When I am sick as a dawg and need something to do to get my sorry ass motivated.
Welcome back one and all.
Have been sick as a dawg with a cold, something that has not happened in quite some time. It has really knocked me on my sorry ass. I haven't been able to focus on much that needs to be done. So, to get inspired, I decided to do something I haven't done in years: make a loaf of bread, since we didn't have any and I had all of the things I needed to do this. This recipe makes two good sized loaves.
Baby Boy Ron loved it so much he took one to his Mom's to share with family today. Travis was like, "That bitch took my bread!". Obviously, it was a big hit all around.
This is fairly easy to make; however, there are very long steps where waiting must occur. I took Nyquil and set my alarm.
This recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour website, and you can link to it here for more awesome things.
What you will need:
- 1 packet active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups lukewarm water (not over 110°F)
- 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- extra flour for kneading
- cornmeal or semolina, for sprinkling on the pan. (You can also use cornstarch if you do not have either of these things, as I did not.)
Mix all of the ingredients together, using the 5 1/2 cups of flour. Mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding more of the flour if necessary. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead.This will be messy and sticky. Keep mixing until the dough pretty much no longer sticks to your hands.
To knead: Fold the far edge of the dough back over on itself towards you. Press into the dough with the heels of your hands and push away. After each push, rotate the dough 90°. Repeat this process in a rhythmic, rocking motion for 5 minutes, sprinkling only enough flour on your kneading surface to prevent sticking.
Let the dough rest while you scrape out and grease the mixing bowl. Knead the dough again for 2 to 3 minutes.
Return the dough to the bowl and turn it over once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place (your turned-off oven works well) until the dough doubles in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours.
Lightly slash the tops of the loaves three or more times diagonally and brush or spray them generously with lukewarm water. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven.
Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and sounds hollow to the touch. The interior temperature of the bread should register at least 190°F on a digital thermometer.
Remove the loaves from the oven, take them off the pan, and return them to the oven, placing them right on the rack. Turn the oven off and crack the door open several inches. Let the loaves cool in the cooling oven; this will make them extra-crusty.
Store completely cool bread in a paper bag at room temperature for a couple of days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.
Love to you all.
Ben "Bear" Brown Jr., owner