Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pepper and Egg Bread (two ways)

I've been puttering around trying to incorporate scrambled eggs and peppers into bread. My first version was pretty good, but not exactly what I was dreaming of. So it was back to the drawing board for two more tries. Actually, the recipe ingredients in these two are the same, but the technique is different.

I'm actually pretty happy with both versions, but neither are the perfect reproduction of the bread that I envisioned when I started this quest. I'll be tweaking this recipe some more, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, both of these were interesting.

The first version has the eggs kneaded into the dough, so the pieces broke up during the kneading, leaving small bits of egg in the finished bread. It also required quite a bit more flour kneaded in at the end since the eggs contributed a bit of moisture to the dough. The finished bread spread out more than up; in retrospect, I probably should have baked it as a focaccia-style bread.

The second bread, with the eggs rolled up jellyroll style, held its shape better, and the big chunks of egg were more visible in the finished loaf.

When I made my first attempt at a pepper-egg bread, I didn't want to knead the peppers into the dough because I was concerned that the finished bread would be a pale green. However, it ended up being a golden yellow instead, which was quite acceptable.

Both breads were really tasty, with a nice kick of heat from the pepperspread.

So, with no further ado, here are the breads:

Pepper and Egg Bread
3/4 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup (5 1/2 ounces) semolina flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour (plus more as needed)
1/4 cup Hotheads Pepperspread
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1 fire-roasted pepper, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 1 cup)
6 eggs

Put the water, yeast, sugar, and semolina in the bowl of your stand mixer and set aside to let it get foamy.

Meanwhile, scramble the six eggs. Try to scramble them so that they're in large cohesive chunks rather than smaller bit. Don't overcook them - they'll be cooking more when they're in the bread. Move the scrambled eggs to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.

Add the bread flour, pepperspread, salt, and olive oil to the stand mixer bowl and knead with the dough hook until the mixture is smooth and elastic. It will seem bit dense, but that's fine.

Add the diced fire-roasted peppers to the dough and continue kneading. The peppers will exude moisture and make the dough wetter. At first, it will seem too gloppy, but continue kneading until all the moisture has been incorporated into the dough. You may need add a little bit of flour at this point. The dough clean the sides of the bowl and be elastic, but not sticky.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet.

Lightly flour your work surface. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it a bit, then pat it out into a rectangle about 12x16 inches.

This is where the two recipes diverge. You now have the choice of spreading the eggs out on the rectangle and rolling it up jelly-roll style, or kneading the eggs into the dough. If you knead the eggs in, you'll probably need more flour, since the eggs will give up moisture to the dough; how much you need depends in part on how wet the eggs were to begin with.

If you've kneaded the eggs in, form the dough into your preferred shape, or pat it into the pan like a focaccia; if you've rolled it up, make sure the seams are pinched shut and put it on the prepared pan.

Let the dough rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake for 35-55 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your loaf, until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

One downside to this bread is that since it has scrambled eggs in it, you should store it in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature.

On the other hand, it's darned tasty, and the eggs add an interesting texture and a bit of coolness.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

I keep seeing breakfast braids and calzone type things with scrambled eggs. This is the first time I've seen them incorporated right into a loaf. The thing that shocks me is that the eggs don't become little bits of rubber.

Great job experimenting. I can't wait to see the ultimate scrambled egg loaf.

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