Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cook The Book July: The Bread

The July Cook the Book selection, Maricel Presilla's Gran Cocina Latina, doesn't have any recipes in my style of dessert-making. I requested her book The New Taste of Chocolate on July 4, but the library still has not been able to locate one of its four copies. So I made Cuban Coconut Bread (pp. 593-4), which turned out to be rolls. (Angela specially requested them for our cook the book lunch!)

I weighed the flour in my newest gadget–a measuring cup scale. I've been using it as a regular scale, but I could just tell it "flour" and it would tell me how many cups, according to the weight. That would be useful if your recipe doesn't give weights and you don't have enough dry measuring cups. Bread is very forgiving, though, so if you don't have a scale, you'll be fine measuring your flour. If your dough is too wet, add flour. If it's too dry, add water. Just remember, a little goes a long way, so don't add too much at a time.

 It was easy to assemble the rest of the ingredients.

Only 7 Ingredients
Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine them.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
Whisk the yeast into the wet ingredients.
When it bubbles (about 10 minutes), it's ready.

The directions told me to mix the dough with my fingertips. That was a huge mistake. It was a sticky mess, and it took me longer to get the dough off my hands than it did to mix it.

So I scraped it into my trusty bread machine, and let it do the kneading.

The bread machine has a warm up period before starting the kneading cycle, so for the second kneading I used my stand mixer.

Both risings were voluminous, and took about half the time suggested by the recipe.

The dough plopped right out of the oiled bowl, onto a piece of silicone paper.

The recipe said to make nine 4-ounce balls of dough. I got eight, and the last one was "only" 3 7/8 ounces.  I think that's because I used the bread machine for the kneading and didn't have to work more flour in to keep the dough from sticking to a board.

A final rise and the rolls are ready to bake.
Top of Rolls After 12 Minutes

Bottom of Rolls After 12 Minutes
Fully Baked Rolls
Brown and Crusty!
I had to make these the night before, so they weren't crusty when we ate them, but they were still delicious. This was a lot of work, and took a lot of time. I'm going to use the rest of my coconut milk in a bread machine recipe. The recipe says that grilling the bread is the ideal way to go when making these rolls, so please try out the recipe and let us know if the coconut flavor shines through when they're cooked that way?