Sunday, April 17, 2011

bread.




this is the best first loaf of bread that I have ever made
(though, I must admit that making bread
is not an art that I commonly practiced -
until now, that is)
all thanks to the final remarks in french class by
who is a bread connoisseur.

he explained and showed us
(with unrestrained zest and zeal)
this video and listed out the steps
and abounding, eternal benefits of making this bread.

okay. it was so easy.
and, there are only four ingredients:

1. flour
2. water
3. salt
4. and a pinch of yeast.

and,
5. if you include the
amount of time that it takes to
allow the dough to rise and rest (about 18 hours).
the time is actually essential in the process -
it allows the small amount of yeast
to divide, conquer and break down the
complex carbohydrates in the flour,
releasing their natural sugars without
having to add any.

donc,
naturally perfect in every way;
mary poppins approved.

here's the recipe,
and rest assured, if I can do it
so can you.

No-Knead Bread:

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

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