Bread Number Two for our Thanksgiving week of breads is a simple country loaf that gets gussied up by doing its rising in a brotform. I got this one from my mother-in-law as a gift last Christmas, and I've been enjoying using it this year.
A brotform is simply a wooden bowl made of spiraled rattan that imprints a delightful pattern on the risen dough that remains after the bread bakes, making for a much more attractive loaf. But there's more to it than that. Raising your dough in a bowl helps a slack dough gain a better rise, and not spread out everywhere like a pizza pie crust. You could do this in a regular bowl, of course, but it wouldn't look as pretty. I also believe the spiral channels, which hold flour, help facilitate the dough releasing from the brotform.
So now that we know what it is, let's make some bread.
Brotform Country Loaf
2.5 Cups Bread Flour
1/2 Cup Pumpernickel Flour
1.5 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1.5 Teaspoons Salt
1 1/4 Cup Lukewarm Water
Preheat Oven to 450F. Add the bread flour to the mixing bowl.
Then the pumpernickel.
Then the yeast.
Add the salt and then give all these dry ingredients a stir to thoroughly mix them.
Add the water.
Then attached a dough hook to your stand mixer,
and mix/knead everything until all is incorporated in a nice dough ball.
Knead for an additional four minutes or so.
Dump dough in an oiled bowl (not the brotform yet), cover and let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours.
At this point, toss a heap of flour around in your brotform to get it well-floured so the bread will release later. Be generous with the flour here.
Take your dough from the first bowl and place it, smooth side down, into the brotform. Do not press the dough into the brotform, simply let gravity do its work.
Let rise for another 1.5 hours.
At this point, gently turn the dough out onto baking sheet, stone or floured peel. If dough doesn't drop out, gently tap on the side of the brotform and it should release.
Cut a cross pattern of slits in the top of the loaf with a lame or sharp knife.
Bake in your 450 degree F oven for 40-45 minutes, until the crust is dark brown and makes a hollow sound when you thump it.
Remove from oven and let rest for a couple minutes.
Then slice it up and serve piping hot.
Until Next Time,
Here's hoping you get a rise out of this bread!