Saturday, May 5, 2012

Good bread

This morning, I am making some bread and thought, hey self, let's take pictures and blog about it! I feel like I run out of things to talk about on my blog, and therefore, don't do it consistently. But, what an opportunity this morning!

This bread I found here and I love it. I have made it about 3 or 4 times and have loved every loaf. I made it with whole wheat flour, with cheese and lemon and rosemary, or just plain. And it's just plain good! And easy, hey!

I love this recipe because technically the bread is soaked. I want to experiment with soaking it with part water and part kefir, just not sure how it will taste. And since I am sharing this bread with dinner guests, I thought now is not the time to try it, in case I kill them or something.

And, I get to use my awesome and fabulous cast iron dutch oven. Which I seriously use with every meal. Seriously! :) It's huge and heavy and well seasoned and just awesome. I make stock, soup, pot pies, braised meat, and bread in it! It's perfect for those "one pot meals." If you don't have one, get one man! I envy those who have the bright colored, beautiful Le Cruset ones, but I don't feel like dropping $300 on one right now. I bought mine a few years ago from HomeGoods for $60 and it is a Wolfgang Puck brand. It is 7qt. Dang! What a deal :)

Why am I talking about cast iron? I thought I was talking about bread. Okay, okay, here is the recipe.

-3 cups flour (White, wheat, spelt, rye, whatever your heart desires. I mix mine sometimes for fun)
-1 3/4 tsp salt ( I used celtic sea salt, mmm)
-1/2 tsp yeast
-1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the water and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450. Turn dough onto a well floured surface and shape into a ball, cover and leave will the pot warms up. When the oven is hot, place pot inside and heat for 30 minutes. Place bread inside pot and place lid on;bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid;bake for another 15 minutes. Remove bread and cool on wire rack.

While soaking the bread overnight, I used to set mine on the carpet by the heater, since my kitchen counters are granite and cold! But last night I left it in the microwave and it turned out fine. It looked like this.

When you are ready to bake it the next day, turn on the oven to 450. While the oven is warming up, take the dough and dump it onto a floured surface. It will be sticky, like this.
You can flour your hands too, because it's stick-aay.

Form the dough gently into a ball. Then use the same plastic wrap and cover the dough while the oven is warming up. No need to be particular on the time.

When the oven is hot, place your pan in there for 30 minutes to get it nice and hot! Please ignore the fact that my oven looks horribly dirty. Thanks flash for exposing my dirty oven. It looks cleaner when the light isn't on :)

When its nice and hot, CAREFULLY take out the pot, which seriously weighs 30 pounds and drop the dough into the pot. I sprinkle just the tiniest bit of cornmeal on the bottom first, just in case it sticks, which it hasn't yet.

I clearly wasn't looking as I dropped the dough, heheh. It landed on one side of my pan. Ah man! But it is too sticky and hot to mess with it, so I'm going to call this bread artistic artisan. ha!

Place the lid carefully on the pot and put in the oven for 30 minutes. You must use a pot/pan with a lid so it can steam bake. After 30 minutes, take it out. Remove the lid. It will look like this

Just imagine it centered and prettier. That's what it should look like. This is art, remember?

Leave the lid off and bake for another 15 minutes. When it's done, remove the bread and place on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

What a beauty! Golden and crusty bread.

1 comment:

  1. I am fond of the dutch oven. So many good meals, one pot.