Monday, September 26, 2011

I made bread!

So...I made a different recipe of bread (having only made Andy's bread before) and here's how it turned out:

I got the recipe from a blog I follow (Noshings) Here is the link:

The title was "Bread for the Lazy Baker" which obviously appealed to me. It's no knead bread that you let sit for two hours and then put it in the fridge. The nice part is that the batch makes two loaves, and because the dough keeps for two weeks in the fridge, you don't have to do so much planning for when you are going to bake your bread.
My experience making the bread was a little different than the recipe said it would be. For instance, after two hours it is supposed to rise and fall. Well, four hours later it still hadn't fallen, so I said screw it and put it in the fridge anyways. It turned out fine in any case, although took a little less time to bake than the prescribed 40 minutes. The genius part of this recipe is that it bakes on parchment paper on my pizza stone. The parchment paper makes getting it in and out of the oven a cinch--I didn't burn myself once! And clean up is easy too.  Next time I make pizza I am going to use parchment paper instead of flouring it to death so it will slide off the pizza peal.
In terms of taste, it was softer, moister, and a bit denser than Andy's bread. It reminded me a lot of eating soft pretzel. I mean, it had more crust than that, but similar flavor. I added fresh rosemary into the dough, which gave it a little extra something...but I think it would be good just plain too.

Here is her recipe, which I think she adjusted from a I don't feel too bad posting it here. I mean, recipes are for sharing, right?

Bread for the Lazy Baker from Noshings
What you'll need:
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt

6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast with the water in a large bowl or container. Mix in the flour and salt with a large wooden spoon until they are thoroughly combined. Don't worry about kneading, but you want to mix until there are no more lumps of dry flour.

Cover the dough loosely with a clean dish towel and allow it to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses, about 2 hours.

The dough can be used right away, although it is recommended to cover it well and refrigerate it for anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks.
It develops such a nice flavor, if you can wait...if you are me and cannot wait, read on.

On baking day, dust the surface of the dough with flour and divide your dough in half. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching and rotating it. Shape your dough into an oval-shaped loaf. Allow to rest and rise on a piece of parchment paper on a wooden pizza peel or flat cookie sheet for about 45 - 60 minutes.

Thirty minutes before you want to bake your bread, preheat the oven to 450*F with a baking stone on the bottom rack. (That's where my element is)  Place an empty tray on another shelf in the oven.

Slash deep parallel cuts across the loaf using a serrated bread knife.

Slide the loaf off the tray, carefully, onto the baking stone.
I do this gentle little shimmy, shimmy, shake thing using small jerking motions to get the loaf to move off the wooden peel.  The parchment paper is KEY here, it just slides right off the board onto the stone and its fine in the oven with your bread!  The parchment stays with the dough...and its okay, you definitely want to bake right on it.
Before I had a pizza peel...I used a large piece of cardboard. True story.

Pour 1 cup of hot water into the other pan and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the loaf is brown and firm. They really want you to allow the loaf to cool before slicing and eating, sometimes this is just not realistic.

This recipe makes 2 loaves that are about a pound and a half a piece. 

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