Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sourdough dinner rolls

Woke up with a hankering for rolls Sunday morning, so decided to do something I'd never made: Pure sourdough (no commercial yeast) dinner rolls. I took my part-sourdough baguette recipe, ramped up the starter (levain) by a hundred grams, and left out the 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. The rolls didn't miss the yeast, as you can see from the photo. Fantastic a few hours out of the oven with braised short ribs that Anne made. Here's the recipe:
  • 285 grams all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 40 g corn flour
  • 350 g levain (sourdough starter - see here for directions on making your own)
  • 12 g salt
  • 170 g water
  1. A few hours before baking (or the night before) feed the levain
  2. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Cover and let sit 20-25 minutes
  3. Knead by hand 4-5 minutes until dough is elastic
  4. Return to bowl misted with oil; cover with oiled plastic wrap and ferment for 4-5 hours in a cool place
  5. Preheat baking (pizza) stone on center rack with old cast iron pan on bottom rack at 550 degrees or as hot as your oven will go at least an hour before baking
  6. On a floured countertop, divide dough in about 125g pieces. Form into rounds by gathering the dough and pulling down to the bottom, forming a small knot at the bottom. The idea is to create some surface tension by pulling tightly.  You can also form some into miniature baguettes, which is fun
  7. Place rolls between folds of linen couche; cover and let rise about 1 hour
  8. Transfer to peel and place in oven. Pour 1 cup water into cast iron pan (wear oven mitt!)
  9. Turn oven down to 480 and bake until golden brown and interior is 208-210 degrees. Partway through cooking you may need to turn oven down to 440 or so if crust is browning too quickly.
  10. Cool rolls on wire rack.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bread article is food journalism award finalist

Devoted followers with exceptional memories and uncluttered brains (that is, my kids) may remember that last May I authored a cover story on American Bread in Saveur magazine. I've learned the the piece is a food journalism finalist for the 2013 IACP awards (that's International Association of Culinary Professionals) next month in San Francisco. I'd ask you all to stuff the ballet box, except there is none (and besides, that strategy didn't work for the Quill Book Awards in 2007). Win or lose, as Sarah Palin might say, "I'm just so proud to be nominated."

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

All Things Bread named to top food blogs

All Things Bread, the blog you are reading, has been named as one of 100 Magnificent Sites for Chefs by CulinaryPrograms.net, a site devoted to leveraging the Internet to chefs-in-training. This is what they have to say about All Things Bread:

Best-selling author William Alexander shares his passion for the baked loaf at this blog. His cookbook, 52 Loaves, is all about baking the perfect loaf of bread, and his blog takes that perfection even further.

In other words, they liked the pretzel dog recipe. Thanks to the kind folks at Culinary Programs for their recognition and check out the other sites, but not if it means you're going to read those blogs instead of mine.

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