Today we do the really hard work. We dump, rest, bake and eat! YAY! Please excuse the images…I use my little Rebel XT with window light whenever possible when I work with flours…all that dust!
This was our bread yesterday:
and here it is today!
Our yeast, flour, salt and water has combined and bloomed into something similar to a poolish or wet starter for regular bread baking. It is a bit drier. This picture above illustrates a good reason for my use of the 8 cup mixing cup for this. You’ll want to be able to accurately measure the rise of bread doughs and starters and using a container that has units of measure will help you easily determine if your doughs and starters have risen properly. Ours has more than doubled in size.
Next we need to dump our dough out gently onto a floured surface and give it a couple of gentle turns with a wet spatula. I use silicone spatulas…they work great for this.
It doesn’t look a whole lot like bread but it will…have faith!
After a couple of turns it will look more like dough
See? I told you so!
Now, you’ll need a non-fuzzy, non-terry cloth kitchen towel dusted generously with sifted flour to turn your bread onto. I use several sizes of couche in my kitchen.
Now we want to cover our dough and let it rest and rise again for about two hours…nighty nighty night!
So we are now well rested…but we have a small problem. While I was proceeding with the next steps I tripped over a dog backing away from the oven and dropped my favorite small covered clay baker removing it from the hot oven. So I had to improvise….don’t laugh…Our bread ended up in a too large clay baking dish with the lid from my 12 quart pan. I don’t have a boatload of small pans. I cook big remember? I was in hurry and couldn’t find the pot and top I normally use for something like this. I ended up with a burn too so no pics…sorry! Let’s finish this bad boy shall we?
Your dough is now well rested and it is time to pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Now you’ll need a at least a six quart pot with a good lid. A well seasoned dutch oven works, so will enameled cast iron or even a Pyrex baking dish. Nice high sides will give you a taller loaf. Put your pot into the pre-heating oven (without the bread). When the oven is ready remove the pot and tumble your rested dough into it (the pot, not the oven directly), give it a gentle giggle to even it out and pop the lid on and place it in the oven for 25 minutes. Off to put Lavender on my burns…
Has the timer gone off yet? If it has your bread should be about double in size and have a rustic load look with the beginnings of a golden crust. Take the lid off and let it bake for another 10-15 minutes. When it is done it should have sound hollow when thumped and register about 220 degrees with a probe thermometer. My poor loaf is a little flat thanks to the huge pan I had to use but this is the color you are looking for:
See the texture? It will have a tiny bit of sourdough twang too as it is a slow rising loaf. Your crust should be crisp with a satisfying chew, the crumb should be soft but substantial…delicious! Enjoy!
Just a reminder that I am out of the studio until June 9th, purchases for the $49 designs will be processed normally with delivery within 72 hours.