Friday, July 23, 2010

Light Cottage Wheat Bread, V.2

Yesterday, I overbaked a loaf of bread, but I liked it otherwise, even though I also let it overrise. So I decided to make it again, using a different technique. Why make it the same way, if I can do something different, right?

The white whole wheat in this loaf adds some healthy fiber, and the cottage cheese adds moisture and richness. But although it's got the whole wheat, it's appealing to folks who want white bread for a sandwich.

This time around, I used all the same ingredients in the same amounts, but the technique was different; Not only did I avoid the mistakes of over-rising and over-baking, but I also opted for a same-day bake instead of an overnight rest in the refrigerator.

This bread has a different texture than the first one, and it has the same moistness and good flavor.

So, in yesterday's question of whether the ingredients or technique matter most, in both cases, the ingredients did their job, and the flavors are similar. But technique changed the texture of the bread signifcantly. The interesting thing was that when my technique was so flawed yesterday, the bread was still good. So good ingredients helped, and I've got to say that the other key was that the formula was a winner as well.

The ingredients today are the same as yesterday, but I'll repeat it, for convenience. The instructions are different.

Light Cottage Wheat Bread

1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup (4 oz.) white wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 oz.) bread flour
1 cup cottage cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar, mix well and set aside for five minutes until it begins to bubble. Add the white wheat flour and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes, until it is vigorously bubbly and frothy.

Add the salt, bread flour, and cottage cheese, and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The dough may remain bumpy from the cottage cheese curds that don't completely disintegrate in the dough, but the dough itself should be smooth.

The tricky part about adding a product like cottage cheese to a bread is that different brands will have different amounts of moisture. The cottage cheese I used was fairly dry, but if yours is wet, you might need more flour. But don't be too generous. This is a fairly wet dough.

Add the olive oil and continue kneading until the olive oil is completely incorporated, and the dough is elastic, shiny, and no longer sticky.

Drizzle some olive oil over the dough and loosen it all around from the bowl. Cover the bowl and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

When the dough has doubled, punch it down, form it into a ball, and put it back into the bowl to rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Sprinkle some cornmeal on the bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Flour your work surface and knead the dough briefly, and form it into a log that will fit into the pan.

Place the dough in the pan, seam-side down, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until it has doubled, about 30 minutes. it should rise just about the rim of the pan.

When the dough has risen, slash the dough and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until the bread is nicely browned.

Remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before slicing. If you prefer a soft crust, cover the bread with a kitchen towel while it is cooling.

This has been submitting to Yeastspotting.


Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,

I was wondering can you change it up and put in ricotta cheese instead... Looks wonderful!

Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Happy baking.

Donna Currie said...

Ricotta would be great. It's a little drier than cottage cheese, so you might need to adjust the moisture, but it might be fine as-is.

Mimi said...

Yum. I love cheese infused breads.

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