Friday, July 30, 2010

Bread and Butter!

I have a confession.

I am a wanna be.

I want to be an excellent baker. So I only post my successes on here! Trust me - for every blog post I am willing to share, there are at least as many mishaps. Perhaps one day I will tell you the tragic tale of the caramel corn.

But today I want to teach you how to make bread. I've tried to make bread before, to no avail. But this is so easy, even I could do it! It's yet another of my favorite recipes from Joy the Baker.

You start with 3 3/4 cups of bread flour (I used King Arthur's, of course!), 2 tsp of dry active yeast, 2 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 cups warm water. Toss it all into a mixer and beat with the paddle until it all comes together.

Switch to the dough hook, mix for two more minutes, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then mix it again for 3 minutes. I don't know why; I just followed the instructions. And good things happened.

Take it out and knead it, using additional flour. It should be smooth and this! Put it in an oiled bowl, and turn it so that all sides of the dough are lightly coated. Cover it with plastic wrap and a towel, and let it rise for an hour and a half. Punch it down, and let it rise for another half hour.

Prepare a floured surface....

And dump the beautifully risen dough onto the counter!

Separate the dough into two halves, and form them into rounds. Cover them with a damp towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and during the last 20 minutes of rising, put a baking sheet upside down in the oven. Put the dough onto the sheet and score them to allow them to expand. I use a razor blade - it is way sharper than knives and doesn't drag the dough as much.

Right after popping these in the oven, I tossed 1/4 cup of water onto the oven floor to create steam. I repeated this a couple minutes later.
After baking for 20-25 minutes, these little guys will be ready for you!

While the bread was baking, I took the opportunity to whip up some butter (again, Joy the Baker inspired me). I took 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and beat them with the wisk attachment until the butter had separated from the buttermilk. I strained it and rinsed the butter under cold water and then added some sage from my garden. So easy!
This is the tasty result:

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful job newby! For a nice crust next time beat up an egg and brush on top just before you put in over to bake. Add sesame or dried onion or poppy seeds or cracked pepper or cheese or coarse sea salt. Great job Paige. That machine makes you look goooooood! love, D.