Monday, October 12, 2009

Pullman Style Toast Bread

Now that the chagim are over, I am happy to say that I am starting to bake bread again. Although that might be speaking to soon what with school starting in a week (enjoying my last week of freedom here, people!). Who knows how much baking I'll be doing all together. I hope that I can make bread once a week but I think that's being a tad optimistic. Anyway, even though I've successfully sourdough starter, I still haven't really put it to much use, but at least I'm baking bread. I decided for my next attempt, I didn't want anything complicated- so I decided on this Toast Bread, a straight dough bread from Hamelman's Bread book. It seems these days, I turn to this book first, and with my brand new escali scale that measures in decimals, it's now a breeze to make his breads! Anyway, his book is just a very good one and it belongs in every serious bread baker's library. This bread was an easy bread to put together and rose really nicely. The recipe states that it will yield one Pullman loaf and a small loaf pan. Here in Israel, they dont sell Pullman pans but they do have what they call English Cake pans that are about the same length but slanted, like a regular loaf pan, and without a lid. So I improvised and weighed down the tops with my baking sheets. So, Im guessing the irregular pan size is the reason it yielded two loaves. Sadly though, because they werent perfect pans, the slices werent perfect squares. Oh well. Cant win em all. The bread itself was really simple, but really good, and had great texture. I enjoyed it plain and with some eggplant spread. Like it's name, it's also pretty awesome toasted.

Toast Bread
adapted from Bread

2 pounds all purpose flour
21.1 ounces water
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast

In a bowl, place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
Stir to combine thoroughly.
Pour the oil over the top and then add the water.
Stir to make a shaggy dough. Once all or most of the flour is moistened, allow to autolyse for about fifteen minutes.

Knead the dough until it is tacky but not sticky and firm. Place in a bowl and set aside in a warm place to rise. Allow to rise one hour.
When one hour has elapsed, give the dough a stretch and fold. Allow to rise for one more hour.

Prepare to loaf pans by greasing them. Portion the dough and form into logs. Place into the prepared pans to proof. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees when the loaves are halfway proofed.

Here are the proofed loaves. If you would like the loaves to be Pullman style and dont have a cover, grease the bottom of a heavy duty cookie sheet and place atop the breads. Weigh down with more cookie sheets. Trust me, yeast is stronger than you think.
Bake the breads for about 40 or so minutes or until a thermometer registers about 190-200 degrees. Depan and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Between all my roommates and some guests, one loaf was devoured in minutes, and the second is well on its way to gone!

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