Baking, Bread Hoarders Anonymous, Breads, Techniques
comments 2

Bread Whore ~ TOAST

I’ve always loved great toast. And apparently, I’m not alone.  I read somewhere the other day that toast has become a “thing“. Affected, terribly cool people are flocking to certain restaurants where they serve big, thick,  honkin’ slabs of complicated bread (probably kneaded on the thighs of Tahitian women), hand toasted over hardwood coals, and served with rare, artisan snoozleberry jam and yak butter churned during a full moon.

Probably…

Maybe… but you know what I’m talking about.   It seems to be the trend these days to take something exceedingly simple – and remake it into a ritual… a process…. an ordeal.

WP_20140917_020

Me? I can’t be bothered.

For toast to be enjoyable, it only has to have:

1.  a developed richness that comes from fermentation

2. an outer crust that stays crisp even as the toast cools

3. toast centers that are tender and soft.

plain

Toasting Bread

Some years ago I came across an English Toasting Bread (or English Muffin Bread) at one of the markets in the area. So I thought for this episode of Bread Whore I would recreate a traditional English Toasting Bread…. (giggles abound from the peanut gallery….)

Um, the name is a bit of a cheat. Toasting Bread isn’t English… any more than English Muffins are English. Both were created (in America) by Samuel Bath Thomas. Who, in all reality, was probably trying to recreate an English crumpet when he stumbled on the formula for the muffin.

Here’s the thing, while muffins make perfectly good foils for butter and jam – the toasting bread is just gummy, tasteless, uninteresting. And unfortunately, so is every other toasting bread recipe I’ve come across doing the research …. and that is a freakin’ lot of bad toast to eat.

So.. here is where we scrap every recipe out there for toasting bread… and make our own.

Building a Better Loaf

You already know I’ve developed this unnatural thing for the Hokkaido Milk Bread (that Tangzhong Bread Method). So I’ve started with the basics of that process and built upon it for a whole new loaf.

WP_20140917_007

It’s super crispy;  It has a fine grained texture;  It holds up extremely well for any topping slathered on it; and it has real, deep, yeasty, grainy, wheaty flavors

Oh – You obviously are going to notice I’ve given you odd measurements for some of the ingredients. And, as people are wont to do, you’re going to feel the urge to bash me about the head and shoulders and ask, ” why don’t you just weigh the ingredients?… you stupid goose (I’m inserting goose for whatever other colorful expletive you may have on your mind)”. And the reason is this:

Scales (whether digital or load type) are sensitive, precision pieces of machinery. And, unless you’re going to designate a particular chunk of kitchen counter top real estate to said scale and never… ever move it, it’s going to need re-calibrating on a regular basis…. like every time you dig it out of the drawer, bang the crumbs off it,  and put it to use – kind of regular. So, for 99.999% of the cooking public out there, giving you weights for bread making is just a stupid thing to do – my scales aren’t going to read the same as your scales any more than my hand measurements being the same.

But, If I say:

2 1/3 Cups Bread Flour + 2 Tablespoons

… you can pretty much count on that measurement.  I’ve done it over and over  and it’s not just some random measure I pulled out of my ass….. Right then…

recipe title

Turtle Creek Toasting Bread

Makes 1 Loaf

For the Roux:

1 Cup Whole Buttermilk

1/3 Cup Bread Flour

(Note~ The roux will make enough for 3 loaves of bread. The extra can be sealed and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or sealed air free and frozen up to a month.)

Ingredients

2 1/3 Cups Bread Flour + 2 Tablespoons

1/3 Cup Corn Flour + 1/2 Cup for finishing

1/3 Cup Cooked Roux

1/3 Cup Lard, Cut into Cubes

1/2 Cup Buttermilk + 1 Tablespoon Water

1 Large Egg

3 Teaspoons Dry Yeast

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Egg Yolk + 1 Tablespoon Water – Beaten for Glaze

 Tools of the Trade:

Parchment Paper

Stand Mixer

Medium Sauce Pan

Spatula

Standard Loaf Pan

Rolling Pin

Cooling Rack

First things first, you’ll need to make the roux. Go here for that process. A buttermilk roux will cook up differently than a whole milk  or water roux. You will notice it thickens rapidly and becomes stiff within a couple of minutes. Ignore that – cook the roux for a full 6 minutes. It will loosen up after a bit and form large elastic bubbles in the mix.

Place all the ingredients in the stand mixer, and set the speed to 4.

Set the timer to 17 minutes and let it rip. Scrape the sides down periodically to keep the beating surface clean. The dough will pull away from the sides and slap against the bowl cleanly when ready.

Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and proof for 1 hour.

At the end of the 1st proof, Divide the dough into 4 even portions and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Line the baking pan with parchment paper and dust the bottom of the pan with 1 tablespoon corn flour

Lightly flour the pieces for rolling

WP_20140917_001

With a rolling pin, take one of the pieces and roll out flat; fold into thirds and roll flat again into a rectangle

Starting with a short side, roll into a tight tube.  Pinch to seal the ends and roll the tube in corn flour to coat well.

Place the tube (seam side down) into the pan and repeat for each dough lump

Cover with plastic and proof for another hour

Brush the tops with 1 egg yolk & 1 tablespoon water beaten together

Dust the top of the loaf with a little more corn flour

WP_20140917_005

Preheat the oven to 350

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes; cover with foil for 20 minutes; and bake uncovered for a final 5 minutes

WP_20140917_007

Remove from the pan and cool completely on wire rack before storing or slicing it up.

Then,

You can slather on the cultured butter…

WP_20140921_013

Or, give it a schmear and a dollop of Muscadine Butter

WP_20140921_006

Or even, chop up a couple of deviled eggs and pile them on thick….

egg

don’t worry – it can handle it.

Toast Title

2 Comments

    • I’m thinking with the university here in town now, I might just open up a Toast Truck.. just toast…. gotta admit, the operating costs would be low.

Comment Fodder... pile on