Sunday, 7 March 2010

Buttermilk Cluster

Recently I have become interested in using yeast in recipes. Yeast, the baking ingredient shrouded in mystery, feared by many, used by few. My interest in yeast started when I was in Belgium and found a block of fresh yeast (something I have been told existed in my grandmothers time but sadly I have never seen on local store shelves). In Belgium I tried my hand at cinnamon rolls. They exceeded my expectations and thus my fear of yeast started to subside.

Fast forward back to sunny South Africa where I found a bread recipe that looked idiot proof enough. I had a bit of trouble combining the flour with the wet ingredients, but that was just because my mixing bowl is a bit undersized. The yeast performed well, the dough rose even better than I expected (although the day was exceptionally hot).

The only criticism I have is that the bread was a little bland to my taste. Next time I'll add a bit more salt to the recipe and perhaps more honey. As you can see I didn't have a round dish, the oval one worked just fine though! The egg wash on my bread look a bit spotty because I don't have a proper egg brush either (the life of a student..!).

Buttermilk Clusters

  • 750g Bread flour
  • 0.5 Tablespoon salt
  • 2.5 Teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon warm water
  • 2 Cups buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Extra: 1 egg for glaze, oats or bran for topping

  1. Combine water and yeast, leave for 10 minutes (bubbles will form).
  2. Combine flour and salt.
  3. Pour yeast mixture, buttermilk and honey into the flour mixture.
  4. Knead dough for 10 minutes.
  5. Cover dough and let it rise until it is double in size, or 90 minutes.
  6. Divide dough in 12-18 pieces, shape then into balls and place into a round 30cm dish close together.
  7. Cover dough and let it rise for 45 minutes.
  8. Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with topping
  9. Bake for 30min at 200 degrees celcius. When the bread is done it will sound hollow when knocked on.


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