I just got a new bread-baking tool! It’s called the EZ DOH manual bread dough maker and it was created by Gina, The Loaf Lady! Her marketing manager (aka husband) sent me one of the units, and I’ve been having fun testing it.
I enjoy making breads by hand. Although I have a basic stand mixer, I don’t use it very often. I prefer to use my Danish dough whisk to mix the dough and then knead it by hand.
The EZ DOH takes things a step further by incorporating a dough hook that you crank by hand. This allows you to enjoy the hands-on experience, with less fuss, and less cleanup because everything can be done in the bucket; from mixing, to kneading, to proofing the dough. And did I mention, the EZ DOH maker is made in the USA and it’s BPA-free.
I started my testing with an adapted version of the basic French Bread recipe included with the unit. My version is made with all-purpose Spelt and whole grain Spelt flour. I also adjusted the hydration since Spelt absorbs water differently than all-purpose flour.
SPELT Country French Bread
Adapted from: EZ DOH Basic French/Italian Bread Recipe by www.EZDOH.com
Makes: 1 Loaf
This basic loaf is made using the straight dough method. It works well if you want to make a quick loaf for a weeknight meal.
- 1 1/8 cups water, more if needed
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose white Spelt flour, plus additional for dusting
- 1/2 cup whole grain Spelt flour
- 2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 T. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
Mixing the dough:
The instructions on the unit suggest that you add the warm water first, and sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water. Then add the rest of the ingredients, in the order listed.
I use instant yeast and it isn’t necessary to activate the yeast so I added all of the dry ingredients (like I normally do) and then mixed in the wet ingredients. However, doing it this way made it a bit tricky to get all of the dry ingredients incorporated. Next time, I’ll add the wet ingredients first and place the dry ingredients on top.
I found that it helped to hold back some of the water and add the rest after I had started mixing the dough. You may need to incorporate more flour or water to achieve the desired dough consistency just as you would with any bread dough.
The EZ DOH mixes the dough fairly quickly. Start by turning the handle in one direction and mix. Then switch directions and continue mixing and alternating directions until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the dough. The total mixing time is about 2-5 minutes.
After I finished mixing, I removed the crank assembly and worked the dough just a bit with my hands to make sure it was the right consistency. I have to get my hands on the dough no matter what tool I use.
Let the dough bulk ferment in the bucket until it is doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes. I let this dough ferment for about an hour.
Shaping the Loaf:
Because this loaf includes olive oil, and whole grain flour, my version is more like a country loaf than a baguette. You can shape the loaf into the traditional French baguette shape, but I shaped my loaf into a round boule.
I placed the shaped boule on parchment paper sprinkled with spelt flour. You can use cornmeal for sprinkling, but I wanted a pure Spelt loaf.
Cover the loaf with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let it proof until doubled in size, about 20-30 minutes, (or longer) depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
Preparing the Loaf for Baking:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. with a baking stone on the bottom rack and an iron skillet or steam pan on the top rack.
Score the loaf in the pattern of your choice, using a serrated knife or bread lame. I used a straight-edged lame to score a square (sort of) around the top of the loaf. You might need to sprinkle the top of the loaf with a little flour so to make scoring a little bit easier.
Baking the Loaf:
Using a baker’s peel or the back of a baking sheet, slide the bread (on the parchment paper) onto the preheated stone. Carefully add a few ice cubes to the preheated iron skillet or steam pan. Spritz the loaf with water and immediately close the door and turn the oven down to 400 degrees F. Bake the loaf for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
Remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool before slicing and serving. The loaf tastes best warm, but it will cut more easily if you allow it to cool before slicing.
The basic recipe is easily adaptable to other types of bread. The pamphlet included with the EZ DOH unit provides several options and is a good starting point for making a variety of different types of breads. The savory garlic rolls sound divine and the sweet rolls… Yum! I wanted to try all of the variations, but I refrained because I also wanted to find out what other types of dough it could handle.
For my next test, I’ll be making whole wheat bread using an overnight sponge. Look for more information about that bread in an upcoming post.