Monday, April 7, 2014

Rosie Makes Food Processor Baguettes.

 I'm giving you the keys to the kingdom.

Bread in a food processor?????
Has Rosie lost it?
I know it sounds unusual,
but I ask you to trust Rosie once again.
Have I ever led you astray?
Rosie has been working on her artisanal bread baking skills.
I've been baking loaves and loaves of bread
for the past 2 months or so,
researching and experimenting,
and I think I have this bread thing down pat.

Rosie is happy
and her family is happy.
I'm baking about two baquettes every two-three days.
And my bread is getting better and better!

 Now, what is "artisanal" bread?  I think of it as a rustic bread.  Artisanal bread is crafted, not mass-produced.  Artisanal baking is a return to the basics of age-old bread-making techniques.  Artisanal bread has soul.  There are only four ingredients, the basic building blocks: flour, water, yeast, and salt.  Look at the label on any preservative-laden, commercially produced bread.  You may find twenty ingredients/chemicals.

Now, I'm going to give you the easiest bread recipe
There is no kneading involved.
All you need is a food processor,
yeast, water, sugar, flour, salt.
The mixing, fermentation, and rising
all take place in the food processor.

The flour I use for this bread is
King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour.
It's expensive (over $4/5lb bag),  but worth it.

I prefer unbleached flour.
What's the difference between bleached and unbleached flours?
Flour needs to age to soften so it can be used for baking.
Unbleached flour ages naturally in about six months.
Bleaching the flour cuts the aging time down to weeks.
Flour is bleached with chlorine.
Bleached flour has less protein than unbleached
and is best for pies, quick breads, pancakes,waffles, and cookies.
Unbleached flour, with more protein, also has more gluten.
Unbleached is best for yeast breads, 
strudels, puff pastry, éclairs,
cream puffs, Danishes, and popovers.

I'm telling you.
This recipe works like a charm.

Makes two baguettes.
1 packet yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups unbleached King Arthur A-P flour
plus extra for shaping the loaves
1 cup warm water
1 TB sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt

In a small bowl,
pour the yeast over the 1/2 cup warm water.
Sprinkle the sugar over the yeast
and watch it wrestle to the bottom of the bowl.
Stir to dissolve.
Wait for the bubbles.
Wait for the yeast to "proof."
Yeast gotta eat! 
The bubbles "prove" that the yeast is alive.
It's producing carbon dioxide.

When the yeast has proofed,
add all ingredients to the food processor:

Start the processor
and process just until the dough forms a ball
and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Cover and let dough rise until doubled.
Pulse 3-4 times to deflate.
Let rise a second time until doubled.
Pulse to deflate.
Let rise a third time.
Each progressive rising will take less time.

Lightly flour your work surface
and turn the soft, sticky dough onto the work surface.
Gently rotate the dough
so that it is lightly covered by the flour and doesn't stick.

Using a dough scraper, divide the dough in half.
Shape each half of dough into a 5 x 8 inch rectangle.
The dough should naturally stretch lengthwise
in one particular direction.
Think of that as the grain of the dough.
You want to shape the loaf along the grain of the dough
to promote a big rise.

Fold the top third down, gently sealing the edges,
and fold the bottom third up,
pressing with your fingers to seal.
This shaping is important
because it's a way to spring load the loaf
so that it bursts through its slashes when in the hot oven.

Turn the log over, seam side down,
and start rolling the log back and forth
to elongate and stretch to about 15 inches long.
Try to keep as much air in the dough as possible
without breaking the skin.

Pick the dough up and place it
seam side down in the cradle of your bread pan.
Repeat with the other dough.

Cover the loaves loosely with a kitchen towel
and let rise until doubled.
When you begin this final rise,
place an iron skillet on the bottom oven rack
turn the oven on to 450°.
You want the oven to heat for a good 30 minutes before baking.

When the dough has risen,
slash the top with a sharp knife 4-5 times at about 30°,
1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.
The slashes act like steam vents
and the bread will open up during baking.

Mist the loves with 5-6 sprays of water.
Put the dough in the 450° oven
and throw 2 cups of ice cubes in the iron skillet.
Steam and moisture are needed to produce a nice crisp crust.

After the first three minutes,
mist the loaves again.
After the next three minutes, mist again.
Total bake time - about 25 minutes.
If you have a thermometer with a probe,
bread is ready at an internal temperature of 200°.

Let cool before cutting.

The flavors are still working, while it's hot.

Now for the step-by-steps:
Pour a packet of yeast into 1/2 cup warm water.

Sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar
so the yeast will have something to eat.
It's hungry!

Wait about 5 minutes
until the mixture gets poofy.
That means it has "proved" it's alive.

 If it doesn't proof,
the yeast is no good.
Discard it and start over.

To the bowl of your food processor,
add 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour,
1 TB sugar,
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt,
and 1 cup warm water.

Add in the rest of the yeast mixture.

Pulse until it forms a ball.

Cover and let rise until doubled.

Pulse down.

Second rise.

Pulse down.

Third rise.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface.

 Give it a flurry of flour.

 Form into a tight ball.

 Cut in half.

 Form into balls.

 Gently flatten into a 5 x 8 inch rectangle.

 Pull top third down and press to seal.

 Pull bottom third up evenly.

 Turn seal-side down.

 And repeat.

The first two times I made this bread,
I fashioned a baguette pan out of heavy-duty foil.
The bread tended to spread both out and up
because of the foil, so ...
... I went out and bought a real baguette pan.

Beau is cozy in front of the fire.

 Let rise.
Slash before baking.
20 - 25 minutes in a 450° oven.

Ta daa!
Honestly, I don't think I'll be buying bread again.
This recipe is foolproof and so very easy.

What I like about this bread,
besides the taste, the texture, the crumb, and the simplicity
is that it is wonderfully CONSISTENT.

I FLOVE this bread.


Marilyn said...

Do you think this recipe would work with King Arthur white whole wheat flour?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I don't have much luck yet with whole wheat flour. It's always a heavy loaf with not a lot of rise to it. I need to experiment more with whole wheat.

Kathy said...

Try the white whole wheat. It is lighter than traditional whole wheat - in texture, color, and taste. And it isn't the nutritional wasteland that white flour is. Please?

SweetPhyl said...

Rosie, sure, it LOOKS easy enough, but I'm sure there's some Rosie magic involved in the about a video for us morons?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Phyllis, no Rosie magic. Super simple foolproof recipe. Video of what? The entire process?