Yum Peaceful Cooking: HBin5 Same Dough, 2 Different Breads

Saturday, October 9, 2010

HBin5 Same Dough, 2 Different Breads

Look at the results of this dough when made into 2 different types of bread. This was even from the same batch of dough.

I think this is one of my favorites from the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day cookbook. It's a simple whole wheat brioche dough with fabulous results. Flavor, crumb...ease of working with....it's just wonderful. I don't know if you can tell in the picture above, the one of the right....I actually achieved what is called a "custard crumb"...its where the surface of the larger holes are shiny and is the result of a perfectly baked high-moisture dough. (wooooo hooooo)

I've learned a few things this week that I will share with you during this post. One is that an instant read thermometer is fantastic and worth every penny. I found one at Target for under $20. It's the kind that has the long cord and the thermometer display and timer sit on the outside of the oven.

Do yourself a favor...if you don't have one, get yourself one.

Breads that do not contain egg in the dough are done when the inside temperature is 205 - 210' F
Breads that contain egg in the dough are done when the inside temperature is 185' F

I also have discovered that I absolutely love what whey does for dough. I love the texture and the flavor that it enhances. I love that I'm using something that would otherwise be tossed out. I'm going to make more cheese just so I can have more whey. (It freezes nicely.)

I'm a little (a week) late on my post for the 20th HBin5 Bread Braid. But Michelle from BigBlackDogs.net (our fearless leader) is sweet enough to let us post when we can, participate when we can and go at our own pace. Btw....we have a whole 'nother year of bread baking ahead of us. It's never too late jump in and join us. We've had several new members join us lately, which is always exciting.


For this Whole Wheat Brioche dough I made some changes to accommodate my personal taste. And because I altered the recipe, I can share it with you :). The original recipe can be found in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day cookbook  on page 275

This recipe is for a whole batch, which is stored in your refrigerator for up to 5 days and used as desired. For the full instructions, tips and techniques on how to work the no-knead dough visit the authors Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois at their website Artisan Bread In Five

2 cups white whole wheat flour
5 cups all purpose flour, unbleached
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 1/4 cups lukewarm whey (or water)
3/4 cup melted unsalted butter or other oil that does not have a flavor
3/4 cup honey
3 1/2 tsp barley malt syrup
5 lg eggs

In a very large container, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl combine the remaining ingredients.

Using a spoon, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do no knead.

Cover with a loose lid and let sit on the counter for 2 hours

That's a LOT of dough. Just to give you an idea...that container there holds 23 cups.

With this batch I made Honey Caramel Sticky Nut Buns and two loaves of Spicy Paprika Challah loaves.

Honey Caramel Sticky Nut Buns
1 1/2 pounds of prepared dough
1/2 cup honey
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 cup raisins (craisins would be nice too)

Combine the honey, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and orange zest until creamy. Scoop and spread half of the mixture in the bottom of a cake pan. If you have something a little bigger, go for it. It gets real "squishy" in that pan.

Work the dough into a ball quickly, then roll into a rectangle about 1/4" - 1/8" thick. Spread the remaining honey mixture over the dough then sprinkle with the nuts and raisins. Roll it up starting on one of the short ends and seal the seam by pinching it, as best as you can. Cut into 8 equal segments.

Arrange the segments in the prepared cake pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for an hour.

30 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350'F. Once the rest time is over, bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the bread, place a large plate over the top and quickly, carefully flip it over (you don't want the hot glaze to drip on you). Lift the pan off and well....

This is when I discovered something. They looked nice and golden brown on top, but the bottom was really light in color. And once I removed a few of the buns, I knew something wasn't right. The dough had become runny. It wasn't thoroughly cooked.

And this is also when I discovered how forgiving this dough is. I scooped it all up and placed it back in the dish, upside down so that what was the bottom became the top, and stuck them back into the oven for another 15 - 20 minutes.

They weren't as pretty, but they came out beautifully....nice and sticky on the outside and fluffy on the inside and perfectly cooked through

Whew....that was a close call cuz seriously I did not want to toss these babies out.

I'm so glad I didn't.

With the remaining dough, I went off the beaten path. I wasn't in the "mood" for the other two assignments for this braid, so I braided my bread instead. I made a challah. I started thinking about all the stuff that the book recommends for topping various breads with but I don't have a lot of whole seed spices that appealed to me as a bread topper. I also knew that my family wouldn't want sesame seeds.

That's when my mind wandered into the ground spice arena and I remembered the various rubs that I've made for steaks and chicken. Why do rubs only have to go on meat?

No....they don't. (que evil laugh) muuaaaah haaa haaa ha (cough cough)

So I put together a great rub that I found in one of my Everyday Food mini magazines

Spicy Paprika Rub
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine and store in an airtight container.

I braided my challah, let it rise, and just before popping it into the oven I spritzed the dough with some olive oil. I bought some olive oil the other day in a spray can. I don't know why I never thought of it before but its so much better than brushing it on. I sometimes mess up the top of my bread using the brush. Then I sprinkled the rub over the dough

I baked it for 30 minutes in a 350'F oven. And then I learned some more stuff.....

Look at that awful crack down the middle of my braid!!! This happens to me a lot. I've gotten various suggestions on what causes it but I finally did some research on the subject.

It's from not allowing the dough to rise long enough before placing it in the oven. The result is a quick oven spring in the hot oven, without the dough "giving" to the growth, thus causing it to crack instead. It doesn't affect the flavor of the bread, it just doesn't look pretty. Therefore it's only a serious problem for professional bakers.

I also discovered that my oven cooks 20' too cool.

I did make this bread again. It was THAT good! My daughter compared the bread (minus the rub) to Kings Hawaiian Bread with its texture and sweetness. The rub was an excellent complement to the bread with its hint of spice, both hot and sweet at the same time.

What rub recipes do you have that would add great flavor to bread?

If you'd like to see what the other members did with their dough, head on over to Big Black Dog 20th HBin5 Bread Braid


  1. LOVE..LOVE...LOVE the idea of the Paprika Rub on Challah. What a cool idea!

    Also, I can not recommend a Digital Thermeter enough. Don't know what I did before I got mine. Well, I do know my bread was either under done or over done but mostly under!

    And thanks for the info on the split Challah. My Challah does that sometimes too and I never new why. I thought perhaps it was over baked but now I know that I just put it in the oven before it was done rising!!

  2. OMG! You've opened up a whole new area of challah for me! They don't always need to be sweet! I gotta try different spices!

    Thanks for the info on the split challah. That explains a lot. I've seen people add egg wash or whatever topping about 10 minutes into baking, but never knew what caused it.



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