Monday, October 19, 2009

Ham & Potato Soup in a Bread Bowl: Part 1

Yesterday was just one of those gross...cold...wet days where you just want to crawl back into bed and wake up when it is nice and sunny. Well since I have two young kids that is not an option for me. I also knew that we were going to be staying home all day. I wanted a little project to break up the day because who looks forward to doing loads of laundry.

I had this one recipe on my list for a while now Artisan Bread Bowls from King Arthur Flour. It just brings back memories of our trips to San Fransisco and Fisherman's Wharf. Having some clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl...what is better than that!

I actually remembered to get started early enough that I wasn't finishing the bread bowls at midnight. If my calculations are correct there is a minimum of 7 hours before you can bake the bread bowls. I used my bread machine again for the mixing/kneading and first rise part (about 1 hours). Then I took out my scale so I can divide the dough into 5 equal portions, made them into balls and put them on a silpat on a baking sheet. After that you put them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours let them rise can leave them in there up to 24 hours. Then 2 hours for you are ready to bake them you take them out of the refrigerator to continue rising.

Artisan Bread Bowls
King Arthur Flour

3 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, enough to make a smooth, soft dough

1) Mix and knead together all of the ingredients—by hand, mixer or bread machine—till you've created a smooth dough.
2) Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes; it should become puffy.
3) Divide the dough into 5 pieces.
4) Roll each piece into a ball.
5) Place on a lightly greased or parchment covered baking sheet.
6) Cover the bread bowls with greased plastic wrap.
7) Refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to 24 hours); this step will give the bread bowls extra flavor, and a delightfully crisp-chewy texture.
8) Two or more hours before serving, remove the bread bowls from the refrigerator. Uncover, and let them sit for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425°F.
9) Just before baking, slash the top surface of the bowls several times to allow them to expand.
10) Bake for 22 to 28 minutes, until the bowls are deep brown, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
11) Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Step #3

Baked bread bowl.
My favorite bowl...
My Review: If you are not a patient person then this recipe is not for you. There is a lot of waiting for the yeast to do it's job. At first I was worried that it would not be worth the wait but it was totally worth it. I planned on just doing the minimum rising times so we can eat it that night for dinner. Next time I think I will try to allow for more time in the refrigerator. The taste was perfect just what I expected out of this recipe. I think the whole wheat flour adds a nice flavor and texture to the finished product. Overall a very nice recipe and I can't wait to do this again!
I don't know why I had it in my head that I needed to eat these hot out of the oven. I didn't realize it calls for them to cool down...lucky for me it is cold here and I just stuck them outside for a little bit. So I think the next time I will start them the night before I want to eat them...let them have a good rest in the refrigerator and bake the the next day.

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