Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Month-of-Few Ingredients: Yeasty Homemade Bread Bowls


baked bread bowls
This is shaping up to be more than a Month-of-Few Ingredients. I have been tackling fears, too, throughout the month, so it is appropriate that I take on one more on this last post for a Month-of-Few Ingredients. To recap, I told you of food fears: puff pastry (so I made two desserts with puff pastry), pie crust (one recipe), and yeast. How could I leave one undone? Today I am making bread bowls to take on my last food-fear. Aren’t you proud of me? <patting self on back>

I buy bread bowls once every couple of months, but I hate the search for them, and I know they are filled with preservatives for grocery store shelf life. This recipe, I thought when I saw it, would free me from those anxieties. And I trust Recipe Girlrecipes. Lori Lange is a great cook and has never led me astray.

Back in the day, when I was fearless (and sometimes clueless), I did make yeast breads. I grew up in a home where my mother made seven loaves at a time so we’d have bread for packed school lunches. (My brother used to sell his, but that’s another story.)

As an adult, I regularly made three-flour braided bread (white, whole wheat, and rye). Sometimes it turned out very well and sometimes not. I never could figure out what made the difference. The humidity level? The temperature? Yeast freshness? Too much (or too little) kneading? I gradually developed my yeast-fear because I couldn’t count on the results.

DH bought me a bread machine many years ago. At first, I put my own recipes into the machine. But, with varying levels of success, again, I started using the packaged bread machine mixes. Shameful, right?

But here I am again to try. Maybe success with this recipe will lead me to trying others. I love fresh, homemade, well-made bread. I might even try pizza dough with yeast next! Nah! I’m sticking with my yogurt pizza dough.

Lori’s Homemade Bread Bowls call for bread flour. If you make a lot of bread, you might have that around, but if not, you can make your own for when you need it. 

First, you need to buy vital gluten. For each cup of all-purpose flour, mix in 1 teaspoon of vital gluten. Store unused vital gluten in the refrigerator or freezer.  Bread flour has more gluten than all-purpose flour, and gluten gives bread its strength. Whereas cookies and cakes can be crumbly, you don’t want that for your bread.

I’m not going to mess with this recipe. This is as written by Recipe Girl, Lori Lange.

Homemade Bread Bowls (makes 4)
rising bread
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 2 cups warm water, 110º F
  • 5 1/3 cups (680 g) bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
Directions:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 to 7 minutes to activate. The mixture will smell like beer once it's done.
  2. Attach dough hook to stand mixer. Add bread flour and salt to mixing bowl. Start the mixer on low speed until the dough begins to come together, about 2 minutes.
  3. Increase speed to medium and knead dough for 3 minutes until the dough has formed into a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and allow dough to rest for 1 hour until dough has doubled in volume.
  4. Punch dough down and place on a lightly floured work surface. Weigh dough and divide into four equal parts. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Deflate each portion. Working with one portion at a time, shape into a tight round ball. Use your fingers to pinch the seams together at the bottom of the ball. Place rounds seam-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the rounds as far apart as possible. Cover dough and let rest for 40 minutes to allow rounds to proof.
  6. Preheat oven to 450º F. Place an oven safe pan (high-rimmed baking sheet, lasagna pan, or cast iron pan) on the bottom rack of oven. While the bread is resting, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. This water will be used to steam the bread, giving it that nice crunchy crust.
  7. Uncover dough and place in oven's center rack. Gently and carefully pour hot water into the pan on the bottom rack. Close oven door and do not open until steaming is finished. Bake bread bowls for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on the outside and internal temperature of bread registers at least 190º F. For even crispier bread, turn off oven and allow bread to remain in oven for another 5 to 7 minutes.  Allow bread to cool on wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing into.
  • If mixing by hand, use a large bowl and a sturdy spatula to combine ingredients. Stir until dough starts to form. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand until dough is smooth.
  • The steaming at the start of baking allows a nice, crispy crust to form on the bread bowls. If you choose to omit this step, the bread bowls will have a softer exterior.
  • Do not substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour. Bread flour contains a higher amount of protein which helps to create the bread bowl's structure.
  • Dough can be mixed the night before baking. After mixing dough together, transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to rest overnight. When ready to roll bread, allow dough to sit at room temperature for 40 minutes before deflating and dividing into portions.

DH’S Rating: 5 Tongues Up   What’s not to like about homemade bread, right?

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Twitter: #recipe for yeasty bread bowls by @good2tweat at http://bit.ly/2lSLnBc

Facebook: Do you like bread bowls for holding your stew and salads? Make your own from the recipe at Sharon Arthur Moore’s blog, Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time. http://sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com/2017/02/month-of-few-ingredients-yeasty.html

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