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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bread Making

Those of you who are following my blog have seen that I started buying local eggs and free range chickens. I've also decided to start baking my own bread. It is so much cheaper to make it yourself than to buy it at the grocery store. I'm starting to turn into one of those 1950's stay at home moms, minus the submissiveness.

This recipe comes from Jason's mom and its pretty easy.

After the second rise. Placed into the dutch oven, floured, and sliced on top
It has to bake covered for 30 min
Fresh loaf out of the oven

Cut and ready to eat

Makes 1 large round loaf

3 cups (15 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour - plus extra for work surface
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water - room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 oz) mild flavored lager - Budweiser works fine
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Whisk flour, dry yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using a rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until a shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2. Lay 18 by 12 inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10-inch skillet (or a large bowl) and spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead lightly 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into a ball and put dough ball (seam side down) into the parchment lined skillet. Spray dough with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger - about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place a 6-8 quart heavy bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on the rack and heat oven to 500 degrees. (The empty Dutch oven needs to get really hot!) Lightly flour the dough ball and cut a slit in the top. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from oven and remove lid. Pick up the dough ball by lifting the edges of the parchment paper and lower into the hot Dutch oven. Cover pot with lid and let any excess parchment paper hang over the pot edge. Return covered pot with dough to the hot oven. Reduce heat to 425 degrees.

4. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 425 degrees then take off the lid and continue to bake until the loaf is a deep golden brown - about 20-30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot. Let cool on a wire rack. Best eaten the day it is baked. Not as good a day later.

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