You can mark another one off the list! I decided to go bid and go for yeasted bread. I had to add to my tools and also my pantry. Before you venture down this road, make sure you learn what you can about making yeasted bread and follow the directions carefully. Making bread is a science! Yes, there is an “art” as well when it comes to shaping and presenting the bread. But, the making of the bread is truly science. You can find this recipe on Page 312 of Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. I could not find the exact recipe on line that is in the book, but here is one that is close.
First, let this recipe be the excuse to purchase some new tools:
- Dough Hook for Your Mixer
- Bench Scraper
- Wooden Peel
- Baking Stone
Let this be an excuse to add to your tool chest and have a little fun. I ended up purchasing most of my stuff at Target and Kohl’s. I am not entirely happy with my baking stone and would eventually like to get this square one at Williams Sonoma. I must continue my baking fun to earn that baking stone.
On to the recipe. Make sure you have at least 24 hours planned to prepare this recipe and to deliver fresh bread. WARNING….You must be patient and resist the temptation to speed this process up! The first step in this yeasted bread is to mix the bread flour, yeast and water. Make sure you use a good bread flour…King Arthur’s is recommended and can be found at most grocery stores (most likely at the bottom of the rack).
Once you combine these simple ingredients, let them sit for 12 to 16 hours…overnight works great. Keep it covered and in a location that is room temperature or even a little warm. The mixture will triple in size over this period of time and deflate. You will miss it if you are not watching it (or if you are asleep), but you should be able to see residue at the side of the bowl showing how high it rose. See the photos below…
Now, you add the remainder of the ingredients including the additional bread flour, water and salt. That is it! This is when you use your dough hook to mix the ingredients for a few minutes on low and then high. Then, you take your dough out and knead it for a minute and return it back to a lightly oiled bowl to rise again.
After rising, you take out, fold your dough up a third at a time, turn over (seem side down) and return it to the bowl to rise again. You want to make sure not to handle too much.
After several periods of rising (check the recipe for all the specifics), then you take the dough out and divide in halves or quarters depending on how many and what size loaves you want. I chose two loaves.
You then flatten each ball into an oval shape and fold the top third down. You want to not apply too much pressure and cause the air bubbles that make the bread light and airy to burst or escape. Handle Gently!
Fold the bottom third up and over the top third and secure with the heel of your hand to make a tidy bundle. You then, start to roll the dough out to the desired length and diameter.
Once the loaves are rolled out and your desired size, place them seem side down on your peel that is sprinkled with corn meal. I LOVE THIS TRICK! This keeps the dough from sticking to the peel and helps it to slide off and onto the baking stone in the oven!
Here are the loaves on the baking stone in the oven…notice the slashes that I cut in the top of the baguettes with a knife.
Here are the loaves right out of the oven….a nice golden brown. I could have let them cook a bit longer and get a tad bit darker, but these turned out great!
Here is the inside of the bread…oh so good! A little cheese and italian salami made for a great lunch!
This recipe definitely took a lot of time and preparation; mainly because I read the recipe and the tips about 50 times. And, had to make two special trips to the store for ingredients and tools. But, it was an adventure.
I would rate the recipe difficulty as a MEDIUM and the taste as an 8 out of 10. You can’t beat fresh bread right out of the oven. For me, it tasted a little bit salty so I either added too much or would just cut back on the salt in the recipe next time. It was a great test of my patience and VERY rewarding.
Today, we used the remaining loaf for lunch bruschetta….recipe coming soon!
I look forward to trying out the other yeasted bread recipes soon! Should be fun!
Have a great week!