All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Everyday Bread #21 - Leah's Memere's Red River Cereal Bread

Memere's Red River Cereal Bread

Leah sent me this recipe.  I think she got it from her parents, who got it from her Memere; of course, Memere doesn't measure anything, so the list of ingredients is just approximate here.  The original recipe that Leah sent on to me was for 7-8 loaves.  I scaled it so I could make just one loaf.  And now I've changed the baking technique to see if it could be adapted to Lahey's dutch-oven style methods.  I thought I'd like to try out my new Dutch Oven with this bread.  Unfortunately, I realized that since I ran out of propane, that meant the Dutch Oven may not have cured properly.  I find that the new Dutch Oven still has a bit too much oil on it, it's a bit sticky, and I was afraid it would smoke up the oven.  I used a tried and true casserole dish instead.

The Recipe as it was sent to me, and how I scaled it to one loaf:

Original Recipe for 7-8 loaves:

2 1/2 cups red river cereal in extra large bowl
cover with 4 cups boiling water, cover bowl and let sit 5 min. Stir

1/2 cup warm water
5 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar

add sugar to water and mix well. sprinkle yeast on top, set aside

to cereal mixture add
3/4 cup mazola oil
1 cup fancy molasses
4 cups water
2 tbsp salt
yeast mixture

add 1 cup at of time of all purpose flour to cereal mixture. mix well after each addition. use about 16 to 18 cups.

when doubled in size turn onto lightly greased board and knead well 8-10 min. return to board and cover and let rise until doubled a second time.

after second rising turn onto floured board and shape into loaves. place into greased pans, cover and set aside to rise until doubled.
makes 7-8 loaves. bake about 45 min (no temp given)

 Scaled Recipe for 1 Loaf:
  • 5 TBSP Red River Cereal
  • 1/2 cup Boiling Water.

The cereal should be placed in a bowl, covered with the boiling water, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • 1 TBSP warm water
  • 5/8 tsp yeast (= 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp

Add sugar to water and mix well.  Sprinkle yeast on top, set aside until foamy.

To the cereal mixture, add:
  • 1 1/2 TBSP oil
  • 2 TBSP fancy molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 TBSP salt
  • the yeast mixture

To the mixture, now add (1 cup at a time, mixing well after each):
  • 2 - 2 1/4 cups of flour

(If you find that 2 cups of flour is still too wet, add up to another 1/4 cup of flour.)

Now cover it and let it double in size.

Knead it well for 8-10 minutes.
You might feel that for one loaf, this is far too long, but persevere.
Return it to the board and let it double a second time.

After the second rise, shape it into a loaf.
Place into a greased pan, cover and let it double again.

Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.

I have made this before (but using a loaf pan, as the original recipe calls for) but it has been awhile; and that was long before I was blogging my breads.  Yesterday I sprinkled some Red River Cereal on top of my Everyday HBin5 Bread, so I began to remember this recipe.

When mixing up the dough, I found that the molasses has a pretty strong scent.  I don't personally care for the smell or taste of molasses; but I can't remember if you can taste it in the final loaf, though.  The bread when it is baking in the oven does not smell like molasses, it smells like bread -- wonderful bread.

The dough is sticky at the first kneading.  I didn't worry too much about kneading it for the stated 8 minutes.  As soon as it got sticky, I stopped kneading and set it aside to rise.

In the time it took to go to Yoga, do the set, and come back home, the dough was doubled.
This time, the kneading was easier: The gluten, once it is developed by rising, really makes this dough snap back into position like a rubber band during kneading.

I decided that I would skip Lahey's 'dough wrapped in a couche' step, and, on the heals of yesterday's 'Everyday Bread' where I used a spatula to tease the dough from a bowl onto a hot stone, I thought I might try something similar today: I would use the spatula to carefully move the risen dough from the bowl into a hot casserole dish.

It sounds easy, but hitting the target is problematic.  My dough rolled over on the way out of the bowl and it flopped to one side of the casserole dish.  I didn't try to tease it into shape: I could hear it sizzling already, already baking where it hit the hot tempered glass.

I wasn't sure that the dough would be wet enough to stand up to this hot of an oven.  The last time I made this loaf (the original recipe of which had a time of 45 minutes, but no temperature), I used 425 degrees and stopped at 30 minutes.  This time I would bake it at 475 degrees for 30 minutes covered, and then uncovered for another 15 minutes (if the bread doesn't look burnt at the point when I wanted to take off the lid).

At the 30 minute mark, I was tempted to just stop: the loaf in the casserole dish looked quite nice, surprisingly nice, despite the way I flopped it into the pan.  But I persisted for another 15 minutes to see what would happen.

It got a bit burnt on the part that stuck up highest against the side of the casserole dish.  On the other hand, the side that wasn't sticking up so high was just about perfect, and it was a very pretty loaf from this vantage point.  The loaf was singing loudly when I placed it on the rack to cool.

Notes to Myself:
  • If you have some bread with a piece sticking up on one side, try covering that part with some foil so it doesn't burn while the rest of the loaf bakes.
  • Try reducing the heat a bit for the 'cover off' portion of the bake, especially if the hydration of the loaf you are making is somewhat less than Lahey's.
  • This method of using a spatula to move a risen dough out of a bowl onto a cooking surface warrants further experimentation: despite the problem of bad aim, the bread turns out very nice for the most part.

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