Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bread Alert: Mushroom Garlic Bread

Today's experiment is mushroom garlic bread. Here's my made-up recipe:
Sponge:
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c bread flour
1 packet Rize yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 c water
  • mix dry ingredients together. Add water and honey and stir. Cover with plastic and leave in a warm place overnight. (I actually left it for 24 hours this time.)
Mix:
1 c crimini mushrooms
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp dry basil
  • Place mushrooms and garlic in food processor. Process till it's a nice mass of mushroom goodness.
  • Melt butter in a frying pan. Add mushroom mix, salt, pepper, and basil and sautee for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add one cup of cold water. (This will help it cool, and is needed by the bread.)
  • Allow mix to cool until it is just warm to the touch. (I waited about 30 minutes.)
The rest:
2 cups whole wheat flour
Several cups of bread flour*
  • Combine the mix with the sponge and stir it up.
  • Add the whole wheat flour one cup at a time and mix.
  • Add bread flour a half cup at a time or so until it is too hard to mix with a spoon. Then flour the work surface, turn out the dough and knead until it's the right consistency.
  • Oil a bowl, plunk it down and turn it about till coated.
  • Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk.
  • Punch it down, divide in two, and smush into two oiled loaf pans. Allow them to rise until doubled in bulk again.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees at least 20 minutes before they've finished rising. (Usually rising takes an hour, so 40 minutes in is a good bet.) Place a metal cookie sheet with a lip on the bottom shelf.
  • When oven is ready, place bread in oven. Immediately pour 1 cup cold water onto the preheated cookie sheet. (Now you know why it needs a lip! And why it needs to be metal!) Bake for 30 minutes, or until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Notes:
  • I accidentally poured more oil than I should have into the bowl before the first rising. Hopefully it will still turn out ok.
  • Wow, did this bread rise nicely! Of course I didn't think to take pictures.
  • Big thumbs up for using plastic wrap instead of a moist towel. Wasteful? A little. But not nearly as bad as having a gob of dough stick to a towel.
  • Stupid mistake: I didn't check on how well it had risen early enough and forgot to set a separate timer for when to preheat the oven. The bread over-proofed in the pans and collapsed in the oven. Drat!
  • Flavor is very good. The mushroom flavor is obvious but not overpowering. I can't taste the basil, though -- could use more. I'll stop there with garlic. Salt was correct.
  • Crust came out nice and crispy.
Here's the bread before it rose. No photo of the after -- it really bulked up!


And here's the final product:



* Sorry for the lack of specific instructions. Perhaps someday I'll summarize my bread making technique.

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