Fennel Fennel Everywhere!
I discovered the other day I had 3 almost-full bottles of fennel seed, presumably due to repeated cravings for fennel, a bad memory, and a very cluttered spice cabinet. There's only one thing to do when that happens, of course: make bread with fennel seeds in it.
I whomped up some dough as follows:
450g unbleached bread flour, 50g whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon SAF "red" instant yeast, 1 tablespoon fennel seed, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 0.5 teaspoons diastatic malt powder, 333g very warm water.
I turned the dough out into my 9x4x4 pullman pan and it filled the pan in under an hour (you could almost hear the dough rising it was so fast). I baked it at 450F for 25 minutes. Result was a nice soft chewy loaf with a mild fennel flavor, good with butter on it. Fennel tastes sort of like licorice (which I like).
This loaf rose amazingly fast, which is good when you're hungry for some nice warm bread.
At this point I still have a LOT of fennel to use up. Also, some dry lemon peel (I wonder what that would taste like with fennel?).
I was looking at "pain de mie" recipes the other day and they frequently call for a 350F baking temperature instead of 450F, I guess to get a tender crust.