I've started the New Year out right. I have spent the majority of my time watching movies. It may be giving me a skewed outlook on reality, but I'm trying to get it out of my system before my workload gets too intense...
I mean, I totally could meet my prince charming randomly on the road after some witty banter. Although people often tell me I look angry when I'm walking. So I probably scare away most people. I should work on that. Or maybe I will meet a wizard and he will take me on an adventure over the misty mountains cold...
Because I need to eat, I've been living on a diet of this salad and bread.
Bread is the best comfort food. Even if you don't eat it, the smell of it baking is mouthwatering. AND nothing beats fresh bread out of the oven.
This method of baking bread is my absolute favourite. I have posted about it before (see Easy Artisan Bread). It's fantastic. You mix the dough the night before, let it rise overnight (or for ~12 hours give or take 4) to develop the flavour, and then in the morning, you shape it into a loaf, let it rise up for 1 hour, slash and bake in a dutch oven.
It takes the sitting around time down a bit and you get a gorgeous crusty loaf.
If you want a more airy loaf with incredible texture, try it with only white flour, but the wheat version works wonderfully for sandwiches.
This loaf is simple and delicious. The inclusion of gluten flour gives whole wheat breads a bit more lift so they aren't as leaden. If you don't have it, you can do 2 cups all purpose and 1 cup of whole wheat.
Recipe: Rosemary Sesame Wheat Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup white all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup gluten flour
4 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp rosemary
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup warm water (~100 degrees F)
Place all the ingredients minus the warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment OR alternatively use a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon.
Mixer: Using the paddle attachment, mix the dough on low and add the water slowly until the flour is incorporated. Switch to the dough hook and mix on low for ~ 5 minutes (the dough should pull away from the sides but stick slightly to the bottom). If necessary, add water (if the dough is too dry) or flour (if the dough is too wet) 1 tbsp at a time
By Hand: Simply mix all the ingredients until they form a cohesive mass. Knead the dough for 5-10 min and form into a uniform ball (similarly to the mixer method add flour or water if too wet or dry but try and keep the dough more moist than wet).
1st Rise:Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise overnight for ~ 12 hours on the counter. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and gently form into a uniform ball of dough.
2nd Rise:Place the ball on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Use a cloth and roll it into a rope. Place the rope around the dough to help it rise straight up and cover it with a second cloth. Let it rise for ~ 1 hour.
Bake: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with the dutch oven IN THE OVEN (with the lid on)- very important.
Once the oven is heated, you can slash the top of the bread (I used 3 diagonal slashes).
Remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Slide your hands under the loaf and gently place in the pot, trying not to deflate the loaf. Quickly cover the pot and bake covered for 25 minutes before removing the lid and cooking for another 15 minutes.
The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped and registers 180-200 degrees F when poked with an instant read thermometer. Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing into it. Enjoy!