I promised Nurse Myra some confetti bread, so here is a photo essay on confetti bread.
The Confetti Bread recipe is found in The Food Processor Bible by Norene Gilletz. If you want the recipe, email me at email@example.com , so we don’t get into copyright trouble.
Here we have all the ingredients gathered. The one thing you need for this recipe is a food processor. Of course, if you have time, you can do it all by hand, but it is much easier with a food processor. The food processor will grate your vegetables, mix and knead your dough. Good stuff.
Confetti Bread has red pepper, zucchini, red onion, and carrot in it. I use white flour this time, but you could use half whole wheat.
First thing you do is set the yeast to proof. You mix it with warm water and a little bit of sugar to get it going. Make sure your water isn’t too hot, as that will kill the little yeasties. The recommended temperature is 105-115 degrees Farenheit. An instant read thermometer is a boon here.
mistake here, and there is almost two cups of veggies, so I ended up using more flour to compensate. Don’t do this at home in your food processor, instead take some of the veggies out. Otherwise, the dough gets squeezed out of the food processor at the bottom and makes a big mess.
Now you are ready to make the bread dough. Bread is not very mysterious, and it has simple proportions. Use 1 cup liquid to 3 cups flour, and 1 package yeast or equivalent. Most recipes have some form of sugar to feed the yeast, and a little salt to limit yeast growth, but that is the basic formula. I learned this from the book “Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand, by Beatrice Ojakangas. This book has recipes for bread and instructions for making the bread by hand, or with a bread machine, food processor, or mixer with dough hooks. I like using the food processor, because it is faster than any other method, although I don’t have a bread machine, so I can’t really comment on that.
By this time, your yeast should be proofed, that is, you should see that it is all puffed up in the cup. You have until this time only put your dry ingredients, including any shortening, oil or egg into the food processor. Now is when we add the yeast, and let the dough form a ball in the food processor. The dough is kneaded by rolling around in the food processor, a matter of seconds, rather than minutes by other methods. Kneading is very important, I have found that even old yeast can be made to rise with sufficient kneading. If you are making bread by hand, it’s a good idea to wait until you are pissed off about something, and then take your anger out on the bread.
Put the veggies in at the very last minute, and process just long enough to distribute them. They will get all cut up, and give the bread its confetti appearance. You can see here that the carrots have colored the dough, and maybe see some flecks of the other vegetables. Click on the thumbnail photo for an enlarged view that really shows the flecks.
One of the best suggestions I have ever had came in the little recipe book that came with my food processor. That suggestion is to raise your dough in plastic bags. This is great, because you don’t have to grease a bowl and cover it with a towel. And no drafts can get to your bread to inhibit its rising. You also get to throw the messy bag away. I usually use a bag that I had used to store the previous loaf to assuage my eco-conscience about using the plastic. But I hate to clean greasy bowls. Here is the dough at the beginning of the rising process.
It takes about 1 1/2 hours for the dough to rise, unless you use one of the rapid yeasts. I don’t, the old stuff is good enough for me. Here you can see that the dough has filled the plastic bag. Now you punch it down. At least in the plastic bag, you don’t get bread dough all over your fist. I usually let it rise in the bag a second time, to give the bread a finer grain.
Once the dough has risen twice in the bag, it is time to shape the loaves. You usually do this by rolling the dough out, and then rolling it up like a jelly roll, and putting it into the pan. There are other ways to shape a loaf, and it depends on the type of bread you are making. Italian or French bread are just rolled into a log under your hands and put on a cookie sheet, usually with some corn meal to keep it from sticking. Pumpernickel or rye are formed into a rounded mound. Some breads, such as challah, are braided. Once shaped, be sure to cover the bread with a cloth, or in this case, plastic wrap, to prevent drafts from inhibiting the yeast.
The last rising is usually the shortest, about 45 minutes to an hour. When the dough has doubled in size, it is time to bake it. Baking times vary, this bread bakes in about 30 minutes, others take an hour or so. The bread will rise a little in the oven, this is called “oven spring”. The bread will be golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on it when it is done. Be sure to turn the bread out of the pans and cool on a rack, or it will mold too soon from retained moisture.