Thursday, October 6, 2011

bubble bread.

slap, slap.
dough thrown against the metal bowl.
the motor roars.

it stops.

my finger sticks.
dough, warm and soft.
the coarse flour.
i press inside and out.

i slap
the dough. 
it is smooth like baby's behind.

i cover it with a towel.
sleep tight.
i give it a caress.

twenty minutes later

punch, punch
an aromatic smell hits me.
it is still warm to my touch.


kneading kneading kneading.
it is like meditation.
working with yeast dough is still a fascination. 
you cover the dough, you leave it alone, 
you take another peek, 
and it has risen twice in size.

it truly feels alive.

did i tell you about the feel of the luke warm butter you dip your bubble balls in?
the coarse sugar you roll them in, that sticks get under your fingernails?
of course you lick your fingers, trying to get rid of it, 
enjoying the mingling of butter and sugar.

i could keep on gushing about making bubble bread.
and eating it.

i will say so much - if you are a morning roll person and enjoy cinnamon rolls and the likes, 
you will enjoy this for sure.

bubble bread

450g all-purpose flour
55g sugar
5g himalayan salt
30g fresh yeast
45g butter, melted & cooled
1 egg
250ml full-fat milk, blood temperature


200g brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
100g butter, melted & cooled

75g pecans, optional
in kitchenaid, add all ingredients for the yeast dough, making sure that the fresh yeast is crumbled into the mix and the milk has the right temperature (around 35-40 degrees celcius).
beat slowly for two minutes, then faster for three more minutes.
if your dough is still sticking to the sides at this point, scrape together and sprinkle with some more flour, and knead it a bit longer.
 remove from bowl and knead shortly until smooth.

set aside in a warm place and cover with a towel and let the dough rise.
after 15-20 minutes, beat the dough, deflating it and knead anew.
let rise again for an additional 15-20 minutes.

in the meantime, melt butter for dipping and in another bowl mix brown sugar and cinnamon.
if you want to add pecans, place into a bowl, chop them if wished.

now separate the dough into same sized balls.
i made thirty balls, each weighing around 30g.
 by pressing down on each ball in the cup of your hand and making a circular motion, you will achieve a smooth, round surface of each ball.
now dip them, one at a time, in butter, letting the excess butter drip away.
roll them in the brown sugar mixture and start placing them in your baking pan.
i used a longish bread pan, you may use any bread form.
don't place them right next or on top of each other, always offset slightly, like a brick wall.
sprinkle the pecans onto the balls halfway through, if you wish.
when you are finished, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
cover your bubble bread with a towel and wait another 15-20 minutes until the oven is ready and the balls have risen.
bake for around 30 minutes and until you can see the butter and sugar has caramelized.

remove from oven, let cool for five minutes, then turn around onto a plate.

enjoy freshly out of the oven.

if you do have leftovers, reheat in 150 degree celcius oven until warm to the touch.
or stick it in the microwave for around 30 seconds at no more than 200 W.


why does my recipe call for beating down, deflating the dough twice and not for a longer rising time?

beating, and yes i mean beating, the dough makes the air pockets give off their air.
instead of having fewer large air pockets, deflating and rekneading the dough results in more air pockets being created.
your dough will have a better texture, will bake more beautifully, etc.
generally, a longer rising time results in a better taste as well.
the yeast can "eat" the sugar (and with help of oxygen) produces alcohol and gives it it's unique yeast-y taste.
so feel free to let the dough rise twice for half an hour, although 15 minutes will do as well.

i've seen bubble bread recipes calling for dark brown sugar.
i prefer light brown sugar.
the sugar caramelizes with the butter in the oven anyway, resulting in a darker, intenser and more flavorful sugar taste.
in my opinion, it blends better with the cinnamon.
but feel free to use dark sugar though.

this is one of those recipes that are best eaten pretty much out of the oven.
like cinnamon rolls.
they just have the best consistency and flavor when they are warm.
if you do have leftovers, and if you're living on your own like me, you will, then reheat the bubble bread at 150 degrees celcius until warm to the touch.
or stick it in the microwave for around 30 seconds at no more than 200 W. 

last but not least, this is a great recipe if your expecting a crowd.
preparation and baking time was not even 1 1/2 hours for me.
and it makes a lot.
don't make it when your hungry and alone at home or else you will wind up eating too much!