All Things Bread No.17

Hello Friends of Sourdough!
In today’s All Things Bread I talk about that time I re-imagined the Tagine as an inside-out tandoor! In Bread Briefing we look at enriched breads and some of the specifics of using butter and oil in bread.

All Things Bread

While I’m pretty good at making Roti / Parantha (two types of Indian flat breads) I still haven’t been able to master the perfect naan yaaaar. Part of the problem is of course that I don’t own and operate a Tandoor. A Tandoor is basically a huge clay pot with charcoal at the bottom. The insides of this pot heat up and you can then bake breads by sticking them to the sides of the pot…if you dare.
So how do we recreate this at home? Simple! Take your trusty Tagine, place it at the base of your oven and preheat to maximum. The temperature still won’t be as hot as a proper tandoor but it works! Make your naan dough (sourdough of course) and once you have your naans ready, slap them on the side of your Tagine-e-tandoor! 

Bread Briefing
Enriched breads are those that have added fat and usually also have sugar or honey added. The fat can be in the form of milk, cream, yoghurt, eggs, butter, oils or animal fats.
If you asked an academic why enriched breads are commonly baked for special occasions in cultures all over the globe, they would point to unit costs and seasonal availability of ingredients. If you ask me, they be DELISH! I got lots of orders for my Brioche and Hokkaido buns and one of my customers said they remind her of her childhood. That’s so telling.
Here are some of the things to watch for when making enriched doughs: 

The fat (butter for eg) must be added incrementally as you knead. 4 – 6 increments are ideal. Don’t add the next bit of butter until the previous part is fully incorporated. 

This is one dough you want to keep cool, the cooler it is, the lower the chances of the fat rendering out of the dough. Use cold milk / water and eggs (if using).

If you are planning to bake sweet breads but your starter, who you have named Herculyeast, is not used to sugar (sugar acts as a yeast inhibitor), you can take a part of him and feed normally as per usual but add a tablespoon (15gm) of sugar with each feed. In just a few feedings this starter will get used to the new, sweet medium (aka osmotolerant) 

The problem is what do you name this new starter? Just as we add “Young” to the starter name when naming our Leaven, I suggest adding “Sweet” to the original name for your Osmotolerant starter. Sweet Pintu, meet Sweet Ginny!
See you today at 4pm Dubai!