Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
This was my third loaf of bread. I used parchment paper on the peel and stone, and I think it came out perfect. No burnt cornmeal, nice crust, and the taste is out of this world. My dough has been sitting in the fridge now for a week - and this loaf I definitely noticed a slight sourdough taste. Very nice.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Master Recipe Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: the Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking (Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin?s Press, Nov 2007)
The full recipe as it appears in the book provides more detail, but most home bakers will be able to get a start on five-minute a day homemade bread with this short version of the recipe.
Preparation time: 15 minutes to prepare enough dough for four loaves, to be baked over four days. Each daily loaf will average 5 minutes of active preparation time.Makes four 1-pound loaves
3 cups lukewarm water (about 100º F)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour (no need to sift)
Cornmeal for the pizza peel.
In a 5-quart bowl, mix the yeast, water and salt. Add all the flour, then use a wooden spoon to mix until all ingredients are uniformly moist. It is not necessary to knead or continue mixing once the ingredients are uniformly moist. This will produce a loose and very wet dough.
2.Cover with a lid (not airtight). Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse, about 2 hours, but no more than 5 hours.
3. After rising, the dough can be baked immediately, or covered (non completely airtight) and refrigerated up to 14 days. The dough will be easier to work with after at least 3 hours refrigeration.
4. On baking day, prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent the bread from sticking when you transfer it to the oven. Uncover the dough and sprinkle the surface with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough (serrated knives are best). Store the remaining dough in the bowl and refrigerate for baking at another time.
5. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won't stick. Create a smooth ball of dough by gently pulling the sides down around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. While shaping, most of the dusting flour will fall off. The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out during resting and baking. Shaping the loaf this way should take no more than 1 minute.
6.Place the dough on the pizza peel. Allow the loaf to rest for about 40 minutes. It does not need to be covered. The bread may not rise much during this time.
7. Twenty minutes before baking, place a pizza stone on the center rack of the oven. If you don't have a baking stone, use another baking sheet. Remove any upper racks. Place a broiler pan on a rack below the pizza stone or on the floor of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 F.
8. When the dough has rested for 40 minutes, dust the top liberally with flour, then use a serrated knife to slash a 1/4-inch-deep cross or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top.
9.Slide the loaf off the peel and onto the baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door.
10.Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Allow the bread to cool completely, preferably on a wire cooling rack.
(I do the original mix with a Kitchen Aid mixer)
What I like about this recipe over the No-Knead recipe is that you make enough for 4-8 loaves at one time - let it rise about 2 hrs - stick it in the refrigerator - and then make the bread by the loaf over the next 14 days. Each day that you make a loaf, you take less than a minute to shape the loaf and let it rise for up to 40 minutes - and bake for about 30 minutes. My experience with the No Knead was that our house is too cool in the winter, and it took over 30 hours to rise - and I had to do that for each loaf.
I still have some kinks to work out before I'm completely sold on this - but so far, I'm thinking it might be a winner.
If you're interested in the No Knead bread, Kitt has an excellent step-by-step post at http://kittbo.blogspot.com/2006/12/no-knead-bread-step-by-step.html
This was part of our sunrise yesterday - it was stunning. The sky was maybe even prettier later - but the wind was blowing like 100 mph at the time - and after I took this photo I was frozen!! It did turn out to be a fairly nice day - and today looks even better. When I finish posting this, I'm heading down to the Arb for a walk.
I have been trying to catch up on my blog reading - I have to read every single post I've missed, so if I haven't left you a comment yet, never fear - I'll be there! Mark even loaned me his laptop so I could sit by the fireplace or look out over the lake while I'm catching up. What a sweetie! You all have been busy - it's so fun to see all of your holiday decorations and celebrations - thanks for sharing with me!
I'm baking bread - a couple people who live here in Minneapolis have put out a new cookbook - Bread in 5 Minutes a Day - or something like that. It's similar to the No-Knead bread - but really much quicker. This was my first loaf - I was supposed to shape a 1 lb glob of very wet dough - they said about the size of a grapefruit. I only pulled the size of a peach. Oops. However, even though it wasn't a great loaf, we enjoyed it - the flavor was very good. I made French onion soup from scratch - and it was lovely with the bread and shredded Swiss cheese.
This morning I pulled the right amount of dough, but it stuck to the peel when I tried to put it on the baking stone - so it's very misshapen. And then I was blogging when it should have come out of the oven, so a little - well, BLACK on the bottom. I'm pretty sure I'll find a way to eat most of the loaf anyway! lol My big question to you bread bakers out there: I'm supposed to generously sprinkle corn meal on the baking stone - but it burns - so my house smells like burnt cornmeal instead of fresh baked bread. The bread isn't burned (if I pull it out at the right time!), but I was kind of hoping more for the smell of baked bread! What am I doing wrong?? I'm open to suggestions. In the meantime, I'm going to keep experimenting - and reading - and I'll keep you posted.
I have the movie on my Netflix list - it will be available in February - and maybe reading the book will give me a better appreciation of the movie - or vice versa. I think maybe it's that his writing is very intense, and I feel totally drained when I'm done.
"The View from Mount Joy" by Lorna Landvik was good. Landvik is from the Twin Cities, so I have a built-in interest in her books. I don't think she's the best author I read - but I usually enjoy reading her. This was like that - yeah, read it - but don't expect it to be the highlight of the year for you. (Wow - makes you wonder why I'm doing this post, doesn't it????)