Friday, December 2, 2011

Dinner bread

Baking bread is my newest obsession! Recently I've become curious about the practice of kneading and proofing and all the steps associated with bread making. Practicing the virtue of patience is key in learning to become a great bread baker. Bread usually needs to rise twice before sending off into the oven. This bread is probably one of the easiest since I've seen recipes that can take up to 4 days - sour dough being one of them. I infused this bread with dried herbs to impart a nice aroma. I also used 1/2 whole wheat flour to add some fiber and nutrients. If you've never baked bread before you will feel enormously accomplished when these beautifully baked loaves come out of the oven. You can use any herbs you like for this recipe. The bread has a lovely focaccia like texture and works well with aromatic herbs. I reinforced the flavor by serving with herb infused olive oil and flaked salt - my husband went crazy for this recipe. 

6 cups all purpose flour (3 unbleached white/ 3 whole wheat)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp herb de provence
2 1/4 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
4 tsp sugar
3 tbs soft butter - divided into 1tbs each

In two separate bowls: Dry and Wet
Dry - mix flour, salt and herbs (use about 1/2 cup of this flour for the work surface)
Wet - whisk water yeast and sugar and let sit for 5-10 mins (let the yeast foam)

Slowly combine the wet ingredients in to the dry, add 1 tbs butter. When dough begins to come together empty on to floured surface. Kneed bread for 8 - 10 mins until smooth. Then place in a clean oiled bowl cover, set in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour.

Punch down the dough then kneed for another 5 minutes... divide into two and shape into loaves. Place on greased baking sheet and cover - allow to raise for another hour. Before you bake drag a knife down the center of the bread and drizzle with butter. Then bake for 40-45 mins at 350. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree! Bread making is a total art form and takes forever! I had no idea sourdough could take that long, but it totally explains why I love it so much.


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