February 3, 2008

Not a Failure ... Just a Different Success

So my goal was to create round loaves of crusty bread, perfect for bread bowls. I used a Crusty French Bread recipe and simply divided the dough into six mini-loaves. However, the loaves didn't hold their shape as they rose, meaning they expanded into flatter loaves. I reshaped them just prior to baking and ended up with these loaves.

If I can't quite make them work as bread bowls, then we'll just have little loaves of crusty bread, perfect for a sharing with a meal. So here's my latest creation ...

Not Quite Bread Bowls
2 tsp. dry active yeast
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 beaten egg (optional)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, butter and flour using dough hook and mix until well blended. Knead approximately 2 minutes. Dough will be sticky, but do not add extra flour. (Although this is why my shapes didn't hold.) Place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide into six mini-loaves. Shape each into a round loaf and place on greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Bake at 450ºF 20 minutes, with pan of hot water underneath the rack with the bread loaves to create steam. Remove from oven, and brush with beaten egg. Return to oven 5 more minutes. Cool on wire racks.

(If shaped into 6 to 8 loaves, they are the perfect size for two people to share with a meal. These loaves are absolutely fantastic to eat with most any meal with their great flavor and thick chewy crust.)

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