Month: June 2010

  • bread sooner.

    Today’s Question: Suppose I need a loaf of bread TOMORROW morning?  We’re out of sandwich bread and I didn’t put in a no-knead blob last night.  So, I  could put a loaf in the bread machine and have it in a few hours.  But… the crust on the dutch oven bread is so yummy. 

    Suppose I make just the dough in the bread machine (1 hour, 30 minutes) and then bake it in the dutch oven.  The experiment is underway. I’m using this resource here about baking regular bread in the dutch oven. I used this dough recipe here.  I was impressed with it’s self-assured claim to be the Best Bread Machine Recipe.  Plus, I had all the ingredients.  Now I am in the waiting phase as the dough is kneaded by the machine. I expect the dough will be done by 8:15pm; that’s the first rise. Then I’ll need to shape it and let it rise again?  Another hour? 9:15? I’ll need to preheat the dutch oven starting half an hour before that, so 8:45. Theoretically I should have the bread out of the oven by 9:30 or 9:45. Wish me luck.  

     

  • no-knead bread

    So I’ve been experimenting with the Mark Bittman/Jim Lahey No-Knead Bread recipe. The idea is you let the dough sit for about 18 hours and that does the work of kneading. Then you bake it in a dutch oven which simulates the effect of a professional steam-injection oven.  I bought this Lodge dutch oven which was way less expensive than the fancy Le Creuset one and seems to work wonderfully. I also bought a stainless steel Le Creuset knob to replace the plastic one on the Lodge — making it oven safe to much higher temperatures.  And now it says “Le Creuset” on top!  Fancy and sneaky, eh? It isn’t gorgeously purple, however. Le Sigh.  

    I made one loaf yesterday, and it came out beautiful.  I didn’t let it cool enough before cutting into it so it was a little doughy and a bit on the bland side. 

    The first really wet dough after 18 hours:

    finished loaf:

    a pretty slice:

     

    For the second effort I used more yeast and more salt to improve the flavor. I also used this technique of letting it rise in parchment paper instead of in a cotton towel.  Then you use the parchment paper as a sling to get it from one place to another. See here, before rising:

    Today’s bread, now cooling:

    I am dedicated to letting this one cool for a reasonable amount of time.  It’s less rustic looking because I had an easier time transferring it to the dutch oven — using the parchment sling.  See it in the background there? It just peeled off, easy peasy.

    If you’ve made this sort of bread, do let me know your insights on improving it.  I don’t actually mind kneading bread… but this is a fun experiment. Will let you know in an update how the tasting part works out. 

    I’m going to go smell it now.  It actually crackles as it cools.  Pretty awesome.

  • anticipation

    Eli: I can’t wait until a few weeks.

    Me: Why?

    Eli: Second grade!!

  • brushing off the dust…

    One of my goals this summer is to re-launch my blog. Posting updates on Twitter and Facebook has been the extent of my writing lately and it doesn’t leave much room for introspection. Here are a few things I want to share today:

    1. As of today I believe Sam and I are of equal height.

    2. I’m very excited to be moving to a third grade teaching position for the upcoming school year.

    3. I made a no-knead bread today for the first time that came out pretty but still needs some work to be worth the waiting.

    4. I’ve relaunched the Accountable Kids program with  my children this weekend…. with better success this time around. Will keep you posted on that.

    and, hm…

    5. I’m knitting again!

    Well, not so much introspection there, but it’s a start. If you’re out there give a holler hello.