Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rosie Is In An Artisan Mood.

I want bread.
And not just any bread.
I want real bread.
Bread made by my own hands.

I want to baby this bread.
I want to let it ferment.
I want the flavors to develop.

I don't want a quick rise.
I want a slow adventure.

I started this bread on a Monday.
I mixed the ingredients to make the dough starter, or sponge,
and I made a flour mixture blanket
and sprinkled it over the sponge.
I let the starter bubble up through the flour blanket..
Then I kneaded it and let it rise.

I had other things to do.
So I left the dough alone.
That night,
I put my dough in a greased bowl,
covered it,
and stuck it in the fridge.

The next morning,
I took it out, let it come to room temp.

Low and slow.

Put it back in the fridge the second night,
brought it out on the third day to come to room temperature,
then worked the dough,
shaped two loaves,
and baked them.

They were exquisite.

I was talking to my little Hawthorne
 who doesn't like to be named.
So I won't.
Asked him if he wanted cinnamon toast for breakfast 
made with my sliced bread toasts.
"No, Mama.
Don't waste that bread on cinnamon toast.
Use it with something really good."

Gotta love that boy.
I love priorities
and his are in order.

First I made the sponge.
Sponge ingredients:
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cup water
3 TB honey
3/4 tsp yeast

To make the sponge, combine the flour, water, 
honey, and yeast.
Whisk until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

The sponge consistency will be that of a thick batter.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

I started my little bread project about 10:30.
Mix flour, water, honey, and yeast.

You'll have a thick batter.
Cover and set aside while you make the flour mixture.

Flour mixture:
2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup dry milk
3/4 tsp yeast
9 TB unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp salt

Whisk together the flour, dry milk, and yeast.

Sprinkle mixture on top of the sponge
and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Allow to ferment a few hours at room temperature.

And look at what happens.
The sponge starts bubbling through the flour blanket.

The flour blanket is starting to crack.

And the sponge is starting to ooze through.

It's alive!

It's about 3 o'clock now.
I told you I wasn't in any hurry.
The slower the rise, 
the more time the dough has to develop flavor.

Now I'm ready to finish off the flour mixture
and make the dough.

I stirred the batter down.

I added the salt and ...

... the butter.
Slather it in.

Knead the dough in the bowl
until it comes together.

Then turn it onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead about 5 minutes
to develop the gluten structure.
Set a timer.
Five minutes is longer than you think.

If the dough is too sticky,
add as little extra flour as possible 
to keep the dough from sticking.

Cover the dough with inverted bowl
and let it rest for twenty minutes.
This rest makes the dough less sticky 
and easier to work with.

Knead another 5 minutes,
until smooth and elastic.

Roll dough around in a lightly oiled bowl
to oil the dough all over,
then press dough down.

Cover and let rise at room temperature
until doubled.

Well, would you look at what time it is?
My favorite time of the day!

That's Good Neighbor Bobby barred-up
with the gingerale and Canadian Mist we keep for him.

As I told you,
I'm taking my time with this bread
and I'm calling it a day.
I let the dough rise halfway,
then I covered it with plastic wrap
and stuck it in the fridge overnight.

 Day 2

I took the dough out the next morning
and let it come to room temperature
and finish its rise.

It's already three o'clock in the afternoon
and I'm ready to watch Ellen.
I turned my dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

And pressed gently ...
... into a rectangle.
Pull dough out a bit
and fold over all four sides into a tight package.
Set it back in oiled bowl
and allow to rise until doubled.

I let it rise halfway again,
then covered it and placed it
 back in the fridge overnight.

As I said,
I'm in no hurry.
I'm letting the flavors develop.

Day 3
I pulled my dough out in the morning
 and let it come to room temperature and finish rising.

About 2:30 that afternoon,
I turned the dough out onto a lightly floured board.

Manhandle the dough a bit.

Halve the dough with a pastry scraper.

It looks like a butt.
Shape each piece into a loaf.

Dimple the dough with fingertips to deflate any large bubbles.

Rosie likes to dimple.

Fold up one end a little past the center.

Fold the other end to overlap.
Give it a little hand action to seal.

For the other loaf,
I simply rolled it up very tightly.

Give it a roll to tighten it up.

I put the first dough half - the one which had been folded-
in a buttered loaf pan and drizzled olive oil over top.
Set it aside to let it rise.
Until doubled in size.

 I'm using a glass bread tube
 for the second, rolled dough.

Oil inside the tube.

Salt and pepper inside.

Let the rolled dough slide into the bread tube.

Let it rise until doubled.

While the dough is rising,
heat oven to 350°.
Set an iron skillet in the bottom first,
and let the skillet heat at 350° for an hour.

It's now six o'clock
and the dough has doubled in size.
My oven and iron skillet are hot
and I'm ready to bake.

Gently set the bread pans in the oven
and throw in a cup of ice cubes into the skillet.
Immediately shut the door.
Bake about 50 minutes
or until a medium golden brown.

My kitchen smells sooooo good.

Freshly baked bread is food of the gods.

Slather a little butter on it.

Ohhh ... the flavor.


Anonymous said...

I will have to try patience. The bread looks awesome.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Oh it was, NMOAC.

Lori K said...

I can smell it...yummy