Sunday, December 28, 2008

...I'm taking requests

Mrs. Dawagner requested the recipe for the basketball bread, and since Mrs. Dawagner is growing a person as we speak, I'll oblige. These are them, kind of. I made one batch into bread bowls for potato soup. AWESOME. So, the basketball bread is four times the size of these. And don't plan on having them for dinner tonight. You need a minimum of 17 hours for them. Mind you it requires a fraction of that time for you to be doing something, but you have to start it the night before, no you can't cheat, it's scientific gluten bonding and whatnot.

Things you need.

A mixer with a dough hook
A cake pan
A baking stone
Will power, or a double batch if you actually want to serve it for dinner, because you will want to eat it while it's hot.

1 pound of flour (that's 16 ounces for you public schoolers, I don't know how many cups)
10 ounces of water
2 TBS honey
1 pkg of yeast or 2 1/4 tsps
1 tsp salt

Step 1 the night before

Mix together
5 ounces of flour
10 ounces of water
2 Tbs Honey
1 tsp yeast

Mix it well and cover, and since I got this recipe from Good Eats, put it in the chill chest (fridge) and go to bed.

Step 2 - a minimum of 5 HOURS before you intend to serve it, 7 hours is what I do. p.s. I hope you have a Kitchenaid mixer.....

Place in the mixing bowl the remaining flour, (11 ounces) and the salt. Add the wet ingredients from the night before on top. That way when you start mixing the flour won't go flying.

Mix on speed 4 until it is well mixed. Turn off the mixer, cover bowl with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Turn the mixer back on speed 6 for about 10 minutes. The dough should be in a ball being kneaded against the sides of the mixer, if not pry it off the dough hook ball it up and turn the mixer on speed 10. While this is happening and you are goal tending so that your precious Kitchenaid mixer doesn't fall to the floor and die, start water boiling.

Once you have kneaded for ten minutes and you have boiling water, get a cake pan. Fill the cake pan with the boiling water, fill it up and put the cake pan in the bottom rack of your oven. Put the dough still in the mixing bowl, or other container that will allow it to double, on the rack directly above the steaming cake pan full of water. Close the oven and leave it alone for 2 hours. The oven should be cool, and off and not needed during this time.

After two hours, take off your rings, pull out the dough and knuckle out the air bubbles on a slightly floured surface. Once you feel you've knuckled it down enough, knuckle it down into a square about half the size of a laptop, then fold it into thirds, lengthwise, then again the other direction. Cover it with a towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, punch out the air bubbles and without pushing down on the dough, roll it into as tight a ball as you can, about the size of a soft ball. It's kind of a spinning, twisting motion, kind of rubbing your hands together, mine happens to turn counter clockwise. When you get it into a tight little ball, cover it and let it rest for 1 hour.

At 50 minutes, put the baking stone in the oven above the cake pan full of water, you'll need to refill the cake pan with water, doesn't need to be heated, let the oven do it. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Brush the top of the bread with a little bit of corn meal in water. Then cut vent holes in the bread, try not to go deeper than 1/4 inch. I cut a square, it's for venting, if you forget it will blow a hole.

When the oven hits 400, put the dough ball on the hot baking stone, close the oven and DO NOT OPEN FOR 50 MINUTES. After 50 minutes pull the bread off of the stone and let it rest for at least 30 MINUTES. It is not done cooking when you pull it out of the oven, if you do not wait 30 minutes you'll get dough in the middle. It's hard, I know, I'm there for you, but oh so worth it.

So, here's the recipe as it reads on my card

Mix 5, 10 water, honey, yeast
Mix 11, salt, wet ingredients
Rest 20
Knead 10 and boil water
Rise 2
Knuckle and trifold
Rest 20
Punch and ball
Heat the oven/stone, fill the water
Brush and cut
Bake 50
Rest 30

It's a lot of work, but if you're like us you won't need to cook dinner that night, we just eat bread. Let me know how it works for you.

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