Colleen is out of the Studio this week, but along with a new fresh look she has loaded some fun things for you to try while she is gone…this is one of her favorites for the novice baker!
Yeast, kneading, the rise…why is it these three words strike fear into even the accomplished cooks heart. Last fall, I did an email series called Real Bread 101 and we went through the bread making process step by step documenting our successes and our failures. Through the sharing of images and our own own experiences I was the happy guide for several women (and a man…hi Jeff!) to their first real delicious loaves.
The first lessons included the basics..what to buy, how to measure, the pans, the timing…all that jazz. Then we dove in with a fool proof, delightful homemade loaf that even the children can help with, it is based on the very popular recipe from the NY times by the Sullivan Street Bakery. The best part about it is the process, the observation and the confidence it builds. Our first loaf will be a two day, slow rise, no knead bread. Why a no knead bread? Because it is important to see how the loaf develops and the kneading is typically where most first time bakers give up. This loaf will help you understand how the dough should feel, look and smell. Plus it’s just delicious!
First things first…
Mis en place which is a French term meaning “in place”, in cooking and baking it means to have all of your ingredients prepared, measured and ready to be added to your recipe at the proper time. I sold Pampered Chef stuff a million years ago and I still use a ton of it in my kitchen. The stuff is simply indestructible lol! Many of the tools you’ll see me use can be ordered from Teresa Krause through her website. Onward!
Simply put? Buy the best you can afford. I’m not saying to go out and pay $30 for 5 pounds of flour, but get yourself good quality ingredients. This is what I use for basic bread making throughout the series as they are the easiest to obtain by everyone:
Yeast: Fleishman’s Instant Yeast. Look at Costco or Sam’s for the two pack, It should be around $5 for two large packages. Refrigerate the yeast after opening.
Flour: King Arthur Organic or Unbleached Bread Flour.
Salt: King Arthur Baker’s Salt, or table or fine Kosher salt
Water: Spring water or our own well water. If you have city water with chlorine, use spring water.
Ready? Here we go!
First our Mis en place for our bread, we will need:
3 cups of Bread Flour (I am using King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, I am out of Organic) ***please note***I am using the liquid measure as my mixing bowl. Always use dry measuring utensils for dry ingredients and liquid measuring utensils for liquids!
1/4 teaspoon Instant Yeast (I am using Fleishman’s)
1 Tablespoon salt (or 3/4 tablespoon if you are using Kosher or Bread Salt as I am)
1-1/2 cups of warm water…and we have our Mis en place!
You’ll also need a pot with a cover that can handle an oven temp of 450 degrees. Well seasoned cast iron, enameled cast iron, clay, pyrex…it will all work. You’ll need that for tomorrow though, right now we are just getting our bread going. We will wake up the yeasts, let them grow and then let them rest over night for a long slow rise that will give great flavor. Ready to mix?
Place your salt and yeast in the mixing bowl with your flour.
Now stir them all together to combine
Now add your water
And stir it together until it becomes a gloopy mess 🙂 I use a silicone spatula but you can use your hands if you keep them wet. I don’t like to do that because it is easy to upset the water/flour ratio.
Now we need to let our “bread” rest and come to life. Let’s cover our bowl with plastic wrap and leave it is a nice place to spend the night. You can let it rest for up to 24 hours.
You’re done! Notice there is very little clean up too? Eventually you will find yourself skipping the prep bowls, but I felt it was important to illustrate the need for mis en place.
Tomorrow we bake! (and eat!)