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So, my first foray into Urban Homesteading came by way of another conversation with Crazy Friend.

In preparation for her proposed Give Civilization the Finger, she’s been reading up on just about everything DYI.

One particularly promising idea came from a book she’d borrowed from the library.

Artisan bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Sounds impossible.

Kind of like 8-Minute Abs, but better, since it involves lovely, lovely carbs and a singular lack of sweaty spandex.

Anyhow, I did some digging on the internet and found not only the Master Recipe (posted below) but also this handy video.

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What could be more simple, right?

If you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, it won’t.  This was just as easy and delicious as promised.

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Anyhow, the recipe:

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1 1/2 tbsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 cups warm water
6 1/2 cups flour

*  In a large, lidded (but not air-tight) container, mix the first three ingredients.
*  Slowly stir in the flour and mix until there are no dry flour spots left.  Kneading is unnecessary.
* Cover and set aside to rise for 2 – 5 hours, depending on how long it takes for the dough to rise to the point of collapse.
* Refrigerate, for up to two weeks if you’re not using the dough right away.  If you are…
*  Dust your hands with lots of flour.
*  With a serrated knife, cut off a grapefruit sized portion of dough and form into a ball (the video is good for technique).  Add flour to hands and outside of ball if it gets to sticky.
*  On a pizza stone well dusted with flour or cornmeal, place dough and let sit for 40 minutes in a warm place (I put mine in the oven after having turned on my oven for a few seconds, then turning it right back off again).
*  Place bread on middle rack and an ovenproof dish on the bottom rack.  Pour 1 cup water into dish.
*Bake in a 450* oven for ~30 minutes or until the top is firm and golden brown.

My only two disappointments are:

When my friend described this process to me, it sounded like you always start with the basic recipe, keep it in your fridge, then take it out and add to it should you want something a little more interesting.  Raisin bread.  Rosemary loaf.  Whatever.

It doesn’t quite work that way.  You sort of have to plan what you want ahead of time.

Second problem:  The recipe, like most out there, involves using white flour, which I loathe.

I can experiment with it, of course, but I’ve never had good luck making bread with any of the flours I commonly use.  The layer of dust on my breadmaker can attest to that.

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About Angela

My name is Angela. I am a 28 year old psych and criminology graduate, but I'd rather not diagnose you. I am a cuddle-slut. I can recite the entire script of The Princess Bride, (including accents) and believe that the meaning of life is contained within. Polyanna, Snap.com commercials, and Oprah 'reunion shows' make me cry. I can whistle and hum at the same time, but I cannot touch my toes. I am an expert in both listening and talking. I look good in orange. I am a writer. I kick ass in Gin, Hearts, and Cribbage but I don't understand Canasta or Bridge. I can be heard singing Broadway numbers from my shower, and have dressed up as a viking princess, (complete with aluminum foil breast plate) The Phantom of the Opera, and a Ghostbuster for Hallowe'en. I have a bird named Bean. I have a brother named Adam. They are not related. I like vanilla body lotion, peanut butter, saunas, Jim Carrey, broccoli, pets, TheOnion.com, Muppets, Kevin Smith, Corelle dishes, dry erase white-boards, Barenaked Ladies, Philosophy, the letter J, Harry Potter, picture frames, swimming, quilting, Michael Moore, genealogy, Raggedy Anne, tacky 50's tchotchke, 'Idiot's Complete Guide To' books, tweezers, feather pillows, polar dips, aquariums, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Pepper. I don't like meat, gossips, cooked carrots, American Idol, mosquitoes, sweating, politics, public washrooms, tardiness, tuition, hunting, pat answers, pick up lines, brown bananas, cliches, pine scented air freshener, Kevin Costner, bacon, candied apples, pro-wrestling, humidity, and hypocrisy. Books I've read recently The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Dark Tower, When Nietzsche Wept, What's So Amazing About Grace?, Catcher in the Rye, Not Wanted On the Voyage, The Red Tent, The Little Prince, The Way the Crow Flies, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Poisonwood Bible, The Fall, The Knot of Vipers, Calculating God, The Chrysalids, Sick Puppy, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Franny and Zooey, The Brothers Karamazov, and jPod. I am slightly neurotic. No I'm not. Yes I am.

2 responses »

  1. Try using 3 cups whole wheat flour and and 3.5 cups of white flour. You may also want to add some mashed potatoes for more texture – I would say about 3 medium potatoes. Dice the potatoes and boil until mashable (is that a word)? Another tip is to use water from the potatoes as part of the water required for the yeast. Make sure the water is not too hot.
    Hope these tips help.
    You will have to invite me over to taste this yummy looking bread.
    Clare

    • Clare: Thanks for all the tips. Have you ever baked bread with something other than wheat? I’ve got some bread flour that I bought especially for this, but my regular flour bag is a motley crue of spelt/kamut/chickpea/barley/etc.

      Mashed potatoes sounds interesting. What are their purpose?

      And you can come over anytime….or I can bring a few loaves the next time we do Indian at your place.

      ~A

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