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Shepherd's Bread by Beth Hensperger

It's not the 16th today and all my other faithful fellow BB Babes have already posted their gorgeous little breads ON TIME. Oh this bread deserves do be baked and celebrated and bragged about!

Like I said in my last post, there have been several reasons why this blog remained silent and why this post is late too...

Many thanks to Karen our Kitchen of the Month for choosing this recipe and making me use my old Römertopf for baking bread (never did that before, but really really loved it).

I was a bit worried about using the Römertopf in an already preheated oven AND using it not watered - never done that before too!  But all went well and I was very pleased with the resulting bread.

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Due to the rather big amount of yeast this bread is best eaten the day it is baked but to my mind it also made nice toast and sandwiches throughout the week. You'll need to bake wit us and decide on your own how you liked it best ;o)

I posted the recipe Karen gave us at the BBB blog with her comments, I followed to the rules (who would have guessed) the first time I baked it only used spelt instead of wheat. Second time I baked it I used less sugar, even substituted the sugar with some agave nectar, added about 1/2 cup of sesame seeds and substituted 3 cups for whole wheat flour.

I liked the version with less sugar better. Whole Wheat and sesame added a nice flavor to the bread as well... if you want to be a Buddy and bake with us please read instructions at the end of my post or visit Karen's post.

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Sheperd's Bread

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Shepherd's Bread

Bread for all seasons by Beth Hensperger
makes 1 large loaf

Sponge (takes 2 hours) 2 tsp active dry yeast or 3/4 oz fresh yeast 2 cups tepid water (460 ml) 2 cups unbleached ap or bread flour (140 white+140 rye) 1/2 cup sugar (90 gr)

Dough (first rise 2-3 hours, second only 15 minutes!) 1 tsp active dry yeast or 1/4 oz fresh yeast 1 cup warm water 1 Tbs salt 1/2 cup olive oil 5.1/2 to 6 cups unbleached ap flour or bread flour (edit: used 770gr this time! )

1/4 cup unbleached ap flour or bread flour (didn't need it to knead, used some to flour dough/bowl)

1. Prepare the sponge: Shepard's BreadIn a large bowl mix yeast plus 1 cup of the flour and the sugar using a large whisk.

Add remaining cup of flour and beat hard until very smooth, 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Let stand at room temp until soft, spongy and pleasantly fermented, 2 hours.

2. Prepare the dough: Shepard's BreadUsing a wooden spoon, beat down the sponge. Alternatively, beat down the sponge in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

In a measuring cup, stir the yeast into the warm water to dissolve.

Add the yeast, warm water, salt and olive oil to the sponge and beat well.

Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating vigorously until a soft dough is formed that just clears the sides of the bowl.


3. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead about 5 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. Will be firm yet springy and resilient. Adding only 1 tbs flour at a time to prevent sticking. Place the dough in a floured deep container, dust the top with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at cool room temp until tripled in bulk, 2.1/2 - 3 hours.

Shepard's BreadShepard's Bread

4. Shaping: Again turn out the dough on a clean surface. It will be slightly sticky from the long rise. Knead in about 1/4 cup more flour to make a firmer dough, about 1 minute. Shape into a tight round ball. Pull the ends tightly to the center of the loaf to form a smooth bottom and sides. Mist the surface with water. Using about 2 tbs of flour, heavily coat the top surface. Using a serrated knife, slash the top surface decoratively, no more than 1/4 inch deep to allow steam to escape and to allow room for the dough to expand.

Sheperd's BreadSheperd's Bread

I'll just post the instructions for using a cloche here (if you'd like me to send you the ember pit ones let me know)

Cloche instructions:

  • Sprinkle the dish with flour and place the dough ball in the center of the dish. Move the dough around to cover the bottom and up the sides a bit with flour.
  • Cover with the cloche dome/bell  and let rest at room temp 15 minutes. Before placing in the oven, rinse the inside of the cloche bell with water, draining off excess drips.
  • Place back over the bread and place in the preheated 425F oven.
  • Bake 10 minutes. Lower thermostat to 400F and bake a further 25-35 minutes. Remove the bell after 30 minutes of baking to allow the loaf to brown thoroughly.

Remove and cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

If you'd like to use your bread baking stone or tiles; let rise a second time for 35 minutes then use same oven setting but don't lower the temp. and bake until the bread is golden brown, crisp and sounds hollow when tapped.

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Sheperd's Bread

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I send this over to Susan's Yeastspotting. YeastSpotting is a weekly showcase of yeasted baked goods and dishes with bread as a main ingredient. If you are not familiar with YeastSpotting just scroll the archive and you'll know what I am talking about. To submit your post simply klick here!

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You sure want to bake this bread as well, don't you?

Please do so, you will not regret it. If you snap some pics and share your thoughts about this month's bread on your blog Tanna will be more than happy to add you to the BBB Buddy round up on November 29th.  If you do not own a blog, no worries, you can also post your picture to Flickr or any other photo sharing site and share your thoughts there.

One word about that whole Buddy thing:  The Bread Baking Babes are a closed group but we thought it would be fun to reward people who take the effort of baking our breads with us and give them a nice Buddy Badge and mention in a round up post every month. Just to say thank you for baking along and sharing your thoughts with us.

Since we are Babes and do no obey to rules, there are nearly no rules for Buddies, except these two:

  1. Bake the featured breadsnap a pic & share your thoughts about how you liked it (or not liked it)
  2. Send an email to the Kitchen of the Month to notify  us and make it easier to write the round up.

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Don't forget to visit my fellow Babes and see what they did with this lovely Bread this month.

Oh and don't forget to visit Katie our BBBBB (Bitchin' Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire) who writes up such lovely round ups of all the BBB Breads every month!

Bake My Day - Karen | blog from OUR kitchen - Elizabeth  | Feeding my enthusiasms - Pat  | Living in the Kitchen with Puppies - Natashya | Lucullian Delights - Ilva | Notitie Van Lien - LienWild Yeast - Susan | My Kitchen In Half Cups - Tanna

Busy, Busy Babes on Hiatus: Provecho Peru - Gretchen | Grain Doe - Görel | Living on bread and water - Monique  | The Sour Dough - Breadchick Mary | Thyme For Cooking - Katie | Cookie Baker Lynn - Lynn | I Like To Cook - Sara

Thinking of you with Love: Glenna (Alumni Babe) | Sher (Angel Babe)

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Astrid 20.05.2012, 17.07

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Kommentare zu diesem Beitrag

8. von Shepherd's Bread - The Babes do it again! - Thyme for Cooking, Blog

[...] Astrid's Bread [...]

vom 28.04.2013, 17.01
7. von Natashya

Beautiful loaf! I really need to get one of those clay bakers - they look like so much fun!

vom 31.05.2012, 13.46
6. von hobby baker

I love how rich and whole grain-y your dough looks through those slashes. I forgot to slash before I put mine in the pot so mine were pretty shallow. :P

vom 25.05.2012, 21.20
5. von Dewi

Your shepherd bread looks mighty delicious!

vom 22.05.2012, 00.39
4. von Elizabeth

You are braver than I, Astrid. I didn't dare to use our clay baker. With my luck, it would have been the one that did crack!

Your bread looks beautiful! I can't get over the slashes and how they stayed nicely defined.

vom 21.05.2012, 16.31
3. von Katie

Got it - well done... Gorgeous bread.

vom 21.05.2012, 15.48
2. von MyKitchenInHalfCups

So very beautiful!
Karen's right it looks carefully measured ... maybe proper ;-) is the right word. Yes I liked it for several days and toast and sandwiches were grand.

vom 20.05.2012, 23.08
1. von Baking Soda

I love to see how everyones bread turns out, yours looks so neat and contained with those beautiful slashes all tidy! Love the powdered crust Astrid, great job!

vom 20.05.2012, 21.13
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