Babcia’s Bread Experiment, part 7: having fun

After yesterday morning’s cat disaster, the girls were kind enough to drop their own projects and take over cleaning up.

While I was doing my rounds outside, the furry little monsters created another mess. One of the jade plant posts I’d managed to shield from their digging got knocked to the floor. *sigh* I was able to repot the plant. Not sure if it will survive. Once again, the girls took over the clean up so I could take care of other things. At least I wasn’t bread baking today!

The one down side of using my grandmother’s method to bake bread is, once I take the dough ball out of the flour and start it soaking overnight, it must be used the next day. There’s no way to postpone it if other things happen!

By the time we were doing cleaning up and putting things away, I started the bread baking much later than planned.

I did, however, cheat a bit. I wanted to mix up more dough, so I could take off more to set aside, for larger batches in the future. As it was, the overnight soak was not looking as active as I would have liked, so I did end up adding some yeast and a touch of sugar, and let that bubble up some more.

Then, since I have it, I used half all purpose flour, half durum wheat flour.

This is after it had about an hour to rise.

I notice a definite difference in the dough, when using the durum wheat flour. The dough feels smoother and more elastic. It was very noticeable when making the pasta, but even at half-and-half, for the bread, it is much nicer to knead.

My grandmother would have used whatever flour they had, so mixing it up like this is probably not all that different from how she did it.

After removing a portion to set aside for the next batch, I split the dough in half. The first half was left plain, though I did have some fun with it, anyhow.

I split the dough into 4 pieces (because there’s 4 of us), and made knots.

The resulting bread was a bit denser and chewier with the durum wheat flour in it. We all like our bread on the toothsome side, so we quite enjoyed it.

For the other half, I was going to do a cheese roll, but my daughter suggested rolling and folding it. With the extra gluten in the durum wheat flour, it could actually handle that, so I have it a try! This time, I made two loaves.

After rolling the dough out flat and as thin as I could, I used some of the herb butter my husband had made. I don’t know what all he included in there, other than a LOT of dill (the container slipped…), some caraway seeds, and a touch of lemon juice.

Then I added some shredded cheese. It’s a mix of sharp cheddar, mozzarella and Havarti.

Then I folded it in on itself.

It then got rolled out slightly and folded again, before final shaping. I had to use a touch of water to get the edges to stick closed.

Once in the pan, I flattened them out a bit more with my hands, before leaving them to rise.

Of course, some of the cheese did make its way through the dough as it baked, but my goodness, it looked and smelled wonderful!

It was quite flaky on the outside. On the inside, the dough absorbed much of the butter, leaving cheesy little pockets all over!

It was quite enjoyable! I don’t know that I would go so far as to do the folding method again (though it would be awesome to do that again with some sliced green onions, to make a version of green onion cakes!), but I definitely do it as a cheese roll in the future.

Until then, I am not going to have some with my lunch!

The Re-Farmer

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