Transfer the dough to a covered container, spray with cooking spray and let rise until doubled or for about 2 hours. Punch it down and let it rise again until doubled.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape these into loose rounds and let sit for about 10 minutes to let the gluten relax.
- Preheat your oven to 425 F. Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray and dust them with semolina or cornmeal. Form the dough into 2 torpedoes and place them into the loaf pans. Let rise until the loaf extends just past the rim of your pans and your finger leaves an indent when pressed into the loaf.
- Just prior to baking, brush your loaves with egg wash (beat the egg yolk together with the water) and score them straight down the middle.
- Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown. The center should register 200 F.