Monday, November 16, 2009

Beautiful Bread

This past weekend I took to kitchen experimenting. After seeing a blurb about Jim Lahey's book My Bread in Saveur, I literally drove straight to the bookstore in Topeka and bought it. I read the introduction about how he came to develop such a reverance for bread and wanted to produce loaves that are truly unique and extraordinary. He worked in many bakeries, traveled Europe (Italy mostly) and experimented with many different methods before he landed on his masterpiece method--the no-knead method. Seemed straight up my alley.

I combined the bread flour, yeast, water and salt and left it to sit for 18 hours. This morning I patted it with some flour and corn meal and turned it out onto a floured tea towel to rise for one more hour. Then I heated a cast iron pot at 475 degrees for 30 minutes and baked it covered for 30 minutes (remove the plastic knob on your lid first or else it will melt at that temperature; then plug hole with a little wad of foil). Took the cover off and baked for another 20 minutes. What I have now gracing my kitchen is the most gorgeous hunk of crackling gluten. As the snow falls here in Osage county for the first time this year, I'm planning a dinner around this bread ... chicken apple-spice sausage, baked butternut squash, a red-leaf lettuce salad with vinaigrette and this. My sweetie already emailed me to ask if next I was hand-churning butter. You know, it's not that hard to do...


7 comments:

  1. You have inspired me to break (I mean bake) some bread in my kitchen!!

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  2. Mmmmmmh, I can almost smell it.

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  3. looks yummy. I will be right over. Okay, so it will be eaten by the time I get there. Christmas gifts? Let's see if I can actually get this posted.

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  4. I never thought of giving bread for Christmas gifts, but that sounds perfect for this year--frugal but from the heart!

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  5. Wow! Looks like it turned out delicious! So easy sounding too, can't beat that!

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  6. butter is sooooo easy. http://mytotalpv.blogspot.com/2008/03/better-butter-pictures.html

    that's how we made it until our mixer broke. Now we use a food processor. So very easy.

    Lovely lovely message on your blog. We're on this new adventure too. :) We make the 5 minute artisan bread here at our farm- sounds similar, but the batch is bigger and the rise is only 4 hours. We do the variation with olive oil in the dough and we use the cast iron skillet.

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