Epi Bread also known as Pain D'Epi. I found the process a little intimidating and thought that the shaping would be a daunting task. But as I went through the process, it was very interesting and therapeutic.
I understand that it is a 'stalky' twist to the traditional baguette. The flavor and the texture were similar to the baguette. It was fun to just twist and break off each 'stalk' and serve :) We loved it dunking it in soup.
So E for Epi Bread!
The previous letters were...
A for An Pan - A Sweet Bread From Japan
B for Broa - A Rustic Bread From Portugal
C for Ciabatta - A White Bread From Italy
D for Date And Walnut Bread - A Traditional Bread From Scotland
Recipe Source here
For the Sponge -
Bread Flour 1 cup
Active Dry Yeast 1 tsp
Warm Water 1 1/4 cup
For the Bread -
Bread Flour 2 1/4 cups
Salt 1 tsp
Active Dry Yeast 2 tsp
Dried Basil 2 tsp (Optional)
Method Of Preparation -
Making the Sponge -
I used the stand mixer for kneading the dough. In a stand mixer bowl, add flour, active dry yeast and warm water as listed under the ingredients for the sponge. Mix and keep the watery batter covered in a warm place for about an hour.
Making the Bread -
To the sponge, add the remaining flour, salt, dried basil and active dry yeast (as listed in the ingredients) and knead for about 7-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
Place the dough in a well oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place for about an hour to allow the dough to double.
On a clean surface, dust some flour. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Work with one portion of the dough at a time.
Pat the dough into a rectangle. Take one long end and fold it in half, pinch with your fingers to seal. Take the other long end and fold in half, pinch with your fingers to create a seam down the middle.
Continue this process, folding one end in and sealing and then folding the other in and sealing, until it resembles a log and stretch it as long and thick as desired. Move the log seam side down to the prepared parchment paper.
Repeat this process for the other half of the dough.
Using clean kitchen scissors, start at the bottom of your dough and work your way up. At a 45 degree angle, cut a piece of the dough about 3/4 the way through and lay it to one side. Continue cutting pieces of the dough laying each piece to the opposite side of the one before it. Make sure you do not cut all the way through. Each piece will become an individual roll that can be broken off from the loaf.
Cover the loaves and let them rise for a bit while preheating the oven (about 15-20 minutes).
Arrange the oven racks in the center and the bottom rungs. Place the baking sheet in the center and a baking pan on the bottom rung. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Keep the baking sheet and the skillet in the oven while heating so that they will also become hot.
Once the oven is nice and hot and the baking sheet is also heated, gently slide the parchment paper with the loaves on it onto the preheated baking sheet. Add 1 cup of water into the preheated skillet and quickly shut the oven door.
Bake at 450 °F for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust is deep golden.
Allow to cool on wire racks. Brush butter on them for a nice shine.
Makes 2 loaves