Just loafing…..

I’ve been wanting to make  a loaf of bread for sometime now, but the idea of kneading and kneading dough has really turned me off.  Also, since I am not the most patient person, waiting 12-16 hours for rising doesn’t get me excited. However, with my successful progression through types of bread this week, I figured it was time to try it out.

Hot out of the oven.

Why have I been baking so much bread this week?  Its yummy.  It makes the apartment smell great.  I always have the ingredients on hand and with my poor track record for going to the grocery lately, there are few recipes for which this is true.

Captain Hook.

I started looking for a good basic bread recipe and finally settled on a farmers wheat. Now here is where one of my cooking weaknesses really got me.  I am not good at following recipes.  I tend to loosely follow them, liberally exchange ingredients, and skip steps.  Likewise when I pick out recipes, I often skim or half read them before I decide it’s a go, thus leading to my previously mentioned issues sticking to the recipe.  Same with this one.  I quickly looked at the ingredient list, saw that I had everything, and checked the simplicity of the “day 1” steps and decided to start.

New ingredient addition to the bread progression.

Day 1 is super easy. Combine two types of flour, warm water and yeast in a bowl until smooth.  That’s it.  Then in the interim you can hit the hay, hit the clubs, or head out for a day of work.  I prepped “day 1” right before I went to bed with dreams of having warm bread for breakfast.

Good morning dough!

The next morning I looked at the “day 2” steps and realized that there would be no bread for breakfast.  There are several resting and rising steps in “day 2”, nothing to hard or complicated, it just takes time.  At the start of day 2, warm water, yeast, salt, and molasses are added to the dough and mixed well, followed by the remaining flour. The resulting dough looks like this:

Complete Dough.

I let the dough rise covered at room temperature for 1.5 hours and then it looked like this:

It just keeps growing.

At this point, the dough was divided in half and shaped into ovals and allow to rest covered at room temperature for twenty minutes.

Resting loaves to be.

Afterward, one end of the dough was rolled out, brushed with olive oil, and folded over.  At this point the loaves were set to rest covered at room temperature for 1 hour.

Looks kind of like a envelope or satchel.

After the hour, the dough will have obviously risen again.  Seriously, it just keeps growing.

It's alive!

Now here is the glorious part, the actual baking!  The loaves only need about 30 minutes in the oven, until they looked golden and tasty.  They are really handsome loaves once you’re done.

Just baked.

The loaves turned out great.  The recipe is not technically very difficult, it just takes a long time because of all of the resting and rising.  I managed to find great ways to multitask for each of them (take the dog for a run, clean the kitchen, solve world peace). The bread is quite tasty.  It’s perfect for a sandwich or paired with a nice spread.  I definitely would make it again especially now that I know all of the steps.

Well Rested Wheat Bread

Adapted from this recipe.

Day 1

1 cup wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp yeast

3/4 cup warm water

Combine day one ingredients until smooth.  Cover and leave at room temperature for 12-16 hours.

Day 2

1+1/4 cup warm water

1/2 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp molasses

2+3/4 cup all purpose flour

Olive oil

Add the warm water to the dough and mix.  Stir in the salt, yeast, and molasses until combined. Slowly add in the flour while continuously mixing the dough.  Once it is all combined, transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and toss once to coat.  Let dough rise for 1.5 hours cover at room temp.  Divide dough into two piece and shape into an oval.  Let rest 20 minutes covered at room temperature. Roll out one end of the dough, lightly baste with olive oil, and fold over.  Let sit an additional 1 hour covered at room temp.  Preheat oven to 400°F and place a cast iron skillet one shelf below the shelf you plan on using for the bread.  Once the oven is hot, place the loaves on a cookie sheet in the oven and add 1 cup of hot water to the cast iron skillet.  This will create a steam effect that creates a good crust on the bread.  Bake for ~30 minutes and cool on wire rack.



11 responses to “Just loafing…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: