Tue 9 Jun 2009
Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich Bread Recipe (2 of 3)
A few weekends ago I got inspired to make my own Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich which led me to making my own pickled carrots and daikon. The next step was to make my own bread. It’s probably the most complex component to this sandwich. You can’t just use a regular hero roll from the corner deli (as I found out). A French baguette is probably the closest you’ll get to the crunchy flaky skin of a proper Banh Mi Vietnamese bread baguette. I did a few searches on the internet and fooled around with a few recipes and this is what I came up with. I know a little bit about bread making but I am by no means a baker so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. The use of a bit of rice flour apparently lends to a harder outer crust on the bread, and at the same time gives a chewy interior – exactly what you’d expect from a real Vietnamese Banh Mi bread roll.
Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich Bread Recipe
4 cups of all purpose unbleached flour
1 cup of rice flour (make sure it’s not glutinous rice flour)
2 cups of cool water (room temp)
One packet of Yeast
2.5 teaspoons of salt
Pinch of sugar
Add sugar to water and stir in yeast. Allow to activate for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flour and salt and pour onto a clean surface and create a mound and make it into a volcano. Pour a bit of the yeast water, then slowly draw the flour into the water. Repeat till water is fully mixed with the flour. Now grease hands with a bit of olive oil and then knead for about 5 minutes to thoroughly mix the flour and water. Let rest for 15 minutes (autolyse).
Roll the dough into a tight ball. Cover with a towel and let rest for 1.5 to 2 hours, maybe 3 hours until it doubles in volume. It all depends on the room temp.
Shape the Banh Mi Bread Rolls
Slice dough into 4 pieces. To shape, flatten dough into a rectangle shape, then fold 2/3 over and fold bottom 1/3 back on top. Form a tight seam by pinching along the length of the roll. Fold over the ends and also pinch a smooth seam. Carefully pinch along the length of the roll to make the skin tighter. Finally cup your hands and gently roll the baguette to make a smooth surface. If you have a baking stone, place baking stone in oven and gently lay rolls on a floured wooden surface or paddle. If you don’t have a baking stone, place your bread rolls on a floured baking sheet.
Cover with a lightly floured towel and allow to rest till dough doubles in volume. (2-3 hours, maybe 4)
Baking The Bread
Place a shallow pan on the very bottom of your oven. Fill up a container with 2 cups of cool water. Heat oven to 425F.
1) Pour the water into the pan and close the oven door to trap the steam.
2) Quickly slash the tops of the rolls lengthwise (not too deep).
3) Open and place the baking sheet with the bread into the oven and quickly close the door (or slide bread directly onto your baking stone).
Bake for 20 to 25 mins or until the internal temp is 200F. Allow to cool for 20 mins before enjoying. For long term storage, allow to cool a few hours ,then seal in a ziplock bag and freeze.
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