Saturday, January 23, 2010

Joy of Kneading - Bread Making

Kneading bread without using an electrical appliance is a great way to reduce tension, aggression, and stress. How else could you get to punch something without getting hurt? Today was my first try at bread making by hand and it was easy and fun and hopefully as delicious as it looks. The result will be sampled tonight with dinner.

Stir in large mixing bowl
2 C bread flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 pkg quick-rising active dry yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt

1 C very warm water
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp fresh rosemary

Mix by hand for 1 minute. Slowly add 1/4 cup at a time until dough is moist but not sticky.
3/4 to 1 C bread flour

Knead for 8-10 minutes by hand until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat with oil. Cover bowl loosely with a towel or plastic wrap (oil first). Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. Note: rising time depends on temperature of the dough and the temperature where it's rising - at the F&P that's the furnace room.

When it's doubled in volume, punch it down using a balled fist. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 450. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and dust lightly with corn meal. Shape dough into a rounded ball (boulè). Mark and X in the center using a sharp knife. Brush top lightly with egg white if you like a browned crust.

Bake for 10 min. at 450 then lower temp to 350 and bake for added 30 min. (until bottom of bread sounds hollow when tapped). Remove to a rack and let cool completely before cutting (if you can wait that long).


Anonymous said...

Haven't made bread in YEARS! But my brain remembered that delicious aroma... drool, drool, drool!
I discovered the only way to let fresh baked bread cool before cutting is to make more than one loaf!

Jim Bower said...

This brings back memories of my Grandma, a tiny woman (about 5 feet tall). She would manhandle the bread and SLAM it down on the counter. It was one of my fondest memories; after, of course, eating the result.

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