Baking Partners, Food
Recipe for the Week - Pataqueta, a Traditional Spanish Bread (Baking Partners Challenge #16)6:54:00 pm
This is the third bread recipe I’m trying out from Baking Partners. The other two are Tzangzong Bread and Pumpkin Yeast Bread. They were both completely different from the usual breads I bake and so is this one.
Pataqueta is a traditional, crescent shaped bread from
whose inhabitants used to eat it when they went to work, as long back as the
seventeenth century. Though it isn’t baked much nowadays, special requests are
made during festivals. This recipe was suggested by Marisa of Thermofan. It’s
in Spanish, but you can always translate and drool over her beautiful
photographs :-). Valencia
This is a recipe that uses very few ingredients, but employs the steam baking technique. It is essentially a process where you place a tray of hot water on a rack below the rack containing your bread. I use a microwave oven in convection mode for baking, so all I have is a turntable, no racks. Hence I’m not sure if what I did here qualifies as ‘steam-baking’ :-).
What you’ll need:
For the Ferment:
100 ml warm water
1½ tsp instant yeast
1/3 cup flour
½ tsp sugar
For the Dough:
3 cups flour
200 ml lukewarm water
1¾ tsp salt
All of the ferment
Extra flour for dusting
What you’re going to do:
1. In a mixing bowl, stir the yeast into the water. Add the flour and the sugar and mix till smooth. Cover with cling film and refrigerate at least overnight or up to 48 hours.
2. Take the ferment out of the fridge and leave it on your kitchen counter for an hour or two. My ferment looked the same when I took it out, but after resting outside the fridge, it foamed up.
3. Into the bowl containing the ferment, add the flour and water and mix together using a scraper, till it comes together as dough.
4. Take it out on a work surface. Add the salt and knead some more. The original recipe mentions not flouring the work surface, but my dough was extremely sticky and there was no way I could knead it without dusting it with extra flour. Knead for some more time, till the dough is smooth and elastic. I needed quite a bit of flour to go from this:
5. Separate the dough into balls. The original recipe calls for balls weighing 150 g each. I divided my dough into 5 balls, but I’d suggest dividing into 6 for a more manageable size.
6. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes, after which it’ll have risen.
7. Flatten the balls a little from the top and sides, ensuring a perfectly circular shape.
8. Using a baking scraper, cut the ball from the middle towards one end. Separate the two ends to form a crescent and flatten it a bit from the top.
9. Mark two lines with the scraper on the bread. Place the Pataqueta on a floured baking sheet, cover with the cloth and leave to rise for another hour.
10. Preheat the oven to 200°C. With a knife, make two cuts along the lines marked earlier and sprinkle a little flour on the top using a sieve.
11. Now, here’s what I did next. I took a little steel bowl, filled it with hot water, placed it on the baking sheet next to the proofed bread and placed the whole contraption into the preheated oven. That was the best way I could manage to get some steam :-).
12. Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Brush with butter right away, or the crust gets too hard.
At this point, there’s a nice rustic look to the bread :-). The crescent shape makes it look cuter somehow :-)
You can also see the lines we made earlier. I don’t know why, but I really liked how those lines turned out once baked!
Once cool, slice it any way you’d like and enjoy it with butter. Or anything else :-).
Check out the beautiful crumb:
These breads were really yummy and soft, with a harder crust. I’d say they are best served with some hot soup. Not your store bought types at all, these remind you of quaint farms, where the farmer’s wife makes cheese herself and serves it to weary travelers with her home made crusty bread. I know I read it somewhere, but I can’t remember where!!
Do try this out at home; you can see that you don’t need too many ingredients. If you’re not sure of the steam baking technique, do check out how the other Baking Partners have baked their Pataquetas. The lucky ones with multiple racks in their ovens have done it beautifully, although I wouldn’t call my Pataquetas bad at all!!