My recent baking projects have included what has become my go to sourdough bread recipe, cathead biscuits, and finally Japanese milk bread. A few weeks back I posted about Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread, and while it was very good I did not think it would make a good base for french toast.
Recent Project #1 – Sourdough bread
After tinkering with several recipes I’ve decided to stick with this one for Pain de Compagne from Maura Brickman on the King Arthur Baking Company web site. I added a fourth stretch and fold versus three to improve the strength of the dough.
After a long proofing at room temperature, the dough is divided and shaped into boules. Next it is placed in flour dusted and linen lined bannetons for an overnight proofing in the refrigerator.
After good success using my Lodge cast iron dutch oven, I went back to just the “baking stone and ice cubes in a pan” method of baking bread. Those loaves had little oven spring and were far too dense. Back to the dutch oven! After placing the dough in the preheated dutch oven, I spritz it liberally with water to create steam. With the lid on for the first 20 minutes of baking the moisture results in a nice crust. Currently I am limited to one at a time but the Lodge combo cooker is said to also work well so I might pick one up.
Recent Project #2 – Cathead Biscuits
These have been a big hit with guests, and the weekend of November 27th was no exception. While I didn’t reduce the recipe, I did use a ten-inch cast iron pan and cut the biscuits slightly smaller for a total of eight. I gave the unused baked ones to Vonnie at Lovedays, and the unbaked went into the freezer for future use.
Recent Project #3 – Japanese Milk Bread
This time I was using a guide and recipe from Healthy Nibbles, and it turned out magnificently!
The shaping technique is different from others I have used, but resulted in a perfect crumb.
One reason for trying this recipe was to use it for French Toast, and it did not disappoint. Previously I had made a brioche, which is also an enriched bread, but this milk bread was far superior for french toast. The photo below is from my first trial of it for dinner one night last week. It also makes wonderful toast.
Come book a stay with us and try one of these or other baked goodies that I serve for guests! More baking projects to come.