Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Buttermilk Cluster

I spent Shavuot in school with the girls and so wanted to bake some bread to enjoy for it. Because we traditionally eat dairy on Shavuot, I took the opportunity to make the bread dairy. (Dairy bread, by Jewish law is forbidden to make, lest one accidentally eat it at a meat meal. The only way it is permissible is if the shape is distinct enough to serve as a reminder that it is different than the norm.) For ages, I've seen the picture of the Buttermilk Cluster on the Fresh Loaf website and so I wanted to make something along those lines. I opened up Secrets of a Jewish Baker and settled on the Buttermilk Bread. I made half a recipe in my mixer and baked it as rolls in a cake pan. I used oil instead of margarine or shortening. This dough would make a great sandwich loaf because it is nice and soft. I was anticipating a sweeter roll with a stronger taste of buttermilk although I'm not sure why because there is barely any sweetener in it, this making it perfect for savory applications. Next time, I would definitely up the salt as I found myself sprinkling the rolls with salt before I took each bite. Because I love sesame seeds, I took the liberty of glazing the rolls with egg white and sprinkling half of them with sesame seeds. These rolls are being Yeastspotted!
Buttermilk Bread
slightly adapted from Secrets of a Jewish Baker

1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1 cup buttermilk
4 tsp honey
2 tbsp oil
5-6 cups flour
1 tbsp salt

Place the water, yeast, buttermilk, honey and oil in the bowl of your mixer.
Add the flour and salt,
and suing the paddle attachment mix until just moistened.
Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium until the dough is smooth and silky.
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. This dough is a great riser.
The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and scale the dough into sixteen rolls, approximately.
Shape into balls,
and place in a greased loaf pan.
Allow to rise until doubled or just well-risen. Towards the end of rising time, preheat the oven to 350.
Glaze and sprinkle with seeds of your choice.
Bake until the rolls are golden brown and register around 190 on a thermometer. Cool in the pan for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a plastic bag. 

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