Monday, January 28, 2013
Dutch Oven Broth Bread
I wondered, “What would happen if I used some chicken broth instead of water in a bread?” I started to ponder that thought for a while, then I went to that font of all knowledge and wisdom, the Internet. Sadly, what I had originally believed was a fresh and unique idea was, in fact, pretty common. I found a number of descriptions and recipes.
In the end, I went back through my own recipes and decided just to try to substitute it part for part. But then, I thought about it, and realized that there would be salt in the broth, and some oil as well, so I lessened or eliminated those ingredients. I wasn’t sure if the broth would be too heavy or too damp. But I thought I’d give it a try!
I wasn’t sure what to call it. I thought about “Chicken Bread”, but that sounded too corny. My wife came to my rescue, and dubbed it “Broth Bread”! Here it is:
Dutch Oven Broth Bread
12” Dutch Ovens
12-14 coals below
18-22 coals above
2 Cups poultry broth (110 degrees)
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Yeast
1 tsp salt
4-5 Cups fresh bread flour
The broth was from our Christmas turkey, and was frozen in 2-cup baggies. I put one in a measuring cup and turned on the tap, running hot water over it. It took a while to melt, and then to come up to a nice warm 110° or so. I wasn’t in a hurry. Microwaving it might have gotten it there sooner, but...
Once it was ready, I mixed in the sugar and the yeast. I set that aside for another ten minutes or so, and let it foam up. I was a bit concerned about any salt in the broth reacting with the yeast, but it turned out OK.
Then I sifted in the flour and added the table salt. Remember that I usually start with a little less flour. I stirred it all up, then dumped it out onto the liberally floured countertop. From here on out, I treated it pretty much like any other bread. I kneaded until it developed a good gluten windowpane, then stretched the surface into a tight ball, and set it aside to rise.
It rose for an hour or two, getting doubled, and then I lit up some coals. While those were turning white, I kneaded just a little more (two or three pushes, at the most) and restretched and reshaped it into a boule (ball) again. I put this into the proofing basket.
Soon, the coals were all lit, and so I oiled the inside of the dutch oven, and set it out on the proper amount of coals, both below and above. I let that preheat for an additional 15 minutes, then I brought out the bread. I tipped it into the Dutch oven, then sliced the top. Unfortunately, my knife wasn’t very sharp (always use razor blades) so it ended up tearing more than slashing. Quickly, I put the lid on and marked the time.
After 15-20 minutes, I knocked the ash off the coals, rotated the Dutch oven and the lid, and lifted the lid to check on the progress, and to insert the thermometer.
After another 10-15 minutes, I checked, and it was past 200°, ready to come in. After cooling on a rack, I was able to cut into it and taste it. I was pleasantly surprised. The chicken flavor was there, but not prominent. Very subtle. It tasted great as a sandwich bread, and then, later, at the bread party, in the cheese fondue dip!
Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.