Friday, May 16, 2008

Kazakh Family Loaf

As you may have read, last week I made a meal using recipes from Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China. One of the items on the menu was Kazakh Family Loaf, made in a cast iron pot (see review). I feel the urge to make bread today, and that loaf turned out so well last week that I decided to use it as a base for my own version. It's a large recipe that would easily split into two smaller, more North American-looking loaves, and what I decided to do was make a square, flat version in a 9" dish and a more recognizable version in a loaf pan. After all, the original recipe has you baking the loaf in a pot; why not experiment with other shapes? We made loaves in springform pans in culinary school.

The flavour of this bread is impressive, and I think it has a lot to do with the addition of full fat yogurt. In my version, I've heightened the fibre content a bit by adding oatmeal and some seeds. I also used more yeast than the original recipe because not only am I high altitude (3500 feet) but I was skeptical that 1 tsp of dry yeast would rise up to 5 cups of flour (though I realized the yogurt contains its own bacteria, so who knows?).

Kazakh Family Loaf (adapted, by me, from Beyond the Great Wall)

2 1/4 tsp (or 2 1/2 if you're 3500 feet or more above sea level) quick rise or instant yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp each sesame seeds & poppy seeds
1/2 cup plain, full fat yogurt

See bread baking tutorial for instructions.

This is a lovely dough to work with. Split it in half for two small loaves, cook it in a cast iron pot as I did last week, or you could even make this into buns. It's very versatile. The crust is just as it should be - crusty! - while the inside is tender and sponge-like. It is, simply, awesome.



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That loaf looks great! I love homemade bread... It's the best!



Summer said...

i was looking for a very simple bread to make and yours is it!!
thanks for the recipe...i will try to make it soon.

Wandering Coyote said...

Rosa: there IS nothing like homemade bread, is there?

Summer: thanks for stopping by, and welcome! Let me know how it turns out. I just had some toasted for breakfast and it was wonderful.

Linda said...

I made your adapted recipe for Kazakh Family Loaf and added a teaspoon of salt.
It was a wonderful dough to work with and made a great loaf.
Did you leave out salt on purpose?
Thanks for the great recipe and I'll be checking out the cookbook that inspired you - Linda

Wandering Coyote said...

Linda: thank you for catching my mistake! The original recipe actually calls for 2 tsp of salt - I'll edit the post to reflect this now. Glad you liked the recipe!


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