Homemade Patagonian bread

Homemade Patagonian bread
Baker - O'Higgins Area

15-20 rolls

Ingredientes

  • 5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour (5 kg)
  • 1/4cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of dried yeast (20 gr)
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar (12 gr)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (10 gr)
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups of warm water

Preparación

Step 1 - Prepare the dough: Pour half a cup of warm water in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of dried yeast and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and stir. Let the mixture rest in a warm place for approximately 5 minutes, without exposing it to direct heat, so that the yeast begins to activate. In another large bowl, place 5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix well. Shape the mixture in the middle of the bowl so that it resembles a volcano with a crater and pour the 1/4cup of vegetable oil into the crater.  Little by little, add the yeast mixture over top of the oil.

Step 2 - Work the dough: Use your hands to mix the flour and the ingredients that you put into the ìcraterî, adding the warm water slowly, while you work the dough.  The dough should be well mixed and sticky; if it is too dry add more water and if is very sticky add more flour. Continue kneading dough until smooth. The process of mixing and kneading should take between 10 and 15 minutes and is the key for making the dough rise and giving a light and airy consistency to your bread. After kneading, form the dough into a ball and place it back into your bowl.  Cover with a clean cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place that is not exposed to direct heat for approximately 45 minutes.

Step 3 - Cook the dough: Find a large, clean surface for rolling out the dough; a counter top or dining table work nicely. Roll out the dough in a large circle of approximately 2 cm in thickness. Cut into individual rolls using a glass or a round biscuit mold. Put the rolls on a baking tray separated by at least 3 cm and let them rest for about 15 minutes before baking:

  • In a conventional oven: Preheat the oven to 180 ∫C (350 ∫F).  Bake ten to twelve minutes, turning the rolls, after approximately 8 minutes, so that both the tops and bottoms have the opportunity to brown. When they are evenly browned on both sides, remove the tray from the oven and let cool before serving.
  • In a wood-burning oven: As there are no thermometers or temperature gauges in wood-burning ovens, baking is more "art than science". Each oven is different, plus, there are several varieties and cuts of wood.  Even the weather can affect the way in which the bread bakes. Letís just say, it takes a bit of practice! Start by filling the firebox with smaller logs and allowing it to get really hot before adding the bread to the oven side. As the bread is cooking, be very attentive, checking the color every few minutes and rotating the rolls, based on the hot spots within the oven. Adjust the heat according to progress.

Photographs

Photographs that complement this story