Monday, June 16, 2014

Poizin Bread With The Babes

This is one of the most flavorful breads ever! Thanks to our Kitchen of the Month, Tanna or My Kitchen in Half Cups, the Babes are baking red wine bread this month and shaping it like a bunch of grapes. Although the recipe calls for Beaujolais wine, I had an open bottle of Armida winery's lovely Poizin zinfandel wine, so I used that.

Armida happens to be our go-to picnic winery because it has great zinfandel, large and comfortable tables and chairs under red umbrellas on a deck overlooking a pond and the Dry Creek Valley. If no one is using it or kids aren't throwing the balls into the pond, the boccie ball court is a fun place to while away some time and see who has the best pitch.

This is an interesting wine to make because the liquid is totally the wine. I didn't follow the directions as far as putting the dough together, although I was careful to have the wine at just the right temperature and to keep the dough soft with not too much flour. The change was that I mixed it up with my stand mixer and used that for kneading too. The dough was soft and a little tacky when I put it in for the first rise. It didn't rise very much, but the dough felt great. I kept out the additions to the dough until the second rise. Because Tanna recommended trying it, I went for cooked, drained and crumbled bacon (a half cup), finely chopped walnuts (a half cup) and about two tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary. It is a great combination! Very savory, very bacon-y, and just a hint of the rosemary. You can also really taste the wine in this bread, so use one you like drinking. The wine and the walnuts combine to make the bread a purplish color. The texture is fairly dense and a bit chewy. Sweetie had some for lunch with some cheese and I had a hard time keeping him from eating the rest, which we plan to share with our neighbors later today. Even though the individual little grapes are small, it's still a lot of bread.

There isn't a thing I would do differently. One of the changes that I really think you might consider is cutting the dough into smaller chunks. I kept a large piece for the stem and leaf, but cut the dough so that there were 20 'grapes' instead of 15. Some are a bit smaller than others, but that helps make it look like a bunch of grapes. This makes them about a two bite size which is perfect for having with a glass of your favorite wine.

Do try this one, either using the original recipe, found HERE on Tanna's site, or get creative as I did. This bread has enough flavor from the wine to stand up to any number of variations. Perhaps feta and pine nuts? Chopped spinach and Parmesan? Lots of different seeds? If you want to be a Buddy, bake it and post about it by June 29th and let Tanna know what you have done, plus send her a photo. Check out her blog post to see what wonderful bread she made and to get more information on being a Buddy.

Also be sure to visit the blogs of my fellow Bread Baking Babes.

Beaujolais Bread
From: A Passion for Bread, written by Lionel Vatinet


454 grams white bread flour, unbleached, unbromated, 16 oz; 3.5 cups
7 grams fine sea salt, .24 oz; 1 1/8 teaspoons
5 grams instant dry yeast, .18 oz; 1.5 teaspoons
21  grams honey, .75 oz; 1 tablespoon
320 grams Beaujolais wine, 11.2 oz; 1 1/4 + 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup each cooked and crumbled bacon, finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1. Scale all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the honey to wine and check the temperature.The wine should be between 82° F and 84°.
3. With dough hook attached, add the dry ingredients slowly to the wine mixture, letting dough form and climb the dough hook. Knead with the stand mixer at least 8 minutes (more is good) until the dough is smooth and satiny, although still very soft and a bit tacky.

4. Turn the dough out onto the counter.
The dough will be soft and sticky; do not give into the temptation to add more flour.

Kneading  dough for a minute to make sure all is combined. The dough should be soft, pliable and hold it’s shape; it should not be stiff and dry.

Form dough into ball: using both hands, lift front and fold over, quickly dropping it down to the counter.

Repeat 4-5 times until a ball is formed. Use the scraper to ensure all the dough is gathered.

5. Turn the ball of dough into a rising container, coating with oil if that is your preferred method. Cover lightly and set in warm, draft free area to rise for about an hour. Dough will not rise very much and may spread out of the dough shape.

6. Turn dough out of the rising container onto a lightly floured surface. Using the palms of your hands, flatten the dough ball into a rectangle. Scatter half the bacon, walnuts and rosemary evenly over the dough. Wrap the sides up and over filling, pinch dough together, turn and repeat until the filling is incorporated.

Form into a ball. Using the palms of your hands, flatten the dough ball into a rectangle. Scatter the other half of the bacon, walnuts and rosemary evenly over the dough. Wrap the sides up and over filling, pinch dough together, turn and repeat until the filling is incorporated. Knead dough to fully incorporate both sets of filling.
Shape dough into a ball and return it to the rising container. Cover lightly and let ferment 2 hours.

 Total Time: three hours.

7. Dividing
Flour the counter. Scrape the dough onto the counter and allow to rest 30 seconds.
If the dough is very sticky at this point dust your hands with flour but do not add additional flour. Use the bench scraper to lift the dough if it sticks to the counter but do not pull and do not stretch the dough. Press the dough into a rectangle 12 inches by 4 to 5 inches wide. Be sure the dough is not sticking to the counter by lifting it to gently up. Cut the dough into 22 equal pieces with the bench scraper. Set two pieces aside for the stem and leaf.

8. Shaping
Use parchment paper or a silicone liner in a baking sheet.
Roll 20 pieces into a small ball shape for rolls, the last piece will become the grapevine. Create a triangle by setting four balls together in a line followed by a line of three balls then two balls and finally one ball. Stack and angle the remaining  balls over and to one side of the triangle so that the entire piece resembles a large cluster of grapes.

With the last piece of dough roll it into a rope about 10 inches long and shape it into a curved grape vine shape and leaf (if desired) that you attach to the top of the grape cluster. Dust with flour.

9. Final fermentation
Final fermentation may take from 60 to 90 minutes. If it over proofs but dough will be unusable. Place the baking sheet in a warm 75 to 80°F draft free place. Final fermentation will take from 60 to 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°  with a baking stone about 30 minutes before you are ready to bake. An effective and cheap way to achieve a crisp crust is to cover the bread with a stainless steel bowl when it is first placed in the oven on the lowest oven rack. (I just baked the bread with no covering and it worked out fine.)

Determine the dough is ready to be baked by uncovering and making a small indentation in the center of the role with your fingertip. The dough is ready to be baked if the indentation slowly and evenly disappears.

9. Baking
Slide the baking sheet into the oven onto the pre-heated baking stone. Bake until the bread is golden brown has a thick crust,about 20-25 minutes.

When fully baked transfer to cooling rack for at least one hour to cool.


  1. Oooh, I bet the house smelt fantastic afterward - I just LOVE the smell of wine in bread. I'm not supposed to eat it, though - stupid sulfites.

    On the up-side, we have a big bottle of verjuice from Navarro Vineyards (Booneville) and it may do the trick. Because it's never aged, and is the vintner's crush of green grapes (they do taste testing crushes and then drink it cut with bubbly water) it's unsulphured (I think) and good for this sort of application. I love the dough-ball grapes idea, and fingers crossed... working on getting back into proper bread-making - I must try it myself. Working on a sourdough mash - which so far has gotten some dreadful mold once. Aaaand, back to the drawing board, or the cutting board, or something!

  2. Wow you are simply stuffed with great ideas for this one! I'm liking that spinach idea, so pretty with the color of this.
    I'm struck with how close our crumb shots look. It's a nice crumb and delicious bread. And then it's so easy to see how individual we all are too.
    I really enjoyed the bacon.

  3. Thse are interesting additionsm Elle. A great bread too.
    With my substitutions, my bread turned out sweet which wasn't how I wanted to go....... :)

  4. I can't stop marvelling about the color of the rolls in all of the Babes bakes that used the full amount of wine! I wish I did! Looks lovely and that crumb is just great!

  5. Yes! You're right. These rolls would be perfect for a picnic! I love that you added rosemary. And bacon. Mmmmmmmm!

  6. Anonymous10:05 PM

    Nohandle sez: I favor zins too. There are no "picknick" wineries near me, but I want to give this a try!

  7. Oh yeah.... Bacon, rosemary, a wedge of stinky cheese.... Love it!

  8. No handle, Come on out!

  9. No handle, Come on out!

  10. I must say that bottle freeks me out. Love your rolls, the colour is just amazing, you have the best crumb colour of all.