food for thought

by michelle

super soft sandwich bread + cultured butter

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Many years ago I attended classes run by Carol Bates in Simply No-Knead Breadmaking. I discovered that good quality untreated flour makes for less work. This recipe makes a deliciously soft white bread.

Super-soft-sandwich-loaf

For 2 loaves, mix together 8 cups of unbleached white bread flour, ⅓ of a cup of ground or instant oats (1 sachet), 6 teaspoons of dry active yeast, 3 teaspoons each of salt and sugar and 4 teaspoons of natural bread improver (this is made of soy flour, ascorbic acid, bread flour and enzymes which all help the yeast work). Add 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed vegetable oil and ¾ of a litre (1½ pints) of very warm (but not hot) water. Mix thoroughly and add more water as required, just enough to make a moist but not too sticky dough. Cover the dough and leave in a warm place to double in size. When doubled, turn out onto a floured board and consolidate into 2 equal-sized balls, folding to expel any excess air. Shape into 2 long cylinders and place them into oiled bread tins. Allow to double in size again and then bake in a pre-heated 200ºC (390ºF) oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Why not try your bread with some homemade cultured butter?

cultured-butter

Heat 1200ml (1.2 quarts) of fresh pure cream to 25ºC (77ºF). If you have Flora Danica Culture or Mesophilic Aromatic Type B Culture (I have these for cheesemaking) add a pinch (½ of a ⅛ teaspoon measure) of the culture, mixing well, and allow the cream to culture for 12-24 hours at 20-25ºC (70-77ºF). If you don’t have these cultures you can add 5 tablespoons of mesophilic yoghurt or cultured buttermilk and allow the cream to culture for 12 hours at 23-25ºC (74-77ºF). Whichever method you use, when the cream is cultured put it in the fridge for at least 5 hours to bring it down to approximately 15℃ (60℉) and stop the culturing process. Now pour the cream into a food processor (this is the fastest method but you could also use a stand mixer or put the cream in a jar and shake it) and start the motor. The cream will first become whipped and then break into yellow butter and buttermilk. Continue to process until the butter comes together. Now strain the butter but don’t throw out the buttermilk as it’s delicious. You can drink it plain, put it in a smoothie or bake with it. Place the remaining butter in a bowl and, using iced water and a spatula, wash the remaining buttermilk out of the butter until the water runs clear. There you have it, delicious butter!

 

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