Monday, February 21, 2011

Restaurant Grade Gourmet Bread in 45 mins

I meant 45 mins from the time you measure your ingredients to taking the bread out of the oven. Yes, ONLY 45 mins. There’s no proofing and kneading involved. Hmm, the bread burst with fresh herb flavour, I felt like sitting in a nice restaurant when the waiter serves the basket of assorted gourmet bread in front of me. It’s super easy to make. I highly recommend it.

Cheddar-Herb Quick Bread Recipe adapted from Inspired Magazine from Sobeys

• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 cup milk
• 2 ¼ cups all purpose Flour
• 1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
• ¼ cup assorted fresh herbs (I used sage, chives, and oregano)
• ¾ tsp each baking powder and baking soda
• ½ tsp salt
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, finely cubed

  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
  2. Make sour milk by stirring lemon juice to milk. Let it stand for 5 mins.
  3. Blend flour with cheese, herbs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until well combined.
  4. Cut in butter until crumbly using a pastry blender or two knives. (I used my fingers, make sure you don’t let the butter melt in your hands)
  5. Add milk mixture and stir just until a ragged dough forms.
  6. Knead lightly, about 10 times. (Oops, I lied, there is some kneading involved, just minimal though)
  7. The dough will be sticky but once all dry ingredients are mixed in with the liquid, it won’t stick.
  8. Transfer dough to a parchment or silpad lined baking sheet and pat into a 1” thick dish.
  9. Dust the top of the loaf with a little additional flour (I missed this part) and score a large “X” (about ¼” deep) using a sharp paring knife. Bake for 30 mins or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let it cool for about 5 mins before slicing.

There’s no yeast in the ingredients, that’s why there’s no proofing required. The crust was crispy when it first came out from the oven. I may brush the top with egg white next time and spray water in the oven to create a thicker crust. It’s still very good if you eat it fresh from the oven though.

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