Friday, January 7, 2011

One dough, four recipes

This article in Family Fun magazine in November 2010 had a light whole wheat bread dough recipe and instructions on how to make bread, breadsticks, a bread wreath and pear fritters from the dough. It is written by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, the authors of "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day" which is a bread method that I like overall. On Christmas day I made the pear fritters, sandwich bread and wreath bread out of a batch of dough. We really enjoyed the pear fritters! The bread was a good sandwich bread, and the wreath bread was a fun way to have rolls for dinner.

My experiences with the artisan bread method make me prefer baking up the dough within a day of making it. Yes, the dough holds up for a week or two in the fridge (depending on which type of dough), but the bread is flatter the longer the dough is in the fridge. I don't mind it too much, but I really appreciated this layout of providing four options to make with the four pounds of dough the recipe makes so that I can use it in varied ways over a day or so and not have to worry about fridge storage so much. Reading the article renewed my interest in baking bread again - I haven't in months.

Basic Dough:
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Makes: 4 pounds of dough
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) granulated yeast
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons coarse salt or 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil; melted, unsalted butter; or olive oil (see the tip below)
  • 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  1. In a large bowl or lidded container, stir together the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and oil or melted butter, then mix in the flours. If needed, the last bit of flour can be incorporated with wet hands.
  2. Loosely cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature until it collapses on top, about 2 hours.
  3. Use the dough immediately or refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next five days. It can also be frozen in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to one month (we recommend freezing the dough in 1-pound portions for ease of use). Frozen dough can be shaped, rested, and baked after it has defrosted overnight in the refrigerator. To cut a recipe's worth of dough from the bulk batch, dust the surface of the dough with flour, then use kitchen shears or a knife to snip off what you need.
Vegetable oil has the most neutral flavor; butter adds flavor suitable for sweet and savory breads; and olive oil adds flavor suitable for savory breads.
 Sandwich Loaf:

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Makes: 1 loaf

  • 2 pounds (cantaloupe-size piece) prepared dough
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
  1. Lightly grease an 8-1/2- by 4-1/2-inch nonstick loaf pan. To help the dough hold its shape while it rises, cloak it: dust it with flour, then quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface and tucking it under the bottom, then rotating it a quarter-turn as you work.
  2. Stretch the ball into a loaf shape as shown and place it in the pan (it should be about three-quarters full). Let the dough rest for 90 minutes covered loosely with plastic wrap, 60 minutes if you're using fresh, unrefrigerated dough.
  3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash, then use a sharp, serrated bread knife to make three cuts across the top. Place the loaf on the oven's center rack and bake it until it's brown and firm, about 45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Wreath Bread:

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

  • 1 pound (grapefruit-size piece) prepared dough
  • Sesame or poppy seeds
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cloak the dough (see step 1 of Sandwich Loaf). When you've formed it into a cohesive ball, poke your thumbs through the center to make a hole. Stretch open the hole until it's about 8 inches wide.
  2. Place the dough ring on the prepared cookie sheet. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 25 minutes. Five minutes before baking time, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Use kitchen shears to make eight slightly angled horizontal cuts around the ring's perimeter as shown, stopping just short of cutting all the way through. Reposition each cut piece so that it points outward. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle it with sesame or poppy seeds.
  4. Bake the wreath on the oven's center rack until it's brown and firm, about 35 minutes. Let it cool slightly before serving.
 Herb Breadsticks:

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

  • 1/2 pound (orange-size piece) prepared dough
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh or dried rosemary, thyme, or Italian herb mix
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or generously grease it with olive oil.
  2. Cloak the dough to help it hold its shape while it rises: dust it with flour, then quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface and tucking it under the bottom, then rotating it a quarter-turn as you work. Roll it out into an 8- by 12-inch rectangle. Brush it generously with olive oil, sprinkle on the cheese, and scatter on salt and herbs to taste. Use a pizza cutter, as shown, or a sharp knife to slice the dough along its shorter side into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
  3. Stretch the strips into 12-inch lengths and lay them on the prepared cookie sheet spaced one inch apart. You can make zigzag or swirled breadsticks by shaping them on the cookie sheet.
  4. Bake the breadsticks on the oven's center rack until they're golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let them cool completely before serving.
Pear Fritters:

Hands-on time: 15 minutes plus 15 for frying
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: 24 fritters

  • Canola, peanut, or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 pound (grapefruit-size piece) prepared dough
  • 1 firm pear, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of oil and heat it to 360-380 degrees. As the oil warms, cloak the dough to help it hold its shape while it rises: dust it with flour, then quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface and tucking it under the bottom, then rotating it a quarter-turn as you work. On a well-floured surface, roll it out into a 9- by 12-inch rectangle.
  2. Combine the pear, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, currants, and nuts in a small bowl. Spread the mixture over the dough, stopping 1/2 inch from the edge. Starting at a long end, tightly roll the dough into a log as shown, then pinch the seam to seal it. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut off 1/2-inch-thick slices from the log.
  3. Fry the fritters in batches by carefully placing a few of them into the oil at a time, leaving enough room to let them rise to the surface as they cook. Fry them for about 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to gently flip each one and fry it until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute more. (You may need to flip them over a few times to brown them evenly.) Transfer the fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Dust the fritters with confectioners' sugar and let them cool slightly before serving.

Click here to visit the Artisan Bread in 5 blog for lots of fun ideas for using the dough and how to have success.

Updated on Dec 2, 2016 to add recipe specifics and new links since it appears to only be accessible with the Internet Wayback Machine.


Lise said...

I am looking for a way to bake bread items and freeze them. I have wanted to freeze the dough but haven't ever found anyone that could tell me if it would work. Any experience? I guess I should just bake it all up and then freeze it. Neat recipe!

Duder said...

This is my favorite bread recipe, but I haven't made it in a long time. I used to have the original torn from Family Fun in my cookbook, but it's lost and now it looks like the link won't work anymore since Disney has changed the site... Anyone happen to have an old scan of the original recipe? It is truly the most versatile, easy, delicious recipe!

KMDuff said...

Those stinkers! I put it into the wayback machine and got a nice copy of the page:


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