Friday, March 14, 2008

Victoria's Bread

This week I finally used a cookbook that I asked for and got for Christmas. I read about the book on one of my favorite foodie blogs Farmgirl Fare and promptly put it on my wish list. My daughter gave it to me and it’s taken this long to get around to using it. I won’t wait so long to try it again though. Bread by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno is a fabulous book. It is detailed, with lots of pictures and even a novice breadmaker would find it easy to make a great loaf of bread following the recipes in this book. I’m not a novice. I made all the bread for the 6 of us when the kids were young using my trusty kitchen aid mixer – that’s by the way still going strong these 32 years later! I stopped making every loaf for us when I went back to work outside the home but then I was making bread for hundreds of school lunches instead!

I’ve gotten in a rut with my favorite bread recipes and it was good to try a new one. I made Victorian Milk Bread, and this one was so good that it’ll be my new rut, until I try another one from the book! Of course I couldn’t make this one straight up – that would be asking too much. I substituted dry milk powder for the liquid milk because then I could just toss it in with the dry ingredients. I also used instant yeast for the same reason. I also baked in a crock that I got a few years ago from Redwing Stoneware Company in Redwing, Minnesota. We had stayed at the Round Barn B & B and Bread. A lovely place to stay by the way. They serve their bread at breakfast in a crock like this and of course I “needed” one too. Took me several years to actually try it out. It’s a fun way to bake the bread. Looks cool as it’s baking and when it’s turned out too.

So here’s my adapted version of Victorian Milk Bread

I used:

About 2 tsp instant dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 ½ cups lukewarm water

1/2 cup dry milk powder

3 ¾ cups flour (the recipe specifies bread flour but I used all purpose, it’s what I had)

1 ½ tsp salt

And I glazed it with 1 egg mixed with 1 T milk

Since I was using my mixer I put the water in first and then added the sugar and salt to the water. Then I put the flour on top and put the yeast on top of the flour. The instructions in the book tell you to use your paddle to mix the ingredients first and then switch to the dough hook. I’ve never done that and it might take a little longer for the ingredients to combine or I might have to help it along with a rubber scraper (turn off the mixer first!) but I didn’t want to have to fuss with changing the paddle. To each their own sense of what’s too much bother though! I misread the recipe and originally put 3 ¼ cups of flour in because - and here’s my one beef about the book – the printing of the numbers was too small for my “old” eyes. I ended up adding more than called for because the dough was so sticky. It does say that the dough should be sticky but my dough – well really – it was Sticky! It all turned out well though and the bread disappeared quickly. The Compadre is a real bread lover and I love a fresh loaf too.

I heartily recommend this book and this recipe.


Miss T said...

Mmmm, sounds wonderful. And an excellent excuse to buy a crock. :o)

Anonymous said...

I just sent my son to the store for Fritos AND bread now (just kidding)! That looks so good. My husband recently picked up "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and that crock would be a great gift for him...any idea where I'd pick up something like that in the cities? And please don't say William Sonoma...I couldn't afford a pack of toothpicks from that place!

anncrafts said...

metyme, I don't know where you could get a crock in the Twin Cities. I do know that you can order them from Redwing Stoneware - see the link in the blog. Good luck.