10.02.2011

There's something outstanding about the bread in Israel.

You would think bread is bread and that its all in the bakers hands and of course that's true, but there is something better about the bread
in Israel than any I've ever eaten. true.
Of course, as in all things..its about your ingredients. Israel imports nothing..all they have on their shelves has been grown here in Israel. The flour..the honey..the yeast.
All home grown ingredients. That must be the secret. In my quest for recipes that reveal the secret of special Hebrew bread I found this bread makers blog..Breadman Talking.

I tried the pizza/focaccia one from the archives:

1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
a pinch of sugar or 1/4 teaspoon honey

2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cornmeal or semolina for sprinkling
Tomato sauce
olive oil for brushing (focaccia and outside of calzone)
toppings

1. Pour the warm water in a bowl, dissolve the sugar (or honey) then stir in the yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until nice and frothy.
2. If you are mixing by hand, put the olive oil, salt and 1 cup of the flour in a bowl along with the yeast mixture and mix until smooth and liquidy. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix with a wooden spoon until a smooth tacky dough is formed that clears the bowl. Remove from the bowl to a lightly floured surface and knesad for a few minutes to make a smooth dough. It should be quite springy, soft and smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil (prevents drying out) and cover. Let the dough rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

If you are mixing with an electric mixer, place the yeast mixture along with olive oil, salt and 1 cup of flour in the bowl and mix using the paddle for a few minutes then add the flour 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook and knead for a few minutes to for a smooth, springy dough. Let it rise in the bowl, lightly oiled for 1 1/2 hours until doubled.

Make two recipes for basic pizza dough for an 11 by 17 inch (28 by 43 cm) focaccia.

After the dough has risen, lightly oil a 11 by 17 inch (28 by 43 cm) baking pan then, after deflating the dough, press it out to fill the pan using your fingers. When the dough fills the pan, cover it lightly with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 30 minutes.


Meanwhile preheat the oven (with a baking stone if you have one) to 400 F (200 C). When the dough has risen, gently indent the surface with your fingers, then brush the surface with herbed olive oil. Sprinkle kosher salt over the surface and maybe some rosemary. Yum! bake 20 to 25 minutes for smaller rounds if directly on the baking stone, or 35 minutes or so (until nicely browned) for the larger pan. Serve as a side with a hearty soup and a green salad.



It was good. Not wonderful but it was, meh..good. All warm bread fresh out of the oven is good, don't you think? I had exchanged 1/2 the white flour with WholeWheat and I didn't have time for that last 30 minute rise so the results were not up to Israels standards. :-) yes. I have to admit it was a wee bit tough.
My mother was an expert bread maker when I was growing up so I know its in my genes..I remember her saying the bread isn't ready to rise until it squeaks..those little tiny bubbles in the dough when you've kneaded it really well? those squeak when the air is pushed out of them while you're kneading. But I used a dough hook..no hand kneading.
Maybe I'll have to try again, stick a little closer to the script
and knead by hand.

Anyway, if I think of it, I'll let you know! anyone have a good bread recipe or bread making tips..feel free to share!





5 comments:

angelinabeadalina said...

You have much more patience than me. I have a tough time waiting for dough to do its thing, so I hardly ever try to bake bread. I'm sure you'll get your kneading and baking touch back to top notch after a few more practice sessions!

Duni said...

Mmmmh...delicious. I love focaccia, especially with rosmary and sun dried tomatoes :)
have a lovely day!
Duni

Sweetwater Designs said...

Thanks you two..drop in sometime and we'll share the bread with some olive tapenade. deelish!
wouldn't that be great? :-)

yes! I was looking for Rosemary in my cupboard Duni..but used Oregano instead.

<3 Deborah

Angela Fehr said...

I made a focaccia chicken sandwich for dinner recently - so GOOD!
I always get compliments on my buns. http://angelafehr.com/wordpress/?p=4240
And the focaccia one I used is here: http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2011/07/tuscan-chicken-sandwich.html

Sweetwater Designs said...

lol Angela..I'll be a good girl and leave your bun comment alone. haha.
Thanks for the recipe..that will be the next one I try.
I'll let you know! :-)