Buttermilk Bread and Ricotta Cheese

Yesterday I was posting about hydration ratios and a recipe developed from the Easy Everyday White Bread recipe.  I thought today I would make a higher hydration bread recipe to show the difference in the two doughs.  The lower hydration recipe is easy to handle, almost like playdough.  The higher hydration Buttermilk Bread recipe from the Thermomix TM5 & TM6 Basic Cookbook is a very different dough to work with.  It is a quite wet dough that is much harder to shape compared to the Easy Everyday White Bread dough.  The Buttermilk Bread dough however can be made with just one rise if necessary and works very well in a bread tin.

If you want to shape the Buttermilk Bread dough, you will need patience and a generous hand with flour on your surface.  I can also recommend a good dough or bench scraper to help with the initial folding of the dough.  There are a lot of sites out there that explain how to work with a wet dough.  One of my favourites is “The Perfect Loaf” who have a step by step description as well as a video demonstrating the technique.  It is a fun but frustrating at times dough to work with.

Ricotta is a great money saving basic that you can make in the Thermomix.  There are several different recipes on Cookidoo but the one that I normally use is the one from the Australian & New Zealand – Focus on Cheese collection “Homemade Ricotta“.  This makes a fairly dry ricotta that is quite crumbly depending on how long you drain it for.  I do change the recipe slightly substituting 1 teaspoon of citric acid dissolved in 70ml of water for the white vinegar.  The recipe makes approximately 380g of ricotta from around 2 litres of milk.  Today I used about half a batch as a filling in one of my Buttermilk Bread loaves.

The ricotta curds can be drained through a nut milk bag, a cheesecloth or even a new kitchen cloth (eg chux). Since it is not going to be a pressed cheese, I will often drain the ricotta through a very fine mesh strainer.  The whey that is drained out is an acidic whey, not a sweet whey.  It can be used in place of water in quite a few recipes, but if using in bread making, it may slow the yeast a little.  It can be used to adjust ph levels in the garden and acid loving plants should get a good kick out of it.  I’m planning to experiment with it this year as a foliar spray to see if it will help prevent powdery mildew on my zucchinis.

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