Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rosie Makes A Crab Meat Boule.

For the crab meat boule,
I made a simple bread dough:
1 cup warm warm water
with 1 packet yeast and 1 TB sugar, dissolved and proofed
Beat in one egg.
Fork in flour,
1/2 cup at a time,
until you can gather a dough.
About 2 cups.
Throw mass onto floured surface,
add in a little of your favorite extra virgin olive oil,
and bring it all together in a mass.
Leave it alone for twenty minutes.
Do not knead it.
Just mix it together and leave it alone for a short 20-minute rest.
This is what I learned from my 
Saveur magazine article on Artisan breads
which I posted about earlier:

Autolysis is the bread making stage
where you let your just-mixed ingredients 
rest for 20 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate in the wet ingredients.
It's what helps to produce a smooth, evenly crumbed bread.
If you don't let the flour fully hydrate before kneading,
you can have small pockets of raw flour in your dough.
Autolysis cuts down on your kneading time
and allows the dough to bake into a light bread.
The flour is able to absorb the water,
so the dough is not as sticky when you knead it.
I put in the salt after the autolysis.
Salt causes gluten to contract and toughen,
preventing the gluten from absorbing as much water,
and thus not benefiting from the autolysis.

The first thing I do when making bread
is "proof" my yeast.
My yeast has to prove to me it's alive.
I sprinkle the packet of yeast over 1 cup warm water.
Then I sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the yeast.
The sugar grabs the yeast granules
and wrestles them to the bottom of the bowl.
Or maybe it's the other way around.
After all,
the yeast does eat the sugar.
Give it a quick mix and leave it alone.
When the mixture gets foamy and poofy,
you know it's good.

I beat in 1 large egg.

Then I added in a 1/2 flour at a time.
Maybe 1 1/2 - 2 cups
before you turn it out onto a floured board.

I added in a tablespoon or more of extra virgin olive oil.

I did not knead this.
I just pulled it all into a cohesive mass.
And I let it sit for 20 minutes.

And then Rosie had a thought.
That can go either way - good or bad-
 as you know.
I wanted to put a little oomph in my bread.
I went out to the garden and picked scallions, 
chives, and a regular thyme and a variegated lemon thyme.

Mince and slice.

After 20 minutes of autolysis ...
...  I added the herbs and ...

... a little more olive oil ..

... and started kneading.

Gather into a nice cohesive ball.
Place in oiled bowl, coating the dough.
Cover and set in warm place to rise.

After the dough has doubled in size ...

... flour your knuckles
and give the dough a good punch.

Reflect on how good that felt.

Slice dough in half.

Roll one half into a ball and place in greased baking dish.
Roll the other half into a log
and slash top.

Let rise.

Until doubled.
And ready to bake.

Here's something very important:
Have your oven ready to bake.
Have it heated to 400 degrees.

In this baking process,
I'm using one of the techniques 
I learned from my Saveur article.

I have an iron skillet on the bottom oven rack
and a baking stone on the upper rack.
I let my oven heat for at least an hour 
so the baking stone gets hot and retains the heat.

I  put the baguette onto the baking stone,
pack the boule on the upper rack,
and throw a cup of ice in the bottom iron skillet.
The steam from the ice
helps the dough to fully rise before baking.

I baked these about 40 minutes.

I put them on racks to cool.
Then I placed them on one of my cutting boards
to shoot a picture.
And then I made a mistake:
I went outside to pick something in the garden.

Do you see what I came back to?

My little baguette has had both ends cut off and eaten.

I didn't even get a picture of the whole loaf.
Infidels, I tell ya!

Rosie, ever the trooper, carries on.
I took my boule
and cut off the cap of the mushroom.

I hollowed out my boule,
taking care not to poke any holes in the sides or bottom.

Pretty mushroom cap.

Tear up the cap.

Hollowed out boule is ready for crab meat filling.

Two ounces each butter, cream cheese, and Brie.

Slowly melt over very low heat.


Add in the juice of one lemon.
And no.
That seed didn't go in the mix.

A pound of crab meat.
I paid $12/pound for this.

Here's a heads up:
Do NOT mess with crab meat.
Resist the opportunity to pulverize crab meat.
Very carefully, blend it in.
You don't want to break the lumps up.
Heat through.

Spoon the crab meat mixture into the boule.

Pour in a tablespoon of dry sherry
and give it a mere swirl.
Do not mix completely.
Barely swirl the sherry.
Pockets of flavors.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until
bread pieces are toasty -
20 - 30 minutes.

Top with paprika.

And sit down to one of the finest things on earth to eat.
Homemade bread,
 sweet, luscious crab meat,
cheese, and butter.
What's not to love?


Marilyn said...

I'll have to make that bread once it cools down here.

But if anyone tried to eat it before I gave the go ahead, heads would roll. My peeps know better than to touch the food too early in my house!

Mr. P said...

I wouldn't touch it. I don't my heads to roll.

Mr. P said...

The crab broule looks good.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I wouldn't want your heads to roll either, Mr. P.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Mar, and people actually wonder why my children are missing fingers ...