Bread… I had, until this year, a personal rule: avoid baking anything that involves yeast. I failed chemistry… to be more accurate the teachers begged me to go into Social Sciences so that I wouldn’t have to take grade 11 sciences. As a result, I can talk about Marxism and Keynes with the best of them, but ask me about photosynthesis and I go silent.
That being said, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to bake bread. Might as well enjoy this sunny Tuesday; in my new kitchen, with my Christmas gift . Have I told you that I have the best boyfriend ever?
You will need:
- 3 ¼ cups of white unbleached flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons of dry active yeast
- 2 ¼ teaspoons of kosher salt
- 1 1/5 cups of lukewarm water
In add bowl, mix flour, yeast and salt (do not mix) and pour over lukewarm water.
Mix. It should look gooey.
Leave it in the bowl and cover with aluminium foil for 2 -5 hours (I left mine for 4 hours)
After 4 hours, you will notice that the dough has doubled in size. Separate the dough into 2, and form into balls. No need to knead the bread.
Let the balls sit on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pre-heat oven with a pan on the lower level filled with 1 cup of water.
Score the bread (this will allow steam to escape, if you do not score the bread, steam with crack the bread and escape using its own route. It looks much prettier is you score the bread.
Place in the over on the top rack (with the bottom rack still with the tray of water) and bake for 30 minutes.
And now the eternal question. How do you know when bread is done baking? I’m pretty good at knowing when cookies and cakes are done but I have no clue how to tell if a bread is done baking. I goggled this. And here is the best explanation I could find: credit http://bakingbites.com/2008/02/how-do-you-know-when-bread-is-done-baking/
Basically with an instant read thermometer, poke the bottom of the loaf and make sure it reads 200 degrees.
I take it you get better with practice and of course more comfortable. This is a recipe I will be trying again. It is simple and delicious.