Well, this is awkward. Last month I mentioned that I was writing up my post while watching the Great British Baking Show /Bake Off. Well, PBS aired the finale last week and now I find myself a little lost. What am to watch now? Remember when I said I wasn't sure how I felt about the show? Well, now that it's over, I'm missing it. I guess I liked it after all.
This post will be more brief than normal. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts, I guess. Something just feels wrong. Not physically. It's hard to explain. A vibe? Lets talk about the bread instead.
I can't remember what I was Googling back in September when I came across an article about Joan Nathan's Pain Petri. This Moroccan challah is distinct from other challahs in that it includes anise. What caught my eye though, wasn't the use of anise. Until making these loaves, I had never used anise before. I was actually pretty sure that I probably wouldn't like anise. What was interesting here was that Joan Nathan promised a loaf in less than 90 minutes. That's from kneading to baking. 90 minutes. I saved the recipe and it turns out that it was perfect for this month's Bread Bakers Seeds theme being hosted by Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories.
So a loaf in 90 minutes. Could it really be that good? Wouldn't it be dense? I'm here to tell you that it was good - surprisingly good. It was definitely more dense than a traditional challah but not badly so. More dense but not a dense loaf. Does that make sense? I hope so. For comparison, I divided the dough in two and followed the steps for baking half in 90 minutes. With the second half, I refrigerated the dough overnight.
You know how they say that your baked goods will be even more flavourful with a long, slow bulk fermentation? I've always just nodded and smiled at that. It's not that I disbelieved. I had definitely had more "sour" sourdough loaves when I did a cold rise. But I just had never directly compared two doughs before so I really couldn't attest to how much more flavourful it was.
Wow. That is what I said when I bit into the second loaf. Yes, it was lighter than the first loaf. But it was also bursting with flavour. It was buttery (the dough only has oil). The anise was wee bit stronger too. Night and day. I loved the first loaf. I was IN LOVE with the second. I don't think I will ever bake another loaf of bread without a long, cold rise. (You'll find that funny if you check back later this week and see that I share another 90 minute loaf. Ha! Maybe, I should say that I won't bake another challah-style loaf without a cold rise.)
|10 minute bulk fermentation|
Pain Petri - Moroccan Challah
Recipe adapted from:Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France
Yield: 2 small loaves
1 cup (227 grams) warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
8 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1/2 tablespoon salt
3 3/4 cup (450 grams) flour
sesame seeds, for topping
egg yolk + half tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together water, yeast, and sugar until yeast is dissolved then whisk in oil and egg. Add anise seeds, salt and most of the flour. Knead until a soft, elastic dough has formed, adding more flour as is necessary.
For a cold fermentation, cover and immediately refrigerate the dough overnight. Otherwise, leave the dough uncovered and let it rest for 10 minutes.
10 Minute Fermentation: Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll one piece out to a 24 inch long rope making sure there are no seams. Bring the ends together and twist to loose spiral. Or shape in another way that suits you. Place on baking sheet and repeat with the other piece of dough.
Beat the egg yolk with half a tablespoon of water. Brush the loaves and sprinkle sesame seeds over the loaves.
Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes then rotate the baking sheets. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the bottom of the loaves sound hollow when tapped.
Overnight Fermentation: Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring dough to room temperature. Shape. Brush with half the egg wash. Let rise uncovered until doubled (approximately 30 minutes). Brush again with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.Bake 30-40 minutes or until hollow when tapped.
I'd grind the anise seeds before using next time sot there's a better distribution.
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