Monday, May 17, 2010

Inspired Baking

I know that authors at book signings dread the inevitable question, "Where do you get your ideas from?" The question is dreaded not just because it ends a sentence with a preposition, but because everyone asks it and the answer is always the same - "From all around me."

As a baker I feel the same way (not about the press of fans demanding my signature), that inspiration is all around me. I have endless inspiration in my cookbooks, magazines, and the food blogs I visit. So why is it King Arthur feels they need to send me food porn in the mail? I visit their website, I get their emails, why do I need a catalog? Because the sneaky marketing geniuses know that the catalog will follow me from kitchen to bathroom to bedroom, that I'll mark items and dog ear pages, and I'll end up ordering.

This time around the thing that grabbed my attention was a gorgeous seeded boule. Skimming through the ingredients I saw that I had everything to make it except the harvest grains blend. Well, I didn't want to have to wait for grains to be shipped clear across the country so I went on a grain buying binge at Whole Foods' bulk section. (Take that, sneaky marketing geniuses!)

The bread was easy to make and so tasty! We had it with grilled salmon for dinner, then used it to make panini sandwiches the next night (the chicken sausage, gruyere, and carmelized onion sandwiches from this month's Fine Cooking).

I'll give you the recipe with the grain substitutions I made, but you can go the easy way and order the blend from King Arthur. And the sneaky marketing geniuses? Don't feel badly for them; their job is secure. I put in an order. Didn't order the grains, but I did need a few things....

Multi-Grain Boule
- adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (8 oz) boiling water
1 cup ( 5 oz) mixed grains*
2 cups (16 oz) sourdough starter, fed and ready to use
1-3/4 cups (7 oz) white whole wheat flour
1-3/4 cups (7-1/2 oz) King Arthur Unbleached all-purposed flour
2-1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 Tbsp of mixed sesame, flax, and poppy seeds

* I used a mixture of millet, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, amaranth, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and flakes from Raisin Bran

1- Place the mixed grains in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Pour the boiling water over it. Let it cool to lukewarm.

2- Add the fed sourdough starter and the remaining dough ingredients. Mix until it is a soft dough, adding additional water or flour as needed.

3- Cover the dough in the bowl, and let it rise until it's almost doubled, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

4- Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface and gently fold it over a few times to deflate it. Shape it into a large round. Spray a large, round baking dish with non-stick baking spray and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Place the dough round into the baking dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise until it's very puffy, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

5- While the dough is rising preheat the oven to 425 deg. F.

6- Just before baking, brush the dough round with water and sprinkle with the topping seeds. Use a lame or a very sharp knife to make four slashes across the top of the loaf, in a cross hatch pattern.

7- Bake the bread covered for 40 minutes. Uncover the loaf and continue to bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 190 deg. F.

8- Remove the bread from the oven. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then remove it from the baking dish and cool it on a cooling rack.


Melinda said...

That would be lovely for my ham sandwiches...or toasted.
Well, actually it looks good and would be a perfect all round bread. I can see why you were inspired.

Baking Soda said...

Hurray for seeded breads and inspiration! I so feel with you re the KA catalogue!

grace said...

i've gotten to the point where if i see a bread topped with seeds of any kind, i must have a taste immediately. this lovely boule is no exception, and the shape is an added bonus. :)

Abby said...

So good for sandwiches! Or toasted, with eggs. Or with anything, really.

I used to read KA's blog, but it was baaaad for my hips.

Kitchen Corner said...

I really wish that I could bake this kind of healthy bread because I like to eat and it's good for our body. I will definately try this once I back from my vocation. Thanks for sharing!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sigh ... Why can't it be slimming for me to eat a loaf a day ... don't I have nice ideas? Yes, this is one on my list & I already ordered and have the grain blend ... haven't baked it yet.
Beautiful bread.

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Sneaky marketing geniuses is right! With all the marketing classes I have been taking in the past 2 semesters, it really shows they know how to manipulate us--but even so, the bread looks fabulous! :-)

Bellini Valli said...

The smells coming from your kitchen must have been amazing Lynn. Wish I were there.

Maria said...

I love seeded breads, this boule looks terrific!

eatme_delicious said...

What an incredibly gorgeous bread!