Friday, March 28, 2014

Baking Bread Part 2

One of my goals for the new year was learning to make a decent loaf of bread. I have not bought any bread since the first of the year. The routine of making it is has settled in, and I think I can make a consistently good product. We've eaten and enjoyed all my efforts.

Read any book on baking bread and you know the author puts a lot of emphasis on the experience. A little practice is necessary to get the feel of when the proportions of water and flour are right and when the bread has been kneaded enough. Explaining is like giving instruction on how to ride a bike. You have to do it.

Here are a few of my latest efforts. I like simple, crusty bread with a chewy interior crumb.

So I've ben using this recipe for Basic Bread.
3 cups flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast

Many recipes call for more yeast, but I've found that our high altitude results in a good rise with less yeast. It sounds counter-intuitive, but spraying the dough with water before putting it in the oven results in a better crust.

This recipe does not even require a second rise or a pre-heated oven. Just form the rolls or loaf. Set the oven on 375 degrees and pop it in. Oven spring will result in a nice secondary rise.

The basic bread recipe also makes good pizza dough.

The pizza sauce was made from a 25 cent can of tomato sauce (8 oz) and some dried herbs. I added some fresh basil, a few slices of Italian sausage and some mozzarella cheese. The basic recipe made two 9 or 10 inch free form pizza pies. Add a serving of Eveready salad and dinner is done.

Previous bread posts.
Baking Bread - Cinnamon Rolls - Boule

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