Sunday, March 18, 2012

Durum Rosemary Dough...I Think

I'm gonna be honest here...I don't think I did this one correctly! I thought about dumping the dough at more than one moment during the baking process, but I pressed on and will happily share my experience with you!

As always, I quartered the recipe. I've found my 16 years of experience as a pharmacy technician to be very beneficial as far as dividing my 'dosages' a.k.a. ingredients. There's not much of a difference between calculating a dosage and figuring my ingredients when you break it down! I'm working with grams and ounces after all! I almost wish that I had a kitchen scale that extended out a few more decimal places so I could be even MORE accurate! Here's what I broke it down to:

Durum Flour 1.5 lb, 2.5 oz
Bread Flour 0.5 lb, 1.25 oz
Instant Dry Yeast 5.25g
Water 25 oz
Salt 21g
Rosemary, coarsely chopped 7g

I read through this recipe the day before I went to the grocery store and added my ingredients to my list. I've never actually heard of durum flour, but my local grocery store has a decent organic & baking section so I figured I'd be able to find what I needed....

I tend to think a lot of things. I think that my son will sleep through the night, I think that I'll get out of bed as soon as the alarm clock goes off, I think that my husband will remember where he put his red sock, and it never really works out that way, does it?

So my son and I are wading through the various flours and not seeing anything marked Durum Flour! Thank heavens for smart phones, I was able to google Durum Flour to see if I could somehow narrow down what it really was I needed, this is what I learned "The short answer is that durum flour is flour which is ground from Durum wheat. Durum wheat is a type of wheat that has an especially high protein content, and in fact its name derives from the Latin word for "hard"." As I was skimming (yes, skimming, not really reading) I also caught the word Semolina which is made from durum wheat (it's also the flour used to make pasta, it has an almost sandy feel to it). So I looked back at the flours and found Bob's Red Mill No. 1 Durum Wheat Semolina Flour. My son was starting to gnaw his way through the zucchini and oranges so I threw it into the cart and moved on before he started eating tampons...

After I got home and my son laid down for a nice nap, it was time to get started. I had all of my ingredients measured out and ready to go. The dough starts the same as my other doughs do, mix the flours and yeast in one bowl and the water, salt, and this time...rosemary in the mixer bowl.

Same as before, we add the dry ingredients to the wet in the mixer bowl and start it on the lowest speed for a few minutes, increasing the speed for a few more minutes and we're supposed to have dough.

What I had was more like a thick batter and I think it had something to do with the Semolina flour. It's a pasta flour, not a bread flour. I was beginning to think that I really made a colossal boo-boo and was contemplating tossing the dough into the trash and calling it a day, but I figured, why not see this through and see what happens. 

The dough/batter was so gooey that I decided to throw caution to the wind and add a little bread flour to the mix to see if I could thicken things up a bit.

It was still quite a bit sticky, but I didn't want to risk adding too much extra flour, so I set my dough out into my trusty 'rising bowl' for a 40 minute bulk ferment (covered with plastic wrap).

 After the first 40 minutes the dough looked to have risen a bit, but was still quite sticky. I gave it a nice, gentle, fold and let it continue to rise for another 40 minutes.

This bead, according to the text, was supposed to be shaped into boules (as in Lean Dough Take II), but because of the sticky consistency I opted to break out the old bread pans and make a few traditional loaves. The dough rested in the pans, covered, for about 15 minutes while I preheated the oven to 300 degrees.  

After about a half hour, I actually had a few loaves that were hollow sounding when I thumped on the bottoms (you'll want to take the bread out of the pans before you commence thumping), and they were quite aromatic and dense! The rosemary was a great addition! It made the kitchen smell great all afternoon!

Of course, the true test would be the taste-test!! I hacked off a chunk right out of the oven (I know you should let it cool, yeah, not going to happen in my house...I'm a carb-a-holic) and it actually tasted great! It's a really dense bread (thanks to the durum) and the rosemary gives it a nice Italian vibe, this would be great with a big plate of spaghetti!

As always, I gave a slice to my son for taste testing and got the "Toddler Seal of Approval" so I know I couldn't have done to terrible of a job!

To sum it up, I'd recommend actually finding true durum flour before attempting this recipe, but the mild improvisation I rendered today still produced some tasty loaves that I'll get to enjoy all week long!

1 comment:

  1. I love your enthusiasm, it's just brightens the whole story up, :) I actually just enrolled into Keiser University, and we're using this book. After a couple days of using it, I find it to be very informative, colorful, and helpful none the less. I feel the same way you do about experimenting and going with the flow, so I applaud you for sticking it out.

    Thanks for posting this, and the way I found this is our HW. We have to choose between Durum Rosemary Dough or Knot Rolls, pg. 119 & 120. I had no idea what this dough was, so I was trying to research it to find out more information. And here you come up as the first link, and it was actually the same recipe out of the same book... LoL

    Have fun in all your baking ventures, post more, and GOD Bless!