Friday, March 27, 2009

Basque Sheepherder's Bread

Today is National Spanish Paella Day! Really it is! I talked to Robin this morning and they are going to try to make Winnemucca, NV tonight and get some paella. But, one can not have paella without Basque Bread. I think I found a recipe. Check out the slides - they follow the recipe, more or less!

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Here is the recipe:

Basque Sheepherders Bread

1 1/2 c 160 degree tap water
5 T Butter, soft and at room temperature
1/4 c Clover honey
1 1/4 t Kosher Salt
1 1/4 T Active Dry Yeast
3 1/2 c All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 c Whole Wheat Flour
Salad oil

In a large bowl, combine hot water, butter, honey and salt. Stir until butter is melted; let cool to about 110 degrees. Stir in yeast; cover and set in a warm place until bubbly, about 15 minutes. Beat in about 1 1/4 cups Whole Wheat flour to make a thick batter. Stir in about 3 ½ cups of All Purpose flour to make a stiff dough. Scrape dough onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and satiny, 10 to 20 minutes — adding as little flour as possible to prevent sticking. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn over to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled — about 1½ hours.

Punch dough down and knead briefly on a floured board to release air. Shape into a smooth ball. With a circle of foil, cover the inside bottom of a 5-quart cast iron or cast aluminum Dutch oven. Grease foil, inside of Dutch oven, and lid with oil. Place dough in Dutch oven and cover with lid. Let rise in a warm place until dough pushes up lid by about ½ inch, about 1 hour. (Watch closely.) Bake, covered, with a lid in a 375-degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove bread from oven and turn onto a rack to cool. You might need a helper. Peel off foil and turn loaf upright. Makes one 2 1/4 pound loaf.

So there's the bread. Now for the Lamb Paella and the wine. Yum-O!

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