Saturday, October 17, 2009

Artisan bread in 5 minutes...and then some rambling..

Okay, so you need to let it rise, and that takes longer. But the mixing/kneading part? Simple simple simple. My oldest (keep in mind, all of my children are under the age of 10) can make this in my stand mixer. Seriously..

I have copy/pasted this from a communique from JoAnn of the Creamer Chronicles (seriously, the woman RAWKS--you need to go check her out if you haven't already!) isn't a link, so you'll have to copy and paste it on your own (sorry!) But it would be good to have it printed off, too, just in case..Here are JoAnn's words:

"I have discovered a wonderful and super simple way to have daily homemade bread! I didn't think it got much more simple than food processor french bread...but it does!

In a LARGE bowl with a lid, combine:

1 1/2 TBS. yeast

1 1/2 TBS. salt

6 1/2 C. flour (unbleached all purp.)

3 C. really warm water

Mix it, cover it, vent the lid or plastic wrap and sit on the counter for 2-4 hours. Then put the whole thing in the fridge with the lid vented. You can use it immediately or anytime up to two weeks. THAT'S IT!!! If you want bread at the end of that 2-4 hours then just pull off a grapefruit sized ball with well floured hands. Smooth out the top and fold the bottom under a couple of times in your hands to form a ball (or boule) and place on parchment to rise for about 40 minutes. Bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes. When you put the bread in the oven pour in a cup of water into a pan in the bottom of your oven (preheated along with the oven) or throw in 3-5 ice cubes. The steam makes that chewy crust! Also, slash your dough with a sharp knife a couple of times to allow for expansion.

Watch this youtube video for a quick tutorial:

I love just being able to pull off some dough, let rise for 45min-1hour and then bake it right up! I haven't experimented with whole wheat flour yet....maybe I should buy the book to find out how they do that!"

That's the end of JoAnn's comments about it....

Now for my notes. Yes, this is this easy. I don't have a container with a lid, so I spread some oil on the top of the dough and let it rise, covered with a wet dishtowel. That's how I put it into the fridge, too. Now, if I were going to try and keep it longer than a day or two, I'd consider finding something with a lid. But that isn't an issue for us.

For pizza, I split it, let it rise about 20-30 minutes, and then spread it out on a cookie sheet--just make sure to get it really thin, cause it *will* rise nicely. I don't bother with parchment paper, I just spray the sheets. Much easier (and since I don't use parchment paper for anything else, it is one less thing I *have to have* on hand). We've also tried this as a fried bread, and it worked wonderfully well. Just make sure to get it thin enough, salt it lightly, and use a good, well seasoned, cast iron skillet. El Husbando put some garlic and other seasonings on it...and Oh. My. Word. It was SO good!

Oh, and while we like crusty bread, we also like a nice soft crust, which this will give you if you omit the water in the oven. Since I usually forget, well, lol...we eat a lot more soft crust than crusty crusty. :-) But this is delightful for soup, as pizza, give it a try! JoAnn turned me on to this recipe, and it is the best bread I've made (all of my other bread ends up like a brick, despite my best efforts. Not sure why).

In other, considerably less interesting news, #2 woke us up about 4--middle of the night potty break, and then two hours---and no sleep for me--later, #4 & 5 woke up over an hour earlier than usual. Can you just say.. "YAWN!!!!" ? :-) A nap is sounding really really really great right now. Doubtful I'll get one, but I've gotten them fed, El Husbando caffeinated with some fresh ground java, the birds let out, the dishes unloaded and I've made a decent start...All I really want to do now, though, is crawl back under the pile of quilts on my bed, and snuggle into the featherbed for a couple more hours of sleep. Since I didn't go to bed until late last night (amazing how much knitting one can do at late hours, without children interrupting!), I've gotten massively less sleep than usual. Hopefully, we can get our chores done early, and that way I can *maybe* get a nap this afternoon.

But I've got some errands to run this morning, and will probably try to make it to Mass this evening. Either tonight or tomorrow morning, so we'll see which one of us wins the coin toss for tonight.

Hopefully, you are having a wonderful weekend where you are. It is (finally!!!) another beautiful day with a clear, blue sky. Still a little chilly, but nothing we can't handle. Especially if we have some sunshine...WOOHOO! Yard work weekend....(I can hear the moans of excitement from El Husbando now). Wish us luck. Two acres of 'yard', and other miscellaneous yard work to do, on top of any and all of the gardening we have to get is quite a list.

What are your plans for this weekend? Got a long list of chores? Crafting? Thrift store shopping? Hitting the last of the yard sales? Just general "stay around the house and get the Honey Dos whittled down a little bit" kind of stuff? Well, what ever is on your list of events for the weekend, I hope you get the most important marked off-and maybe a few more!

Let me know what you're doing--it is always neat to here what other folks are doing!

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