Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sesame White Bread - the long and short versions

This one had a much longer first rise.
This recipe is all about technique - the ingredients are very simple, and very similar to my basic, everyday bread recipe that I use when I don't want to think too hard about ingredients.

My original plan was to come up with a recipe for a fast loaf of bread that still had good flavor. Since a short rise usually results in less flavor, I fudged that a bit by using honey in the bread and putting sesame seeds on top.

It was all a great idea, but things don't always go as planned.

This one has a short first rise. They look similar outside.
The first time I attempted my quick bread, I completely forgot that I had a project going. About 90 minutes later, I remembered. It wasn't a fast bread that day, but it was, an easy method and nice loaf of bread.

But of course, I couldn't let my original concept go, so I made the bread again and stuck with the timetable. With a timer right next to me, I managed to make the bread on schedule.

And gee whiz, it worked well enough for me to give a thumbs-up to both variations. Except for the time difference, the breads are made the same way.

Here's the loaf, sliced, that had the longer rise
Th kneading can be done in a stand mixer or by hand. Because of the nice wet rest, the gluten is well-developed before you need to knead, so it doesn't take much work to finish the dough.

As far as the results, in a side-by-side taste test, I thought the bread with the longer rise was better, but both were very good.

There were some other subtle differences, but overall they were much more similar than I expected. My husband couldn't tell the difference between the two.

So what have I learned? That if I need a faster loaf of bread, this recipe works.

On the other hand, if I need a dough that can sit around for a long time, this is the one. And the longer wait adds flavor. Can't argue with that.

Sesame White Bread

Here's the short rise, sliced. They look similar inside as well.
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) bread flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
Egg wash (or Quick Shine)
Sesame Seeds

Combine the water, yeast, honey, and 1 1/2 cups of flour in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a mixing bowl, if you will be hand kneading.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes (for the short version) or 90 minutes (for the long version). Or, really, any time in between.

At 30 minutes, the mixture will be very lively and bubbly.

At 90 minutes it will have rising in the bowl and will be bubbling actively. 
It may have started to collapse, but that's fine, too.

Sprinkle some corn meal on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the salt, butter, and remaining flour, and knead with the dough hook, or by hand, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Flour your work surface lightly and turn the dough out. Knead briefly, then form the dough into a log about 12 inches long. Seal the seam at the bottom and place the dough, seam-side down, on the prepared pan.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.

When the dough has risen, brush it with egg wash (or spray with Quick Shine) and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Slash the dough down the center and bake until golden, about 30 minutes.

Let the loaf cool completely on a rack before slicing.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.


Kim said...

This looks like it would be a good sandwich bread, can it be baked in a loaf pan, or is there too much dough?

Donna Currie said...

You could bake it in a bread pan. I'd suggest a 9x5 rather than the 8 x 4 1/2.

Knattyknitter said...

I made this today but the dough was too wet so I checked the cup v ounce measurements and according to my conversion chart 1 cup = 5 oz therefore 21/2 cups would be 121/2 oz not 11 1/4. The extra bit of flour made all the difference! Bread now rising and oven heating up!

Donna Currie said...

Knattyknitter, weight/volume conversions are always a point of contention. The "experts" don't agree on what a cup of flour weighs, and it ranges from 4.2 to 5.5 ounces per cup, which is a huge range. I settled on 4.5 ounces per cup for a whole lot of reasons - its explained in the "weights and measures" tab up at the top.

That said, I use weights for the flour and convert to cups, so that's the actual weight I used.

There are all sorts of other factors that can affect the way the flour absorbs water, including the brand and the protein content. If you needed a little more flour, that's perfectly fine, but I often make doughs that are a lot wetter than this one.

In the end, sometimes it's just what you're used to, or what you're comfortable working with. A little more or less flour either way isn't a big deal, if you like the result you get.

Tupper Cooks! said...

Made this bread the other night and was very happy with the result. I rarely have the patience to wait overnight-I want my bread and I want it now!

As for the weight/volume discussion, once you've baked enough, it becomes easier to eyeball what's in the bowl ad add flour or water as needed.

Donna Currie said...

Tupper, to be honest, when I'm making bread that I'm not going to post anywhere, I often don't measure because I know what it's supposed to look and feel like. The only problem with that is that you can fall into a hydration run where all your breads fall into a narrow range of what feels right. Sometimes I'll make a very wet or very dry bread just to remind myself that there's a wide range that will make a decent loaf.

Sarah said...

In the oven now. Easiest bread ever (but I haven't ever tried a no-knead). Thanks!

Bread Tins said...

I always bake my own bread, I would never go back to shop bought bread. I do cheat a little and use a bread maker, and I follow a recipe from the back of a pack of bread flour…BUT…I add half a tespoon of Sesame oil to the mix once it’s no longer dry…the result is a very moreish flavour that cannot be beaten :-)

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