Wednesday, September 4, 2013

RECIPE: WHITE BREAD (Agave Coconut) Tastes like Old Fashioned White Bread

RECIPE: WHITE BREAD Agave Coconut  (No Coconut taste)

Recipe and photo by: Rick Beach

The taste of this bread is that of old fashioned white bread.  Coconut Milk, Soy Milk, or regular milk can be used.  There is no coconut taste in the finished bread.  Organic Blue Agave is used since it is a low Glycemic organic sweetener.  A Dutch Oven cooking friend of mine (Kathleen LeBlanc) shared the basic recipe with me.  The version shown here is my tweaked version to suit my tastes.

I often bake this in a Dutch Oven.  Free form loaves could be used.  Or small loaf pans.  Use a large, tall, Dutch Oven and coals for 375°.  I prefer to use one standard bread loaf pan. I place a wire rack in the Dutch Oven to elevate the loaf pan slightly.

4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 Cups warm Coconut Milk (Silk Original) (Warmed)*Could use Soy or Regular milk
             (Or (1) 13.5 oz can of Unsweetened Coconut Milk - adjust flour for kneaded dough just beyond sticky) 
2 teaspoons Rapid rise yeast  (Mix into flour - Do not mix your yeast into the liquid with the salt)

1 Egg raw whisked (warmed egg)  (Place the whole egg (Still in shell) in warm water while preparing other ingredients), then crack the egg into a bowl and whisk just before adding to the other warmed liquids.
1 to 4 Tablespoons Agave Liquid Sweetener (Warmed/Room Temperature)
2 Tablespoons melted Butter

1 1/2 teaspoon Salt    

SET BREAD MACHINE to “Quick”, “Dough” Start so pre-heat is going.
PLACE Flour in bread machine
COMBINE  in a separate bowl the Warm Coconut Milk, warm Agave, and yeast. Whisk and allow to "grow" 5 to 15 minutes.
COMBINE in yet another separate bowl the whisked warm raw egg, warm agave, and melted butter.  Whisk to combine.
COMBINE the Milk/Yeast mixture to the Egg mixture and whisk to combine all the liquids.
POUR combined liquid mixture into bread machine with the flour.  Let the bread machine starting running through Quick, Dough, cycle (Mix & First Rise 45 Minutes)  This is normally a manual override setting on most bread machines.ADD the salt.  Monitor the initial mixing stage until the dough just begins to clump together and form a ball.  Then sprinkle the salt over the dough and allow the mixing to proceed.

PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease Bread Pans.  The warmed stove top will become your warm place 45 minutes later to raise your dough the second time.  The bread machine will provide the raise the first time.  ( If you are using a mixer/dough hook or hand method to create your dough, both raises will occur on the stove top or other warm place)

TURN DOUGH OUT (dough that has raised one time) on floured surface and roll out into a 12X8 inch rectangle.  Roll as a jelly roll 8  inches wide. Pinch seam, tuck ends under and pinch seams, coat with light coat of oil,  and place in greased bread pan, seam side down.
COVER Dough AND let RAISE, on warm stove 30-45 minutes.
BAKE at 375 for 25-30 minutes (Until golden Brown and sounds somewhat hollow when tapped.
Remove from pan and rub all surfaces with butter for a softer crust.  Cover with towel until cooled

Note: Liquids should be warm not hot.  Rather than getting all technical and breaking out the thermometers. Test on inside of wrist as you would baby bottle milk.  Proper temperature aids in the dough rising quickly.  Overly hot will kill the yeast.  Cold temperatures, and the yeast will not rise.  On both Raise cycles the dough should double in volume.  Your flour and other ingredients should all be at least room temperature.  Make sure to oil the dough, and oil your rising bowl, or container.  Cover and raise dough in a warm draft free location.

We use a bread machine to speed mixing the dough and the first rise.  The benefit of a bread machine is consistent results.  When baking multiple loaves you can keep producing a ready batch every 45 minutes, ready for the second rise in your bread pan.

This dough can be made using any traditional method including the old fashioned by hand method, or a mixer with a dough hook.  By hand, the more you knead, the better the bread.  Many people that get poor results when baking bread fail at the temperature, and or not enough kneading.  Other yeast killers are combining your yeast and salt in the liquids.  The salt will kill the yeast.  Mix your yeast with warm liquids and allow it to "grow".  Combined ingredients as recipe indicates.  With any tried and tested recipe you might be following pay particular attention to how and when the salt is added. 
Rising works best in a warm moist environment.  I use (2) stainless steamer trays.  The 6 inch deep, half size steamer tray 10x12 inch.  Or full size if doing English muffins or multiple loaves.  In the bottom tray, add a 1/2 inch of very hot tap water.  A wire rack placed in that hot water (Rack should be slightly above the water level).  Then place the bread pan with the oiled dough in it, on top of the rack.  The second stainless tray placed inverted as a domed cover.  This is placed on the top of the warm stove with the oven preheating.  This warm, moist environment raises your dough quickly, usually in 30 minutes so.  Standard size loaves have plenty of room to raise.

Full size steamer tray shown with English Muffins being raised.
Top inverted tray is removed to photograph the bottom
There is wire rack under the muffins that is foiled covered for this English muffin technique
Trays and properly sized racks are available at restaurant supply places

Other options are foil type trays, Dutch Oven with a trivet inside, then set in the sun, etc.  I have also used an ice chest with hot water and pans to lift the loaf pans above the ice :-)  Anything you have around the house that can trap the warmth and moisture.   Also before starting the "raise" process, remember to coat the dough with vegetable oil or olive oil.  Spray Pam works great and is easy to apply with no waste. 

After removing the baked bread from the oven, and still hot, rub all surfaces with butter for a soft crust.

Note: Dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.  See the link below for more details.

This recipe is my personal tweaking of a similar recipe given to me by a friend Kathleen LeBlanc.  Mine uses all milk, no water.  Also it uses butter, and an egg.

No...this bread does not taste like coconut.

Making homemade bread is relatively easy once you get the hang of it. If you want additions tips, and pointers on such things as making dough and storing it for later baking please visit this other article.

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