Baking in Golden Yellow

Last week while having an aperitif with a friend, I was served a small bruschetta with prosciutto, but I was puzzled by the bread; it was golden yellow and delicious. I had to know more about it. The server told me that it was bread with curcumin. He said that the bread not only tastes delicious—which I confirmed on the spot—but keeps soft for longer than regular bread. 

Curcumin is the bright yellow spice used for Curry.  It is obtained from the rhizome of Turmeric, to my surprise, as I used to think they are the same thing. But noooo….!

Although Turmeric is a spice that has received much interest from both the medical/scientific worlds as well as from the culinary world, it is Curcumin the big star. 

Curcumin holds all the powerful benefits for our health and wellbeing. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, good to alleviate arthritis, and other multiple health benefits and one that caught my eye was the potential to lower cholesterol and reduce the waistline! The problem was that I did not know many uses for this golden spice. 

But having met the bread I wanted to give it a try myself. I found a recipe that worked beautifully for me and made me quite proud of myself.

Curcumin bread brings a slash of color, flavor, and happiness to the table.  Perfect to accompany any dish (I recommend it with cheeses too), its flavor has that extra edge that invites one bite after another. I can see a lot of golden yellow in my culinary future already.

Below is how I made the bread

Prepare a pre-dough (or Raw-dough)

  • 200 grams of flour 0 (Multipurpose)
  •  100 ml of water
  •  1 gr of sourdough yeast 

 To prepare the curcumin bread, start preparing a pre-dough that will give a great impetus to leavening, thus obtaining a lighter and more digestible product.  Combine the water at room temperature and the brewer’s yeast (sourdough) in a small bowl, let it melt well, then add the flour and knead.  You will need to get a soft and compact dough, leave it in the bowl, cover with cling film and let it rise for 24 hours, at room temperature or in the oven (while off of course). 

For the Dough

  •  300 grams of flour 0 (same flour as before)
  •  250 ml of water
  •  5 gr of Curcumin (powder)
  •  9 gr of sourdough yeast 
  •  10 gr of salt

 Prepare the actual dough

 The next day, thaw the remaining yeast in 100ml of water.  Gather the flour, the (now leavened) raw-dough, the water in which you have dissolved the yeast (or sourdough) and the oil in a bowl.  Start working the dough with a mixer fitted with a hook (or vigorously by hand), adding the remaining water little by little.  When adding water, always remember that the total amount of liquid required depends a lot on the absorption of the flour, so you may not need all of it,  or it may require a little more.  Adjust for this also by eye, observing your dough.  The dough obtained must be soft, elastic, shiny and well-strung, so allow your KitchenAid the necessary time to work it well.

Adding curcumin and salt.

 When the dough is well worked, add the curcumin powder and work a few more minutes until the dough becomes consistent in  color.  Finally, add the salt.

[I must say that next time I’ll make it, I will add curcumin and salt to the flour, as I had to work it for a very long time in order to have the curcumin evenly spread on the whole dough]

 Let  it rise

 Transfer the dough to a large bowl, cover with cling film and let it rise in a sheltered place, such as the oven turned off with the light on, for at least 3-4 hours, or in any case until the volume has doubled.

 Do the triple folds several times

 At this point, transfer the dough to a board sprinkled with flour, flatten it a little with your hands, then fold it back on itself with three folds.  Fold the upper flap over the center of the dough, and the lower flap again over the center.  Flatten the dough a little more and proceed again to fold the right side towards the center and the left side again towards the center.  Repeat twice.  Then arrange the folded dough and try to twist it to give it a round shape.

 Let  it rise again

 Place the “ball” thus obtained in a bowl lined with parchment paper, sprinkle it lightly with flour and cover it, without crushing it, with plastic wrap.  Instead of flour I sprinkled poppy seeds on top because that was the way I had it before. 🙂 

Let it rise again in the oven with the light on for about an hour (or until doubled in volume).  When the bread has also finished this phase, take it back, with a sharp knife make a cross or parallel lines on the top.

 Bake the bread

 In the meantime, preheat the oven to 240 ° (or at maximum power), preferably in ventilated mode.  While the oven reaches temperature, leave the pan on which you are going to bake the bread inside.  When the oven has reached the right temperature, remove the pan and place it on the stove (pay close attention as this will become hot!), Sprinkle the walls of the oven with water, place the bread on the pan, lifting by the parchment paper and bake it immediately.  After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 180 ° and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.  In the last 5 minutes of cooking, I raise the temperature again to 220 °, opening the oven door for a moment, thus letting the humidity out, and then closing it again.  

Happy Holidays!

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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