Baking Bread (part one)

While most of you have a social life, us single folks must find something to do to occupy our time on Friday nights. Since I live in Burlington, there aren’t many alternatives… well… none actually. Therefore, I figure its time to blow the cobwebs off the blog and return to kitchen.

Tonight’s post is part one of four on baking bread. Now I’m not talking about buying Pillsbury pre-packaged dough and popping it in the oven (disgusting). I’m talking about starting with flour, yeast and so on.

Panicking yet?  I figured as much. Well, don’t. This is so simple you’ll wonder why you ever thought it was a big deal.

3 cups bread flour (preferably King Arthur; Whole Foods carries it).
1-1/4 teaspoons of table salt
1/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast (store in the freezer)
1-1/3 cups cool water
wheat bran, cornmeal or additional flour for dusting

Okay, let’s begin. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt and yeast. Stir those together.

Note: Apologies for the plastic mixing bowl. Its not the most visually appealing bowl, but its all I have. Food TV this isn’t.

Note: I’m using Kosher salt in place of table salt because I never stock table salt. Rocky, who supplied this recipe, the source book and who knows way more about cooking than I every will, said I should a wee bit more salt since Kosher salt has larger granules than table salt.

Add the water. Using a spoon (my choice) or your hands (assuming they are clean) mix everything together until you have a sticky dough. What’s pictured above is not a sticky dough even thought it is the stated amount of water. What both Rocky and myself have found is that it takes more water. What you want to do is add water by the tablespoon until the mixture becomes sticky. For me that is somewhere between 3 to 4 tablespoons.

This is sticky dough (apologies for the whacked out color). By sticky, I mean that when you touch it with your finger and pull your finger away the dough remains in contact with your finger (almost like gum).

The last step of part one is to cover the bowl with a tea towel and place the it in a cool place (no sunlight) for the next 12 to 18 hours.

~ by Genevieve on 2011.06.17.

2 Responses to “Baking Bread (part one)”

  1. Thanks for tackling – and sharing – the art of bread baking! Hope you’re still having fun with it.

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