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Nine decades of great Western breads.

SINCE 1901, WHEN SUNSETS FIRST BREAD RECIPE WAS published, the West's rich heritage of breads has been duly recorded on our pages, reflecting changing attitudes, ingredients, ethnic mix, and technology--from prethermostat ovens to bread machines.

Whole-grain breads, in favor now, slowly emerged from days when Sunset rated baking white bread in camp (at right) an achievement. Hints of shifting tastes appeared in the flapper era with a story called "Breads Blonde and Brunette." Through the years, certain breads that reflect the history and diversity of the West have become much-requested favorites. Here are nine that have become classics.

Armenian bakers in the Los Angeles Basin shared this recipe for quilted-top peda with us in 1976.

Armenian Peda

1 package active dry yeast 1 cup warm (110|degrees~) water 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter or margarine 1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons sesame seed Glaze (recipe follows)

Choose mixing and kneading method. Sprinkle yeast over water and sugar; let stand until yeast is softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, butter, whole-wheat flour, and all-purpose flour as method specifies; knead. Let rise for about 1 hour; knead to expel air bubbles and form a smooth ball.

Set dough, smooth side up, on an oiled and floured 12- by 15-inch baking sheet; cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Uncover dough; pat into an evenly thick 11- by 14-inch oval. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until puffy, 25 to 30 minutes.

Gently brush dough with water. Dip fingertips in water; hold fingers parallel and push through dough to pan 1 inch from edge all around oval. Within oval, impress dough to make lines about 2 inches apart lengthwise and crosswise. Moisten fingers as needed to prevent sticking. Let oval stand, uncovered, in a warm place until puffy, 10 to 15 minutes.

Bake in a 450|degrees~ oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir sesame seed in a 6- to 8-inch pan over medium heat until golden. Pour from pan.

When bread is baked, immediately brush with glaze and sprinkle with sesame seed. Serve warm or cool. For storage instructions, see page 156. Makes 1 loaf, about 1 pound 2 ounces.

Per ounce: 74 cal. (15 percent from fat); 2.3 g protein; 1.2 g fat (0.6 g sat.); 14 g carbo.; 71 mg sodium; 2.6 mg chol.

Glaze. Smoothly blend 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan. Stir on medium heat until boiling; use or cover up to 2 hours.

Hawaiians adopted the tender, egg-rich bread that Portuguese brought to the Islands in the late 19th century. This is our 1980 version.

Portuguese Sweet Bread

1 package active dry yeast 1/4 cup warm (110|degrees~) water 2 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel 1/4 teaspoon vanilla Potatoes (recipe follows) 2 1/4 to 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Choose mixing and kneading method. Sprinkle yeast over water; let stand until yeast is softened, about 5 minutes. Beat eggs to blend; add all but 1 tablespoon of the eggs to yeast mixture along with salt, lemon peel, vanilla, potatoes, and flour as method specifies; knead. Cover and chill the 1 tablespoon egg. Let dough rise until doubled, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours; mix or knead to expel air bubbles.

On an unfloured board, gently roll dough with your fingers to form a 30-inch-long rope. Coil rope, twisting slightly as you go, into an oiled 9-inch pie pan, starting at the outside edge of pan and ending in center.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until puffy, about 30 minutes.

Uncover and brush dough with reserved egg. Bake in a 350|degrees~ oven until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Slip a wide spatula under bread and lift onto a rack. Serve warm or cool; to store, see page 156. Makes 1 loaf, about 1 1/3 pounds.

Per ounce: 93 cal. (29 percent from fat); 2.3 g protein; 3 g fat (1.6 g sat.); 14 g carbo.; 84 mg sodium; 27 mg chol.

Potatoes. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir 1/3 cup milk until boiling.

Remove from heat and at once stir in 2 tablespoons instant mashed potatoes mix, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup (1/8 lb., in small pieces) butter or margarine. Let cool (butter need not melt completely).

In the Southwest, Pueblo Indians bake slashed basic white loaves in dome-shaped adobe ovens. Over the years, Sunset has given directions for many ways to make both the bread and the oven. This recipe, from 1965, is for a conventional oven.

Pueblo Bread

1 package active dry yeast 3/4 cup warm (110|degrees~) water 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon melted and cooled butter or margarine 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Choose mixing and kneading method. Sprinkle yeast over water and sugar; let stand until yeast is softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, butter, and flour as method specifies; knead. Let dough rise 45 minutes to 1 hour; mix or knead on a lightly floured board to expel air bubbles and form a smooth ball.

Pat ball to flatten slightly. Roll into an 8-inch-wide round. Dust top lightly with flour; fold about the round onto other side, leaving about 1 inch of bottom rim exposed at center of curve.

With a floured knife, make 2 equidistant cuts about 2/3 of the way across loaf from curved side and down through dough.

Lift loaf into an oiled 9-inch pie pan; spread cuts apart so ends of loaf are flush with pan rim. Lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove wrap. Bake in a 375|degrees~ oven until bread is deep golden brown, about 50 minutes. Serve hot or cool; to cool, transfer from pan to a rack. To store, see page 156. Makes 1 loaf, about 14 ounces.

Per ounce: 75 cal. (12 percent from fat); 2 g protein; 1 g fat (0.5 g sat.); 14 g carbo.; 87 mg sodium; 2.2 mg chol.

The crisp topping, Dutch crunch, enjoyed a heyday in the '60s and '70s on white bread loaves. If your market doesn't sell white rice flour, try a health food store.

Dutch Crunch Bread

Pueblo bread dough (preceding) 2 teaspoons sugar 2 packages active dry yeast 1/4 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons white rice flour 1 teaspoon salad oil 1/3 cup warm (110|degrees~) water

While dough is rising, smoothly mix in a bowl the sugar, yeast, salt, rice flour, oil, and water for the topping. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir well. (Topping can stand, covered, another 15 minutes; stir before using.)

Knead dough on a lightly flouted board to expel air and make a smooth ball; shape into a smooth 7 1/2-inch-long log. Set smooth side up in a well-oiled 4 1/2- by 8 1/2-inch loaf pan. Spread topping evenly over dough. Let dough rise, uncovered, in a warm place until it fills about 3/4 of the pan, 20 to 25 minutes. Bake as directed for Pueblo bread until deep golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Run a knife between pan sides and bread; tip loaf out onto a rack and let cool. Serve or store. Makes 1 loaf, about 1 pound 2 ounces.

Per ounce: 76 cal. (13 percent from fat); 2 g protein; 1.1 g fat (0.5 g sat.); 14 g carbo.; 98 mg sodium; 1.7 mg chol.

Pocket bread, now commonplace, was a novelty when we first published a recipe for it back in 1963. Steam makes the hollow in the middle of this Middle Eastern bread.

Pocket Bread

1 package active dry yeast 1 1/2 cups warm (110|degrees~) water 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup whole-wheat flour 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Choose mixing and kneading method. Sprinkle yeast over water; let stand until yeast is softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, oil, whole-wheat flour, and all-purpose flour, as method specifies; knead. Let dough rise, about 1 hour; mix or knead to expel air bubbles.

Divide into 12 equal pieces. On a lightly floured board, roll 1 piece into an 1/8-inch-thick round; repeat with 2 more pieces. Lay rounds well apart on an oiled 12- by 15-inch baking sheet.

Bake in a 500|degrees~ oven on lowest rack until rounds are puffed and speckled brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a rack; cool 1 minute, then seal in a plastic bag to soften. Repeat to make remaining rounds. Serve warm or cool. To store, see page 156. Makes 12, each about 2 1/2 ounces.

Per piece: 169 cal. (14 percent from fat); 4.8 g protein; 2.7 g fat (0.4 g sat.); 31 g carbo.; 93 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

We continue to receive requests for Basque sheepherder bread, a recipe featured on Sunset's June 1976 cover. You need a 5-quart Dutch oven to bake it in.

Basque Sheepherder's Bread

2 packages active dry yeast 3 cups warm (110|degrees~) water 1/3 cup sugar 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) melted and cooled butter or margarine 8 1/2 to 9 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water and sugar; let stand until yeast is softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, butter, and flour. Mix and knead by hand. Let rise 1 to 1 1/4 hours; knead on a lightly floured board to expel air bubbles and form a smooth ball.

Line bottom of a 5-quart cast-iron or cast-aluminum Dutch oven with foil cut to fit. Rub foil, pan sides, and underside of lid with oil.

Place dough, smooth side up, in pan; cover with lid. Let rise in a warm place until dough just begins to push against lid, 30 to 40 minutes; watch closely.

Bake, covered with lid, in a 375|degrees~ oven for 12 minutes; uncover. Bake until bread is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes longer. Slide a knife between pan sides and bread; tip onto a rack and peel off foil. Turn loaf upright; let cool at least 45 minutes. Serve warm or cool. To store, see above. Makes 1 loaf, about 4 1/4 pounds.

Per ounce: 73 cal. (18 percent from fat); 1.7 g protein; 1.5 g fat (0.9 g sat.); 13 g carbo.; 79 mg sodium; 3 mg chol.

Sourdough--a forty-niners' staple and the bread woven into Western history--has been the subject of dozens of Sunset features since 1933. Early Sunset stories were long on lore and short on specifics for capturing the sourdough starter essence.

In 1973, with a little help from science, we introduced a starter that produced consistent results. For a copy of our most recent directions--on page 138 of the May 1988 Sunset--send a business-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $1 for handling to Starter, Sunset Magazine, 80 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, Calif. 94025.

The following bread came from the 1988 story. We've married it with techniques used by baker Joe Ortiz to create chewy Italian-style loaves.

1993 Sourdough Parmesan-Pepper Bread

3/4 to 1 cup water 1/2 cup sourdough starter About 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a bowl, stir together 1/2 cup warm (90|degrees~) water, sourdough starter, and 1/2 cup flour. Use, or for the sourest flavor, cover mixture tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until bubbly and sour smelling, up to 24 hours.

In a container with a spout, sprinkle yeast onto 1/4 cup warm (110|degrees~) water; let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and sourdough mixture (if sourdough has stood more than 12 hours, add 1/4 cup more water). Nest container steadily in a bowl of ice; stir often until starter mixture is ice cold, 15 to 20 minutes.

To complete dough in a food processor, mix 1 3/4 cups flour, salt, pepper, and cheese in container. With motor running, quickly pour in cold yeast mixture and process until dough is elastic, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

To complete dough with a dough hook or by hand, combine 1 3/4 cups flour, salt, pepper, and cheese in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer or with a heavy spoon until well blended. Using dough hook or heavy spoon, beat dough until it tests as elastic, about 5 minutes with hook, about 20 minutes with spoon (you may need a helper).

To test for elasticity, pinch off a small piece of the soupy dough and gently pull; if it stretches to form a thin skin you can see through, the dough is ready. Sprinkle the dough with 2 tablespoons flour and scrape it into a large bowl.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, 2 to 2 1/4 hours.

To shape loaves, sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over dough; scrape dough onto a well-floured board and divide in 1/2. With floured hands, lightly pat each 1/2 into a 7- by 8-inch rectangle. Starting on a 7-inch side, roll dough jelly-roll fashion; with each turn, press rolled edge against unrolled portion with heel of hand (just firmly enough to make stick). Press dough edge against roll.

Place loaves, seam side down, well apart on a generously floured board. Pat each to make an 8 inch-long log. Sprinkle lightly with flour. Lightly cover logs with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Ease fingers under 1 log (scrape free with a spatula if it sticks) and lift, allowing it to stretch to 14 inches as you transfer it to an oiled 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Repeat to put remaining log on another oiled baking sheet.

Let rise, uncovered, in a warm place until slightly puffy, 15 to 20 minutes. Place in a 475|degrees~ oven; immediately reduce temperature to 425|degrees~. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes; after 10 minutes, alternate the pan positions.

For crispest crust, turn heat off, prop door slightly ajar, and leave loaves in oven for about 10 minutes. Serve hot or cool. Makes 2 loaves, each about 11 ounces.

Per ounce: 68 cal. (9.6 percent from fat); 2.6 g protein; 0.7 g fat (0.4 g sat.); 12 g carbo.; 87 mg sodium; 1.6 mg chol.

Sunset's first recipe for bagels, in 1956, described them as "an unusual snack to serve with coffee, beer, or other drinks." Nowadays, bagels are mainstream, coming on strong as a low-fat alternative to breakfast muffins. This recipe, based on one we published in the '70s, has less sugar and salt, in keeping with today's tastes.

Whole-wheat Poppy Seed Bagels

2 packages active dry yeast 2 cups warm (110|degrees~) water 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 large egg, beaten to blend 1/4 cup poppy seed

Choose mixing and kneading method. Sprinkle yeast over water and 1 tablespoon sugar; let stand until yeast is softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, whole-wheat flour, and all-purpose flour as method specifies; knead. Let dough rise about 45 minutes; mix or knead to expel air bubbles.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. To shape, knead 1 piece at a time into a smooth ball. Hold ball with both hands, and press through center with thumbs to make a hole. With thumbs in the hole, pull dough gently to shape an evenly thick ring that is 3 to 3 1/2 inches wide. Set shaped dough on a lightly floured board; cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until puffy, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 1/2 quarts water with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to boiling. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil.

Lightly oil 2 baking sheets, each 12 by 15 inches.

As bagels get puffy, lift with fingers and drop gently into boiling water, up to 4 at a time. Cook, turning often, for 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a cloth towel to drain briefly. Place bagels slightly apart on baking sheets. Brush with egg and sprinkle with poppy seed.

Bake in a 400|degrees~ oven until bagels are well browned, 30 to 35 minutes; after 15 minutes, switch pan positions. Serve warm or cool. To store, see page 156. Makes 12, each 3 to 3 1/4 ounces.

Per bagel: 232 cal. (9.7 percent from fat); 8.1 g protein; 2.5 g fat (0.4 g sat.); 45 g carbo.; 192 mg sodium; 18 mg chol.

Scandinavians brought rye breads to the Northwest. We published a version similar to this one in 1983.

Scandinavian Rye Bread

1 1/2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter or margarine 3/4 teaspoon salt Sour rye sponge (directions follow) 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon beaten egg

Choose mixing and kneading method, except food processor; add butter and salt to rye sponge. Add all-purpose flour as specified; knead. Let dough rise 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Mix or knead to expel air bubbles; shape into a 10-inch-long log. Set smooth side up on an oiled 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Dust with 1 teaspoon flour; cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until puffy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Uncover. With a sharp knife, cut 4 diagonal slashes equally apart and 1/2 inch deep across loaf. Brush loaf with egg. Bake in a 400|degrees~ oven until deep brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or cool. To store, see page 156. Makes 1 loaf, 1 1/2 pounds.

Per ounce: 70 cal. (13 percent from fat); 1.9 g protein; 1 g fat (0.5 g sat.); 13 g carbo.; 77 mg sodium; 4.6 mg chol.

Sour rye sponge. In a large bowl, mix 3/4 cup coarsely ground or regular rye flour, 1 package active dry yeast, and 1 1/4 cups warm (110|degrees~) water. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 6 to 24 hours; maximum time gives sourest flavor. Add another 3/4 cup rye flour; 1 teaspoon each crushed caraway, cumin, and fennel seed; and 2 teaspoons grated orange peel.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes bread basics; recipes
Author:Johnson, Elaine
Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1993
Words:3194
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