Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Bread Bible: Ricotta Loaf

Ricotta LoafBack in early April, there was this container of whole-milk ricotta in my fridge, see? And it was pretty full, and not yet turning blue or pink but at risk of that happening if the container sat for another week without attention. So, ricotta bread. It was an upcoming assignment for the Alpha Bakers Bread Bible bake-along, but as that group is doing one recipe a month, the ricotta bread doesn't come up until June. (It's now June, and so this post can move from the drafts folder and be posted.) This is a fairly rich dough between the butter content and the whole-milk ricotta, and with all the fat and dairy, it's a soft crumb. The recipe suggests using a food processor to mix it up which I did, but due to a moment of distraction I added an extra tablespoon of butter to the dough. The poor food processor (a large capacity and sturdy one) started to overheat, and I finished the kneading on the counter. Next time, extra butter or no, I'll use the alternative instructions for a stand mixer...which I spotted too late this time around. I shaped the loaf and let it rise, then shaped into loaf and into ziplock and fridge for about 18 hours. It took 2 hours to rise from its chilled state, then maybe over-rose (or maybe it was the extra butter), for the finished loaf had that sort of flat-top look that to me says it collapsed a bit on baking. Or maybe I collapsed it with my inexpert dough-slashing skills. Ricotta Loaf as base for egg and arugulaAfter baking and cooling, it was time to taste. It comes across very much like a batter bread, including the effect of the flattened top. It has lovely even crumb, and wonderful flavor. I tried it as breakfast toast which did very well just plain. It was even better as a base for a bit of leftover ricotta, arugula, and a fried egg.
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  1. Your bread dough looks perfect! Mine is like weird..dimply and all. Maybe it's due to the heat..

  2. Very pretty loaf of bread! I better get cracking.

  3. hhmm. Great looking egg. I just love eggs like that. I made tomato sandwiches with it this afternoon.