Friday, February 7, 2014

Batter Breads

I was intrigued when I first read about Sally Lunn bread. I was repetitively encountering it in my RSS feed. I had even bookmarked the recipes from Smitten Kitchen and Kitchn. And that was 2 years ago. I did find many other breads to bake and eat in these 2 years but I didnt have a chance to make the Sally Lunn one yet.

So I set about yesterday thinking that I would bake this one, so that the Husband and the Daughter can enjoy a little snack while am away for the class. So I mixed up the batter, beat it hard for 6 min with different additions and I decided to use fresh yeast and left out the egg yolk. Then I read the entire recipe to see how long it should rest, and it needed an hour now and 30 min later for second proofing. I didnt have so much time, so I asked the Husband to do it, but he had dinner to prepare, so he didnt bother about my little batter proofing in the oven. By the time I returned from the class, the batter was proofing in the oven for over 4 hours now. It had risen and then collapsed, stank of yeast and the dough tasted very bitter. I guess the warm oven, presence of sugar in the batter, the over-zealousness of fresh yeast and the long first proof caused it. I had for a moment even considered tossing it. I looked up all over the internet on how to save overproofed dough, but hardly a mention. In some board, someone said the dough corrects itself in the second proof. I had decided that this was going to be a disaster but went ahead wanting to see it through.

Second proof was pouring the batter into a pan and letting it rest right there. So it went into the pan, and waited there for less than 15 min, there was barely rounding out of edges and I slid it into the oven at 190°C. The batter was half full in the 25cm loaf pan and I thought it would be three quarters full. But beating all my expectations (I wouldn't have been writing this blog otherwise) it crested the pan and baked wonderfully. The bread is softer than the normal loaves that am used to baking. Pillow soft. I let it rest and then I sliced into it expecting a bitter taste, but it was so very slightly bitter and by morning even that disappeared. Wonderfully holey, a very soft texture and tastes almost like a cake without all the guilt of a cake. Would stand up better in place of a brioche in french toasts, I think. I would experiment the rest of the loaf for toasts saturday morning.

I am impressed with batter breads and am going to try more. 

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