Tuesday, May 19, 2009
i've been meaning to get this blog out of the way for a while, but i've never done a recipe blog before. actually, i think i'll try and approach this as a process instead of a recipe.
for some reason a few months ago i decided to learn how to make bread. i'm not much of a cook still to this day. even after figuring out how to bake bread i still need some guidance on cooking in general. i still make the same old recipes until i get sick of them and then switch to a new food.
the thing about learning to bake bread is that once you get the master recipe down there are loads of variations you can make with that basic knowledge. like i said i am not a cook, so when i went looking for a recipe, i looked for the simplest possible one. a little googling brought up a recipe by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg in a book called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking".
talk about simple! what a find. i would suggest checking out their website and book. they made it possible for me to make really good bread and basically made bread making a part of my routine.
take 3 cups of water, 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and 6 1/2 cups "all purpose, unbleached flour" and mix them together in a plastic bucket with a lid.
you mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until the flour is mixed in and there are no chunks of flour in the mixture. then you put the lid on the bucket (not an airtight seal) and put it in a dark warm place for 2-3 hours.
after this you can make bread, or put the dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks to make later.
the next step in the process-> actually baking the bread. what you will need is some cornmeal, a pizza pan, and some extra flour to keep the dough from sticking all over everything.
spread some flour on your counter top and on your hands, open the bucket and grab a big handful of dough (this is all on the attached linked video), shape the dough into a ball and then while holding the ball on both sides, push the dough from the sides into the bottom, until you have a well shaped oval piece of dough.
place the oval peice of dough on your pizza pan covered in cornmeal (the corn meal keeps the dough from sticking to the pan) and let it sit for 40 minutes.
after this preheat the oven to 450 and bake the dough for 45 minutes.