Saturday, October 29, 2011

Italian Feather Bread

submitted to Yeastspotting
Back in May when Gail and I made cheese we had some leftover whey that we decided to save for me to try and make some bread with. We ended up freezing it in a mason jar so I could make the bread when I was ready rather then right away. As fall has hit us hard, practically running into winter with an early snow flurry, and a few inches in the forecast for  tonight I find myself willing to make more. Earlier in the week I thawed the whey in preparation for making bread.
A loaf cut in half.
We ended up with 2 loaves of delicious crust bread that was just the right balance of density and fluff. Nothing beats warm bread on a cold day, which held true as Gail and I split half a loaf on the spot to enjoy with our lunch!
Italian Feather Bread (with whey)
makes 2 loaves
2 packages active dry yeast (or equivalent)
1 Tbls granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup hot whey (or milk)
2 tsp. salt
5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
 Stir the yeast, sugar, and warm water together in a large bowl. Let sit until yeast dissolves and begins to proof. While waiting for mixture to proof melt the butter in the hot whey and let cool to lukewarm. Add salt, and combine with yeast mixture.
Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, adding the flour 1 cup at a time, until the dough almost comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board. Use a scraper or spatula to scrape under the flour and dough, fold the dough over, and press with your free hand.
continue until the dough has absorbed enough flour to be easy to handle. Knead 2-4 minutes, keeping your hands well floured.  When the dough is soft and smooth, let it rest for 5 minutes, then divide in two.
Roll each half into a rectangle about 12'' x 8". Start from the wide end, roll this up quite tightly, pinchign the seams as you roll.
Butter one or two baking sheets well and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the loaves on the sheets, and let them rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 50-60 minutes. Brush with beaten egg white and bake in a preheated 425 F oven 30-40 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden color and make a hollow sound when you tap with your knuckles.
Cool on a rack and slice when quite fresh.
My lunch was a plate of Jarlsberg, Smith's Farmstead medium cheddar, feather bread, & a trio of pates - accompanied with a homemade pickle and a horseradish mustard mixture. The trio of pates were leftovers from Friday night. Gail and I had an early dinner after work at Petit Robert Central before seeing Blitzen Trapper in concert (which was awesome!) Our service and stellar were both spectacular. We each enjoyed a crock of delicious french onion soup, while she had salad and I had a pate trio as my main. The pates were a chicken liver, a pork liver, and a mix of pork and chicken liver. They are all made in-house and have distinct and rich flavors. Despite my claim that I did not want the leftovers, our busboy packed them up for me anyway. Boy am I glad he did, the leftovers made a great lunch!
Cheese, Bread, Trio of Pate's & accompaniments 


Alicia said...

I'll be trying this one! I brought home a Jersey cow in September and have milk, cheese projects, whey and buttermilk overflowing it's own fridge!
Plus, it's getting cooler here too, so it's time to heat up the kitchen. Nothing better than fresh bread!!

Fred said...

Alicia - the whey froze and thawed very well, we used a small mason jar to freeze it as it was exactly what the recipe called for!