Tuesday, October 27, 2009

buttermilk cluster

This recipe was taken from The Fresh Loaf. I made it because:

1. It looked beautiful in their pictures, and
2. I study galaxy clusters in physics, so I thought it appropriate to make cluster bread.
3. It's a super easy recipe.

I made half the recipe because I only wanted eight rolls.
Now. Let's do it.

3 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 Tbsp salt
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 Tbsp warm water
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 Tbsp honey

For the glaze
1 egg, beaten

For the topping
Poppy seeds

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Combine the warm water and yeast in a small cup and allow to proof for 10 minutes.

Pour the yeast, buttermilk, and honey into the flour mixture and mix well. If the dough is so dry that some of the flour won't stick, add a bit more buttermilk or water. If the dough is too sticky to knead, more like a batter, add more flour by the tablespoon until the correct consistency is achieved.

Knead by machine or hand for approximately 10 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth, and set aside to rise until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 to 18 pieces. If you are a stickler you can scale them so that they are even, but I just cut them roughly the same size. Shape each piece into a neat ball and place in a round dish or spring-form pan close together.

When all of the rolls are in the pan, cover again with plastic or a damp towel and set aside to rise again for 45 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425.

Uncover the rolls and brush gently with the egg wash. Sprinkle on the grain topping, if you like. I used poppy seeds.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the rolls are firm and spring back when tapped.

Unmold the rolls from the pan and serve warm.