Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meyer Lemon Marmalade and Artisan Bread

My friend, Vicki and I made an outstanding batch of Meyer lemon marmalade yesterday.  It is pleasantly tart, sweet, with just a hint of a delicious citrus bitterness that leaves a wonderful aftertaste in your mouth.  This morning, I also made a Meyer lemon and vanilla marmalade that was also supposed to be made yesterday, but time prevented us from completing.  Quite a bit sweeter that the one without vanilla, this marmalade has strong notes of vanilla and very little tartness or bitterness.  I think I prefer the first batch without the vanilla, but I tend to always prefer the less sweet. Both, paired with Artisan bread and good butter?  Lemony heaven. 

I have made a few adjustments on the bread recipe.  I wrote it out exactly as it was written by the author and just gave you my adjustments in (parenthesis).   The reason for the adjustments is personal taste preference, I found the original to be too salty and texturally, I felt it needed a fold.

Here are the recipes or links:

Meyer Lemon Marmalade :
From Simply Recipes

Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Marmalade:
From Epicurious- Original recipe from Bon Apetit

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day:
From Authors: Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois:
makes 4 1 pound loaves (I do 3- 1 1/2 pound loaves because 1 pound loaves are really small)

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher or sea salt (I used 2 1/4 teaspoons of sea salt and it was enough)
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose flour
cornmeal for pizza peel (unecessary if you have parchment paper)

Mixing and Storing the dough:

*Heat the water to just a little warmer than body temp
*Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5 qt bowl or in a resealable lidded container that is not airtight (If you are using instant yeast, you do not have to dissolve it, you can mix it in with the flour...salt kills yeast)
*Mix in the flour by gently scooping it up, leveling the top of the measuring cup with a knife: dont pat it down.  Mix with a wooden spoon, or a stand mixer with dough hook until uniformly moist.  Don't knead.  This step is done in a matter of minutes, and yields a wet dough, loose enough to conform to the container.
*Cover loosely.  Do not use screw top jars, which could explode from trapped gases.  Allow the mixture to rise at room temp until it begins to collapse, approx 2 hours.  Longer rising times, up to 5 hours will not harm the result.  Refrigerate wet dough at least three hours before shaping a loaf.
This will keep in the refrigerator for weeks.

On Baking Day:
*Prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent the loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven (I just put mine directly onto a sheet of parchment paper on a pizza peel or on the counter, then when the oven is ready, I place it, parchment paper and all ,onto my hot baking stone)
*Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour, then cut off a 1 pound (grapefruit sized) piece with a serrated knife.  Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed si it won't stick to your hands.  Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go, until the bottom is a collection of four bunched ends.  (This is where I incorporate a gentle fold instead...Stretch out dough into a square, fold left side over just past the center, fold the right side over the left *think of how you fold a dish towel* and then top to just past center, bottom over top.*should look like a puffy square* Then turn it over and gently with one hand cupping the bottom, form into a ball.)
*Dust the top of the loaf with flour, slash a 1/4 inch deep cross, scallop or tick-tack-toe pattern into the top
*With a forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the baking stone.  Pour a cup of hot water into a broiler tray set on a different shelf and close the doo to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is browned and firm to the touch.
*Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
*Refrigerate the remaining dough in your non-airtight container with a lid or cover

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