Thursday, August 06, 2009
What Pretty Little Buns...
Heh, stop that ya' perverts.
Bread, I'm talking about bread.
The only thing these buns need are plenty of time and patience in handling very wet dough. If you can do that, you're all set. I'm warning you though, the dough is so wet you won't believe it will ever turn into bread, but just flour your hands and keep going, it will eventually come together. I find that a baking sheet well-dusted with flour works best for these and I just toss a towel over it between rises-scraping it in and out of a bowl seems like extra work.
You Will Need:
3 1/2 cups Bread/strong flour
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 tablespoon salt
About 2 1/2 cups water
Combine in a large bowl until flour is very wet and soupy-you may need more water. Cover and let sit overnight or up to 14 hours.
Add to the sponge:
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
(about 4 cups) bread flour-you do not want this bread too dry or firm.
If you have a stand mixer, let it knead for about five minutes. If not, roll up your sleeves and start pulling the dough. I did this entirely by hand and it came out just fine. When the dough has been worked for a bit, dust it lightly with flour and give it a couple folds. Then, let it sit, covered for an hour. Come back, give it another fold and let it rest another hour. Give it one more fold and let it rest another half hour.
Divide the dough into eight pieces and let rest 10 minutes. Generously sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and heat a pan in the bottom along with it. Halfway through the preheat, toss in an ice cube and let it create a bit of steam.
Shape the buns and dust lightly with flour. Let rise another 45 minutes or until almost doubled. Slash buns, use whatever method you prefer for creating oven steam (in addition to the ice cube) and load the bread into the oven. After twenty minutes, carefully (stand to the side, it is full of steam) open the oven and rotate the pan. Bake another 10-15 minutes or until rolls are quite dark and read to an internal temperature between 200-205 degrees F. Cool on racks.