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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bread - Day Two: "One Step" Breads

Breads - Day Two

One Step Breads

Baked 07.08.14

One Step Breads:
  • White and Whole Wheat Bread
  • Golden Sandwich Bread
  • Old-Fashioned Raisin Bread
  • Pain de Mie (French Sandwich Bread) / Pullman Loaf

It's only day two of "Bread Week", so these loaves are still just simple yeast breads. But don't confuse simple with bland or boring - because these breads are neither. 

And let's be honest. Calling these "One Step" breads may be a bit of an over-simplification. When the process for Pain de Mie spans two full pages of directions, that's either one very detailed step, or someone got the name wrong. 

So what do these "One Step" breads really have in common?

These breads are all made with a yeast dough and allowed to rise twice before they are formed into full loaves and baked either free standing or in loaf pans.

One Step Breads

White and Whole Wheat Bread

Classified as an easy "home" bread, the dough for White Bread starts with the combination of flour, salt, water and yeast (see a pattern emerging?)

The dough is allowed to rise before it is "turned". The "turning" process involves spreading the dough into an extended rectangle and then folding it in thirds like a business letter. This process helps activate the gluten in the dough, improving the structure. 

After a second rise, a circular loaf is formed by rotating the dough in a circle while folding the outside edges up over the center of the loaf.

Before the loaf is placed in the oven, the top is slit with a knife. In some breads, this is done to prevent unwanted splits from forming as the dough bakes. For this bread, it's mostly decorative.

Chef's note: The Whole Wheat variety requires more water in the initial mix. Whole grain flours absorb more moisture than refined flours. The Whole Wheat loaf will also be a denser bread.

Golden Sandwich Bread

Golden Sandwich Bread is White Bread 2.0.

The dough gets an upgrade in the form of eggs and butter, making this an enriched dough - dough that includes some additional form of fat. The result is a richer and more flavorful bread. 

Unlike the free-standing White Bread, Golden Sandwich Bread is baked in a loaf pan. The pan provides structural support to the bread as it bakes, molding the final form.

Stand Mixers

Old-Fashioned Raisin Bread

If Golden Sandwich Bread is White Bread 2.0, then Old-Fashioned Raisin Bread is version 2.1.

The addition of raisins is a time-tested way to sweeten a bread without resorting to sugar. If you're like me, you'll load the dough so full of raisins that they are literally popping out when the loaf is formed.

Formed Old-Fashioned Raisin Bread Loaf

Old-Fashioned Raisin Bread

Pain de Mie (French Sandwich Bread) / Pullman Loaf

Pain de Mie (known as Pullman Bread in the U.S.) is truly unique in how it is baked - inside a special Pullman pan.

With high straight walls and a tight fitting lid, the pan creates a perfectly symmetrical loaf. The pan also confines the dough as it proofs before baking and while it expands in the oven. The result is a structurally sturdy loaf from which very thin slices can be cut.

This one is my favorite - any excuse for a new kitchen toy always gets high marks!

As it was another carb-laden day, the final taste test included a light Caprese salad on top of a slice of Pain de Mie. So what if there was a second sandwich of home-smoked lardons of bacon and pickles on White Bread!

Pain de Mie Caprese Salad

One Step Breads Cooling

Bread Week in Review:

  • Day One - Flatbreads and Crisp Breads
    • Ligurian Focaccia 
    • Habini Pita
    • Middle Eastern Flatbread
    • Grissini Breadsticks
  • Day Two - "One Step" Breads
    • White & Whole Wheat Bread
    • Golden Sandwich Bread
    • Old-Fashioned Raisin Bread
    • Pain de Mie (French Sandwich Bread / Pullman Loaf)
  • Day Three - Rolls and Individual Breads
    • Bagels
    • Sicilian Sesame Rolls (Muffuletta Rolls)
    • Pretzel Rolls
    • English Muffins
  • Day Four - Pre-Fermented Breads
    • Ciabatta
    • Tuscan Olive Bread
    • Challah
    • Zopf (Swiss Braided Bread)
  • Day Five - Whole Grain Breads:
    • Deli Rye
    • American Pumpernickel
    • Semolina
    • Spelt & Caraway

Questions? Comments? Send me an email or leave a comment.
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