Saturday, November 16, 2019

Sourdough Savory Danish Crown #BBB

This month our intrepid Bread Baking Babes are baking up a deliciously savory and glorious looking crown of a loaf.  Filled, rolled, braided, and chock full of sauteed onions, which I personally adore, this is an impressive loaf to make for company.  The braiding really reminded me of one of my buddy bakes from 2012, the Russian Rose.  

The trick to "braiding" this loaf is that it is not really braiding.  When you slice the roll in half, always keep the sliced edges facing up.  Start by crossing them in an "x" and very gently lift and cross over the pieces all the way to each end, always keeping the cut sides up.  Once that is done, carefully form the criss-cross loaf into a circle and "artfully" seal the edges together.

The original recipe called for sesame seeds on top, our host kitchen used sunflower seeds.  I was originally planning on using a mix of black and white sesame seeds, but then remembered that I had nigella seeds on hand, which I thought would go with the filling perfectly, so that's what I used.

 We would love for you to try out this flavorful recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished loaf to Bread Experience by the 29th of this month. Be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line. You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month. New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Sourdough Savory Danish Crown
Adapted from Bread - The breads of the world and how to bake them at home by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter

Makes: 1 Crown Loaf

260 grams + 30 grams unbleached all-purpose flour + more for sprinkling (I ended up adding about 50g instead of 30g)
65 grams whole grain rye (mine was freshly ground)
1 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp + 1 stick butter, softened (I used ½ stick in total, 3 tbsp in the dough and the remaining 5 split between the turns)
50 grams sourdough starter, recently fed, active (100% hydration) or ¾-ounce fresh yeast *
½ cup lukewarm water
½ cup lukewarm milk (I used almond milk)
1 egg, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
¾ cup fresh bread crumbs or ½ cup dried (I pulverized a slice of bread and semi-toasted the crumbs to dry a bit)
¼ cup ground almonds or almond meal
½ cup freshly grated or dried Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds (I used nigella seeds)
1 Tbsp. freshly ground Parmesan (Oops, forgot!)
½ beaten egg from above or 1 tsp. corn starch + enough water to make thin glaze (I added a tsp of water to thin my egg)

(Using yeast instead of sourdough:)

If you choose to use yeast instead of sourdough, reduce the proofing time to about 1 hour for the bulk ferment in the bowl and 30 minutes for the final ferment. You may also need to reduce the milk/water mixture to a scant cup.

In a large bowl, combine the 260g all purpose flour, rye flour, and salt.  Rub in the 3 tablespoons of butter. (I did this with the paddle attachment of my mixer.)

In another bowl, mix together the sourdough, egg, and milk/water mixture.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.  Switch to a bowl scraper if necessary.

Cover the bowl and allow the dough to autolyse (rest) for 20-30 minutes before adding any additional flour.  After the autolyse, add 30 grams of flour, if necessary. The dough will be a little sticky, but resist the urge to add more flour until the stretch and fold stage.  (I did end up adding more like 50g to get the proper consistency, still sticky.)

Let the dough proof for about 4-6 hours at room temperature, stretching and folding the dough every 45 minutes for the first 2¼ hours. To perform the stretch and fold in the mixing bowl, use a dough scraper to lift and fold the dough onto itself from all sides. Do this a total of three times.

The dough can probably be rolled and baked at this point, but our host kitchen found that it benefited from a cold ferment in the refrigerator.   She recommends a cold ferment for a few hours at least.  (I procrastinated and did not have time for this.)

The dough may also be held in the refrigerator at this point for a couple days.

To shape the loaf, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up slightly on a floured surface.

Roll out into an oblong about ½-inch thick.  Dot half (¼ cup) of the remaining butter over the top two-thirds of the rolled dough. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down, and then seal the edges.  Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat the process with the remaining ¼ cup of butter.  Fold and seal the dough as before.  Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Turn the dough another 90 degrees. Then roll and fold it as before, this time without adding any butter.  Repeat the turn/fold process once more.  Wrap the dough in lightly oiled plastic wrap or bees wrap sprinkled with flour.  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the onions. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the onions for 10 minutes until soft and golden. 

 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs, almonds, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Add half the beaten egg to the onion/bread crumb mixture and mix to combine.

Roll the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle measuring 22x9 inches. Spread the filling over the dough to within ¾ inch of the edges. 

Roll up like a Swiss roll from one of the long sides. Cut the dough in half lengthwise using a sharp knife.  Braid the logs together with the cut sides up and shape into a ring. 

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours as needed, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Brush the remaining beaten egg or the cornstarch wash over the dough. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (or the seeds of your choice) and Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden.  You may wish to tent the loaf with foil for the last 5 minutes to prevent the toppings from getting too dark.  Transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool. Cut into slices.

 The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Approximate nutrition for one slice of bread:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Puran Poli - Sweet lentil flatbreads #BreadBakers

This month, the Bread Bakers are making Indian Flatbreads/Parathas, a theme chosen by Renu from Cook With Renu.  I have made only a few true flatbreads before and Naan was the very first challenge bread I ever participated in for the BBB bread baking group.  After some googling, I found these Puran Poli lentil flatbreads and seeing that they had cardamom in them, which I love, decided to try them out.  I guess there are different kinds of Puran Poli, some thick and some thin.  I believe this recipe is the thicker style known as Gujrati Puran Poli.  I would be interested in trying the thinner ones some time too.  We love lentils, I keep red lentils on hand which is masoor daal.  The thin versions of this flatbread call for chana dal which google tells me is split yellow chickpeas and not lentils, and this thick one calls for toor dal, which is split pigeon peas.  But all the recipes call it a lentil flatbread.  Maybe it's a region difference?  Whether they are pulses or lentils, or peas, this is a recipe traditionally enjoyed for a number of Festivals, but also enjoyed as a breakfast or snack item by some.  It uses jaggery powder for sweetness, which has a lovely molasses aroma as it is an unrefined sugar.  Added along with the whole wheat and aromatic spices, it results in a golden brown, flavorful and aromatic flat bread.  Puran Poli
is commonly served with hot milk, flavored with cardamom and saffron.  I love golden milk, I think it would be lovely with that as well.

Puran Poli
makes 10 flatbreads

½ cup whole wheat flour (I used fresh ground)
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
~1/3 cup water

¾ cup toor dal
¾ cup jaggery powder
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder (I use fresh ground)

flour for rolling
oil or ghee for cooking

Make the filling first to give it time to cool.  Rinse and soak the toor dal in two cups of water for at least four hours.  It will double in volume after soaking.  Drain and rinse again.  Add the toor dal and turmeric to two cups of water.  Cook in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When dal comes to a boil, skim any foam from the surface.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan.  Cook for about 25 minutes, adding more water if needed.  The dal should be very soft and mushy, don't let it cook dry.  Add the jaggery powder and cook until the dal forms what looks like paste and starts to hold together. Mix in the cardamom and nutmeg powder.  The filling will be very soft and sticky.  Allow to cool.

To make the dough, combine the flours and oil in a bowl.  Add water slowly to make very soft dough. Knead to mix, the dough should not stick to your fingers but should be fairly soft. Cover and set aside to rest at least 15 minutes.

To assemble, divide the dough and filling into ten equal parts. The portions of filling will be a little more than twice the size of the dough balls.  Roll the dough balls into 2½ inch circles. Place a portion of filling in the center of each circle. Seal by pulling the up the edges of the dough together to make a ball around the filling.  Repeat to make ten balls.  Let the filled balls rest for 3-4 minutes to make them easier to roll out.
Heat a skillet on medium heat. Sprinkle a couple of drops of water on the skillet to test if it is hot enough. The water should sizzle right away when it is ready.
To roll out, dust each filled ball lightly on both sides with dry whole wheat flour.  Set the ball, sealed side up on a pastry cloth or work sureface and lightly press into a circle about 2 inch wide.  Roll the ball gently into a 5 inch circle.   Dust with more flour if needed to prevent sticking.
Place the puran poli in the pre-heated skillet.  When the color starts to change after 15-20 seconds, flip it over.  There should be some golden-brown spots and it will start to puff up.  After a few seconds, spread a teaspoon of oil or ghee on the puran poli.  Flip it again and lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula.  Flip once more and press with the spatula to make sure the puran poli is golden-brown on both sides.
Repeat this process for the remaining dough balls.

Puran poli is best served hot.

And it takes some practice to roll them out so they cook well!

A little too thin and this one disintegrated after cooling a bit.

Be sure to check out the assorted Indian Flatbreads/Parathas presented by our talented bakers.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Approximate nutrition for 1 flatbread: