Sunday, 31 July 2011

Red Wine and Cheese Bread with Spelt

It’s time for a picnic! Bread Baking Day # 42 is being hosted by Palmira and she invited us to bake breads for a picnic.  I’m getting my post up just under the wire because I was having trouble deciding which bread to make.

There are so many breads that would be good for a picnic. A crusty baguette goes well with wine and cheese and fruit or you can make a satisfying and healthy sandwich from a loaf of whole wheat or sourdough.  We made some delicious tuna sandwiches for a picnic a couple of weeks ago using the Light Wheat Bread Buns from the Bread Baking Babes and Friends.  Needless to say, the possibilities are endless for picnic breads.

As it turns out, one of the breads on the list for the HBinFive Bakers this month was Red Wine and Cheese Bread.  With several of the components of a picnic integrated into the bread, I decided this would be the perfect picnic bread. I substituted spelt flour for the whole wheat and part of the all-purpose flour to give the bread more protein and a little flair. 



Red Wine and Cheese Bread with Spelt

Makes: 4 small loaves or 2 large loaves

Adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois


  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat spelt flour
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast, or 2 packets
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, or your favorite hard cheese



  1. Mix together the flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl using a whisk or a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the liquid ingredients and cheese to the dry ingredients and incorporate them completely using a Danish dough whisk or a wooden spoon.

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  3. Cover the bowl (or container) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses, about 2 hours. Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours and up to 7 days.

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  4. When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and pull off a 1-pound piece if you want to bake a small loaf or a 2-pound piece if you want to make a large loaf.  Shape the dough into ball(s) and let the balls rest for about 5 minutes before further shaping.

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  5. Instead of shaping the dough into a round or oval shape, I shaped it into a batard, one of my favorite shapes.  My camera decided to misbehave during this part so I didn’t get photos of the whole process, however, I was able to get a photo of the batard shape.


  6. Place the shaped loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  You can sprinkle the parchment with cornmeal if you like.  I sprayed it with spray oil because the dough was a bit sticky. As you can see from this photo, the color of the dough is pink…interesting.

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  7. Allow the dough to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap for 90 minutes.

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  8. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack and a steam pan underneath.  Paint the top of the crust with water using a pastry brush and slash the dough diagonally with 1/4-inch-deep cuts, using a serrated knife.

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  9. Slide the loaves (with the parchment) onto the baking stone.  Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the steam pan, and quickly close the door.  I also misted the inside of the oven a few times during the first minute or so of baking to produce more steam.
  10. Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes, until it is brown and firm. Remove the parchment paper towards the end of the baking cycle to allow the bottom of the loaf to firm up. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack completely before slicing or eating.



    This bread is delicious! We enjoyed this loaf with fruit and chunks of cheese for a delicious and satisfying meal.  It was a little too hot to have a picnic outside so we had an indoor picnic with candlelight instead. 


This bread has been YeastSpotted. Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the roundup.


Thank you Palmira for hosting BBD #42 and Zorra for creating this wonderful bread-baking event.  Be sure to check out all of the wonderful breads in the roundup to be posted on August 5th.



Happy Baking!


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Roasted Potato, Onion and Spelt Bread

This Roasted Potato, Onion and Spelt Bread made it’s debut a few nights ago when I was invited to dinner with my BF and his extended family. The menu included grilled shrimp and mango skewers as well as some delicious scallops and breaded asparagus.

My contribution, of course, was bread and with all this delicious food around, I wanted to make sure it was worthy to be at the same table.  I’m happy to say this bread performed with flying colors.  It tasted great too!



Potatoes are from the nightshade family which also includes tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.  There are about 1,000 varieties of potatoes grown today. I’m growing a couple of varieties myself.  My Yukon gold potatoes aren’t ready for consumption yet so they couldn’t make their debut in this bread, but they’ll get their chance soon.

Potatoes get a bad rap in my opinion. They’re accused of being too starchy, but that’s what makes them so great in breads. The yeast feeds off of the enzymes and the starch in potatoes. Potatoes lend moisture as well as flavor to breads. This helps the keeping quality of breads. In fact, I baked one of these loaves on Sunday and the other one on Monday and it still has a good texture and tastes great.


Roasted Potato and Onion Bread Recipe

Adapted from Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman

Makes: 3 medium (or one large and one medium) loaves


Pâte Fermentée

  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

Final Dough

  • 2 cups white Spelt flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup Whole Spelt flour
  • 1 5/8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups onions, roasted
  • 1 cup potatoes, roasted (Yukon Gold Potatoes are a good choice for this bread, but I used a white potato because that is what I had on hand)
  • Pâte Fermentée (all of above)



  1. Making the Pâte Fermentée:

    Add the flour, yeast and salt to the water and mix until smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic and let it stand overnight or for 12 to 16 hours.

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  2. Mixing the Dough:

    Add all of the ingredients except the Pâte Fermentée and onions to the mixing bowl. 

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    In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients.  As the dough is forming, add the Pâte Fermentée in chunks.  Adjust the hydration of the dough if necessary by adding more flour or water.  I added more flour.  Finish mixing on second speed for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.  The dough should feel smooth and supple and the gluten moderately developed.  Add the onions and mix on first speed until they are evenly incorporated.

    roasted-potato-onion-bread 005 


  3. Bulk Fermentation:

    Grease a clean bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat it with oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it ferment for 1 1/2 hours.

    roasted-potato-onion-bread 008


  4. Folding the Dough:

    Fold the dough after 45 minutes of bulk fermentation.  Then place the dough back in the bowl to ferment for another 45 minutes.

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  5. Dividing and Shaping the Loaves:

    Divide the dough into 1.5-pound pieces.  I divided mine into a 2-pound piece and a 1.5-pound, approximately.  Preshape lightly into rounds and place on a lightly floured work surface, seams up. Cover the rounds with plastic.

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    When the dough has relaxed sufficiently, (about 10 to 20 minutes), shape the rounds into round or oval loaves and place in floured banneton baskets for proofing.  Or, if you prefer, you can place them between folds of baker’s linen or in loaf pans.  Cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and let them proof for approximately 1 1/4 hours.

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  6. Baking the Loaves:

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

    I baked the large loaf in my La Cloche and the other loaf freeform on a baking stone using a steam pan underneath. I’ll outline the process I used for the La Cloche below.

    To prepare the La Cloche Stoneware Baker, I sprinkled it with Semolina flour.  You can use cornmeal but the semolina was easier to get to so I used it instead.

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    You can proof the loaves in the La Cloche if you prefer, but I wanted the flour rings on the dough so I proofed them in the bannetons, then placed them in the La Cloche for baking.

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    Slash the desired scoring pattern using a serrated knife or blade. 

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    Once the oven is preheated, place the La Cloche baker in the oven and cover it with the lid.

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    Bake the loaf for approximately 40 minutes.  After about 25 minutes, remove the lid and let the loaf finish baking for the final 15 minutes.

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    To keep the stoneware baker from cracking when you remove it from the oven, you need to place it on something that won’t cause an extreme temperature change.  I placed it on towels on top of a wooden cutting board. 

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    At this point, I put the large loaf in a basket and transported it to the dinner. We tried some of the bread before dinner and with dinner.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.  They liked it with olive oil or butter.  I preferred it with the olive oil.  It didn’t need any herbs.



    I didn’t have time to bake both loaves before dinner so I put the other banneton basket with the small loaf in it in the refrigerator to retard overnight.  I baked the second loaf the next night on the baking stone and it turned out great.  I’m still enjoying it.

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Happy Baking!


Monday, 25 July 2011

Light Wheat Sandwich Buns: BBB

I missed baking with the Bread Baking Babes and Friends the past couple of months so when Sara chose these delightful Hamburger Buns, I knew I had to find the time and the right opportunity. 

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The opportunity came this past weekend when my BF and his eight-year old little buddy and I went to see the laser show at Stone Mountain.  We decided to bring tuna sandwiches for an easy picnic dinner. I’m sure these buns would be good with hamburgers but I thought they would also be good with the tuna salad. Plus, tuna is one of the only things this particular 8-year old eats. And you know, you don’t mess around (too much) with an 8-year olds’ palette. 

I was told that I should make the rolls with only white flour because he wouldn’t eat anything but white bread.  Well, I don’t always do what I’m told. So, I disguised them by adding just a wee bit of white whole wheat flour.  I also shaped the buns into balls instead of rolling out the dough and making slider buns.

My BF’s buddy never knew the difference. I asked how he liked the buns and he gave me the thumbs up. When I told him that the buns had a little bit of whole wheat in them, he just looked at me.  You know that look…the one that says no you didn’t.  Actually, he’s a good kid so he just kept right on eating and even asked for another one. My BF gave me the thumbs up as well.  Two thumbs up.  That ought to be good for something, don’t you think?


Light Wheat Sandwich Buns

Makes: 12 Buns

You can find the original recipe here. I changed the recipe a little bit.  I had the benefit of reading the comments from some of the other Bread Baking Babes so I incorporated their changes and made a couple of my own. My revised recipe is listed below:


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
  • 8 Tbs (1stick/125 g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 cups (420 g) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup (130 g) white whole wheat flour
  • 4 Tbs sugar
  • 1 scant tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)  I used white sesame seeds, natural sesame seeds and black sesame seeds.


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter and heat until the butter is melted, about 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool to 105-155'F (40 to 46'C).  
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of white whole wheat flour, the sugar, instant yeast, and salt and stir (or mix on low) until combined. 

    light-wheat-sandwich-buns 001

  3. Add the milk mixture and knead (on low speed) until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove the dough from the bowl, oil the inside of the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. 

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  4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

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  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the dough into 12 pieces (about 90 – 100 g each) and shape them into balls. 

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  6. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing the buns evenly apart, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. 

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    Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.  

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  7. Preheat oven to 375'F. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the buns with the egg mixture.

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  8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.  I sprinkled some with white sesame seeds, some with natural sesame seeds, some with black sesame seeds and left some plain because I wasn’t sure if our little buddy would like sesame seeds.  Turns out he liked the ones with the white sesame seeds.  Good choice!

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  9. Bake until the buns are golden and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a bun registers 190'F (88'C), 14 to 16 minutes.  Transfer the buns to a wire rack and let cool completely. 

    light-wheat-sandwich-buns 041

  10. Cut in half and use as hamburger or sandwich buns.  I didn’t get a photo of the sandwiches, but I’m sure you can picture what these delicious buns would look like filled with tuna.  Scrumptious!

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    I’ve tried one of each kind.  I had one plain before the buns ever made it to the laser show.  What!  I had to test it to make sure it was okay to serve.  Then, I had one with tuna at the laser show.  The next day, I had one for lunch with a fried egg and cheddar cheese. 

    I could eat them here, I could eat them there, I could eat them anywhere.  I do like fried eggs and buns. I do like them…Sam I am. 

    And, you will too!


This bread has been YeastSpotted. Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the roundup.

Happy Baking!


Friday, 22 July 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread: July BOM

This bread is “da bom!”  I’m so glad that Phyl (of Cabbages and King Cakes) chose this Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread as the BOM (Bread of the Month) for July for the Facebook Artisan Bread Bakers Group. I mean what’s not to love about this bread?  It tastes like cinnamon toast, but it’s sticky and gooey like monkey bread.

I haven’t had the chance to bake with the Artisan Bread Bakers in a while, but when I saw this bread on the menu, I knew I had to find the time. I had fun making it and even more fun eating it. It’s yummy, sticky and gooey…a great combination!

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Tracey’s Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

The recipe for this bread is from Tracey's Culinary Adventures. You can find her version here.  Thanks for the treat Tracey!

Yield: 1 loaf



  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting if needed)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I added a little more to make it more cinnamon-y)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I used ground nutmeg)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter



In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

Add the butter and milk to a small saucepan and heat just until the butter is completely melted.

Turn off the heat and add the water and vanilla to the pan. Let the mixture cool until it registers about 115-120 F on an instant read thermometer.

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Add the eggs to the mixer bowl and turn the mixer to low. Slowly stream the milk mixture down the side of the mixer bowl. Continue beating until the dough comes together. It will probably be quite sticky - add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue kneading on low speed until the dough clears the sides of the bowl (it will stick to the bottom). The dough should be tacky, but not so sticky that you can't handle it.

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Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly then shape the dough into a ball.

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Spray a large bowl with cooking spray then add the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

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Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a small bowl.

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Add the butter to a small saucepan and melt over medium-low heat until it is brown and smells nutty - be patient, it may take a few minutes. Set aside.

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Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press to deflate then cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.

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Roll the dough into a rectangle about 12x20 inches (the dough will be quite thin).

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Brush the dough with the browned butter then sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. It's a lot of sugar.  I tried to use it all, but I ended up saving some for cinnamon toast.

Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough rectangle vertically into six equal strips.

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I cut my strips horizontally instead of vertically so the pieces were really long.  I compensated for this on the next step.

Stack the strips on top of one another and again cut into six equal stacks.

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Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Layer the dough squares on top of one another and transfer to the prepared pan. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough is puffy, but not necessarily doubled in size.

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Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the loaf for about 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. If the top starts to brown too much, you can tent it with aluminum foil; don't be tempted to pull the bread too early or the center may still be raw. (I used an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature.)

I should’ve tented my loaf like the instructions suggested.  It got a little bit too browned on the outside edges. That was a little bit disappointing but all was not lost.

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Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread then carefully turn it out of the pan. Serve warm. 

I discarded the outside piece since it was too browned. The rest of the loaf was fine. It tastes great warm, but we also enjoyed it room temperature a couple of days later and it tasted great.


The only problem I had with this bread was refraining from eating the whole loaf myself.  I solved that problem by only eating a couple of slices and giving the rest away.  My BF was planning a camping trip this weekend with a little buddy of his so I sent this Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread with them for breakfast.


Happy Baking!