Things That Have Been On My Mind Lately:
— Why I’m a) actually watching “Battlestar Galactica” when I am so not a sci-fi person and b) actually enjoying watching “Battlestar Galactica” when I am so not a sci-fi person.
— The possibility that I may, in fact, be turning into a sci-fi person.
— How long I can wait before I buy this to keep me warm from these unseemly winter temperatures.
— Also how long I can wait before a) I make this and b) I devour this.
— How to perfect the “I totally just worked out” look that really means “I totally didn’t just work out, I just didn’t shower and was too lazy to put on makeup or do my hair or get out of my yoga pants” look when I go to the grocery store.
— How to re-create that buttery soft, warm, dark bread they serve you at steakhouses to try to fill you up before you order said steak, even though you and I both know you’re going to finish the whole steak anyway. Because it’s there and it’s delicious.
— OK but seriously… when are they going to find out they’ve got a Cylon on their ship? And does Commander Adama really not believe Earth exists? AND THEN WHAT.
Not that I really care that much. Ahem.
So about this bread… I almost didn’t share this bread with you. I dunno, it’s a sandwich bread. It looks kind of boring. Sometimes I get bored with baking sandwich breads and then I think you’re probably bored with looking at sandwich breads and then I say to myself, “What the heck, I’ll just give it a taste and see what’s up,” and then OHMGOODNESS IT’S DELICIOUS and I just have to share the sandwich bread recipe with you. That happened with this bread.
Actually, this particular bread is so much more than a sandwich bread. It’s a bread for your butter — nay, THE bread for your butter. It really does taste just like that stuff you get at steakhouses before the steak that’s always warm and soft and tantalizing and just begging to be eaten. It makes a pretty mean grilled cheese sandwich; even cream cheese and jam is its friend in the morning with a cup of coffee. And who knew all of that came from a boring old sandwich bread?
Other fun facts about steakhouse-style bread: It’s made with cocoa powder and coffee and rye flour, which give it that earthy, rich taste and darker complexion. The dough itself is pretty stiff and dense but the end result is soft and smooth. And did I mention that OHMYGOODNESS IT’S DELICIOUS? Because it is.
Now please excuse me while I eat a slice or five on the couch while watching “Battlestar Galactica” and wearing my electric snuggie.
Adapted from Roxana’s Home Baking
Yields: 1 sandwich loaf
2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup dark rye flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup strong black coffee, cooled
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1/2 cup bread flour, yeast and water; stir. Let sit until slightly foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, sift or whisk together remaining bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour and cocoa powder.
Add flour mixture to yeast mixture; add oil, sugar and salt. Gradually stir in black coffee until a dough forms.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface by hand for 10 minutes until dough is firm, yet smooth and elastic OR, knead dough in stand mixer using a dough hook for 5 minutes until dough is firm, yet smooth and elastic. (You may need to add a little more water or flour as you knead to achieve the proper consistency.)
Shape dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Transfer to a warm place and let dough rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
Punch down dough; shape into a sandwich loaf and place in a lightly greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. When dough is risen, place in oven and bake until deep golden brown and baked through, about 35-40 minutes (to test for doneness, remove bread from loaf pan and gently thwack the bottom; it will make a hollow sound when it’s done).
Remove bread from oven and let cool 10 minutes in loaf pan. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing.