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Feather Bread

It was late at night on a weekday,  and we are getting tired of eating our Rye bread although I still have a loaf of German Sourdough untouched.  I bought quite a lot of ham, just a few days ago,  to to finish them soon.  A light bread will be great.

Looking at my bread books,  I chose Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads - Feather Bread - described as feather light.  Sounds good after eating days of heavy dense rye.

4 cup of bread flour
2 packets of dry yeast
1 1/2 cup of water (120-130F)
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp salt (reduced as 1 full tbsp is too much to our liking)
1/3 cup butter (unsalted)
1 egg white, slightly beaten mixed with 1 tbsp water

This is relatively easy to do.

Mix 3 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt. 
Pour in water. 
Stir with a heavy spoon (I used by wooden spoon).  
Cut in the butter and mix well.  
Slowly add in flour - I used 1 tbsp at a time.
Knead for a good 10 minutes (by hand)
Rise for 1 hour ( I popped into my oven which I had heated up to 50C and let it cool for a while).  Put a cup of hot water in there as I decided to close the oven door and take a bath while my yeast works on the dough.
It took probably 35 minutes and it rose very well.

The original recipe calls for it to be shaped into french baguette.  I decided to make mine small as it easier to eat.  Divide the dough into 2,  I decided to shape a few of them to small baguettes, and some round ones as well.  The first batch baguette like,  I put into the oven that was still warm,  put in a fresh cup of hot water and let it rise.  While the 2nd batch,  as it was getting late,  I decided to put them into the fridge after shaping.

The first batch of baguette rose slowly,  took about 45 minutes before I put them into the oven for baking. Prior to baking,  I score the dough,  brush the egg white. I also decided to steam the oven to get a bit of crust. At 230C, the bread was ready in 22 minutes.  I decided to go to sleep then.

In the morning,  I was worried that my bread in the fridge will over-rise,  I woke up at 6am to look at it.  Well, it didn't rise at all.  I bit up my oven again at 50C, before it's fully heated,  I switched it off so that the oven stayed warm,  and put the dough in to let it rise.  It took about 45 minutes for the dough to relax and rise.  I was able to bake it on time for my son to bring one extra small round bread.

Of course the small baguette was made with ham,  and I added lettuce and cheese for myself and husband.  We love this, as it is soft,  light,  as per the name,  it is feather light,  a the light butter brings out the taste well.  I probably can do a variation to this,  love those Subway Sandwiches,  want to try bread with herbs.

Note:  This bread has to be eaten fresh, quite immediately after it's baked.

Baked on 5 & 6 Feb 2010