Thursday, 3 November 2011

Bread # 2

Remember the story of the creation of the First Bread? How Celestial Dragon and Divine Cherry handed out the First Batch? How it were them that gave humankind the idea of combining and then baking those seemingly incongruous ingredients flour and wheat and water?
Well that is one version of the story.
Another version is that it was actually humankind itself that came up with the baking process. This particular view seems to be widely regarded to be the "true" one; there is even so-called archeological proof for it. Apparently some guy with überlarge (but not shaded) glasses found fossilised seeds scattered somewhere in the desert and concluded, based on the sheer absurdity of his finding, that some people must have been baking bread there ages ago. Whatever. This is not an archeological findings report, however, it's simply the other, true version of what really happened. Because you see, reality is not what it always seems: it is a most fragile thing.
One day, Celestial Dragon and Divine Cherry were walking the earth. Back then they were known as the Vat'ussi. Just another title, really. When they were tired of walking, they stopped. (A clear manifestation of their divine wisdom). But it so happened that close to where they were resting, a camp of rudimentary people had settled down as well. Celestial Dragon and Divine Cherry were moved by the simplicity and harshness of their lives, and decided to gift them with something that would alleviate their daily toil. And so it was that they taught them how to make bread.
(Reality is always a mirrored truth: everything is connected with everything else. And it doesn't matter from what angle you decided to observe it; in the end, everything is everything else.)

This is what Celestial Dragon and Divine Cherry taught those lucky souls:

This recipe is adapted from The Wholewheat Cobs of Tinned tomatoes
-500g of lukewarm water
-7g of fresh yeast
-20g of cane sugar
-300g of wholemeal flour
-125g of strong white flour

Pour the water in a large bowl. In it, melt the sugar and the yeast and wait for about 15mins. Slowly and gradually add the 2 flours, mixing well after each addition. Energetically stir the mixture in order to add some air to it. Leave it to rest overnight in a cool, dry place.

-10g of salt
-45g of olive oil (extra virgin)
-about 400g of wholemeal flour

Pour the oil and the salt on the pre-prepared starter. Mix with a rubber spatula in order to well incorporate both the salt and the oil in the compost.
Add the flour and stir well until you get a homogenous whole. Knead for 20mins.
You will find that the dough will be quite wet and difficult to work with at this point; however, refrain from adding more flour. By slamming the dough on the working table you'll ensure that all the water will be well absorbed, thus resulting in a more elastic and less sticky dough. Put the dough in a bowl again, wet its surface lightly with water in order to avoid its drying out and cover with a cloth. Let it rest until it has more or less doubled in size (usually about one hour, but this may vary according to your room temperature and air humidity).
Now deflate the dough (hitting it in the middle) and put it back for its second raise. Again, cover it well with a cloth. You want it to double in size again (+- 30mins).
Once that's done, divide the dough in three equal parts in order to get three buns. Cross-cut them gently. Transfer the buns on a baking tray, cover them with a cloth again and let them raise again for another 45mins. Right prior to putting them in the oven, sprinkle them lightly will water (this will result in a better cooking of the dough, as well as a crunchier crust). Put them in the preheated oven at 230°C. After 15mins, lower the temperature to 200°C and conclude the baking.

Ricetta in italiano
Ricetta adattata dalle pagnotte integrali di Tinned Tomatoes

• 500 g di acqua tiepida
• 7 g di lievito fresco
• 20 g di zucchero di canna
• 300g di farina integrale
• 125 g di farina bianca forte

Versare l’acqua in una ciotola di grandi dimensioni. Far sciogliere il lievito e lo zucchero nell’acqua tiepida e attendere circa 15 minuti. Aggiungere le farine poco per volta mescolando bene dopo ogni aggiunta. Far incorporare aria al composta mescolando energicamente. Lasciar riposare l’impasto per una notte al fresco.

• Starter
• 10g di sale
• 45g di olio d'oliva
• circa 400 g di farina integrale

Versare l’olio e il sale sullo starter preparato la sera precedente. Mescolare con una spatola di gomma in modo da incorporare olio e sale al composto.
Aggiungere la farina allo starter mescolando bene per amalgamare il tutto. Impastare per  20 minuti. L’impasto sara’ piuttosto umido e difficile da maneggiare ma è meglio non aggiungere farina. Sollevare e sbattere l’impasto sul tavolo più volte farà assorbire l’acqua alla farina, l’impasto risulterà piu’ elastico e meno appiccicoso. Riporre l’impasto in una ciotola, ungere leggermente la superficie (in modo da non far seccare il composto) e coprire con un panno. Lasciar riposare l’impasto fino al raddoppio (un’ora circa ma dipende dalla temperatura dell’ambiente).
Far sgonfiare l’impasto (dare un pugno verso il basso al composto) e riporlo per la seconda lievitazione, sempre coperto con un panno per un’altra ora e mezza fino al nuovo raddoppio.
Separare l’impasto in 3 parti uguali e dare la forma di tre pagnotte rotonde. Fare un intaglio a croce sul centro di ognuna di esse .
Porre le tre pagnotte sul una teglia da forno, coprire on un panno e lasciar lievitare per 45 minuti circa.
Appena prima di infornare spruzzare la superficie delle pagnotte con poca acqua (questo fara’ si che la crosta risulti piu’ croccante e che il pane lieviti di piu’ durante la cottura). Infornare a forno caldo (230°C). Dopo 15 minuti abbassare la temperatura a 200°C e portare a cottura.

And Spread the Mess

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