Friday, February 19, 2010

Quick and Yummy Bread Pictorial

I've been playing with an Artisan Bread recipe I got from -C's blog a few months ago.  I usually "cook by ear" and don't measure, but this was working well and tasting really good, so I did some measuring and I think I have something I can pass on.  I took pictures of the process this time too. So here is a bread recipe that takes less than ten minutes to mix up and about an hour to complete from start to eat.
First, warm up two cups of water so you can keep your finger in it comfortably. Not too hot!


Remove from heat and add one tablespoon of sugar,


Then add one tablespoon of regular yeast and stir and kind of mash it around with a spoon or spatula until the yeast is dissolved,

Then add rosemary leaves to the water, (about a loose tablespoon isn't overpowering). The bread is great without spices, and I'm going to play with using different herbs.

 While the yeast, water and rosemary are sitting, put 3 cups of flour in a deep bowl,


Add about a level tablespoon of coarse sea salt or kosher salt to the flour, (do not skip the salt! Bread without salt tastes like baked paste)...


And grease a 9-10" cast iron skillet (or a baking stone, shallow dish or standard bread pan). I use olive oil.  I've found the cast iron gives a nice crust on the bottom of the bread and the sides are good to keep the dough from flattening out too much.

Check the yeast mixture, it should be foaming up really good by now.  You should have a nice quarter inch of yeasty foam on top of the water.

At this point you want to turn the oven on just for a few minutes just to get it warm... just WARM, like a hot summer day warm, not cooking warm. DON'T LEAVE IT ON.


Now you'll add your foaming yeast water to the flour

And mix it up.  I just use a large spoon or my hands.  You will need to add more water a little at a time, enough to make a stiff batter.  If you go overboard on the water, you can add more flour. Unlike traditional bread kneading recipes, you don't need to make it totally lump free or smooth so don't get obsessive with the mixing.

You can see the consistency of the batter... it is slightly lumpy, sticky and will hold its shape pretty well and SLOWLY flatten out if left sitting.

Now pour the batter into the pan...

...and shape it a little bit into a mound in the center of the pan.

Put it in the warm oven and close the door and let it rise...


You'll let this rise for about 15 minutes or so until it gets about this high, just over the top of the rim of the pan (this applies no matter what kind of pan you use, once it gets just above the rim its ready... (it happens fast so don't get involved in answering email or you'll be cleaning the bottom of the oven of sticky dough)!  Take it out of the oven and sprinkle a little flour on top.

Set the oven at 350 and put the pan back in right away  (DO NOT PRE-HEAT THE OVEN).


The beauty of this recipe is that the bread continues to rise while the oven heats up and reaches cooking temperature.  This is about 15 minutes into the baking time.

And this is about 30 minutes... you can see the bread has reached its peak of rising and is now browning.


And in about 45 minutes this is what you take out of the oven...

Remove it from the pan with a flat spatula and set it either on a cooling rack or a towel. Don't put hot bread on a plate or anything solid or wrap it in foil, the condensation under it will make the bottom crust soggy.You can slice it pretty much after ten or fifteen minutes.

Cut and enjoy!  (This one is going to Presanctified potluck tonight.)

17 comments:

Larry said...

Oh, man...bread like this is the one thing I really, really miss being diabetic.

The folks at presanctified liturgy tonight are soooo lucky... :)

babushkajoanna said...

I think I can actually make this one without adult supervision or the fire dept. on speed dial! :) Thank you, Steve!

s-p said...

No adult supervision in my kitchen either. Just ask my wife. :)

Benjamin said...

Wow,

I got really excited by this post-thanks for it by the way-but I just managed to somehow totally screw it up

My bread didn't rise at all-could have been the regular instead of sea salt, the 3 different types of flour I used, the lack of measurements I made, or the fact that it was the first time I tried to make bread. I will try it again another time. Maybe it will make a nice flatbread

s-p said...

Benjamin, LOL! I usually don't measure anything either but I figured if I'm going to pass it on I should have something more exact than "ohhh... some flour". But I didn't think about it in depth enough to make the recipe "Benjamin-proof" I guess :) I'm not sure about why it didn't rise if you got the yeast mixture to do its thing. It could have been your flour (I've only used cheap all purpose) or not enough yeast, in which case it would just take longer to rise. Old yeast can be a problem, but if it foams, its good. So, hmmm... if you try again let me know if you think you figured out what went wrong so I can revise and issue warnings in the recipe.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

I'll try this recipe for bread soon. Thanx.

God bless.

Kirk said...

When you say a teaspoon of yeast, how does that convert to yeast "packets?"

My first batch didn't rise much. I suspect either not enough yeast, or I didn't get the water warm enough to start the yeast. Trying again.

Thanks for the recipe. This is fun!

s-p said...

Hi Kirk,
If you used a teaspoon, that was too little... the recipe calls for a tablespoon. It would eventually rise with a teaspoon of yeast. I'm not sure how that translates into packets, I'm thinking maybe 3-4. Once you get it down, it goes really quick and its worth the couple of flop attempts. There's nothing like serving up fresh bread when company comes for dinner or taking it to potluck.

Kirk said...

Yes, I meant tablespoon. When I did it the first time, I poured the packet into the tablespoon, and it looked about 2/3rds full.

The second time, I started with hotter water, and got more froth. Looking back at your pictures I still didn't get as much froth as you did, so the third time I'll use two packets.

The second batch is in the oven rising. It's been rising slowly for about 40 minutes, and its almost to the top of the 10.5" skillet.

The first batch was delicious, but it was just heavy. Love the crust. Didn't stick at all.

Thanks again. I'm a bread newby.

s-p said...

Kirk, the depth of the "froth" on the water/yeast mix may be relative to the size of the pan you are using but it should completely cover the surface of the water and be pretty bubbly. If its not, wait a little longer. If you get the water too hot it will kill the yeast, if it is too cool it will not activate the yeast and froth as quickly and will take longer to rise. Maybe think of it as hot bath water... hot enough to get in but not so hot that it will be uncomfortable. I've had a few "flat loaves", and as you say, they taste good but are a little dense. I use those to dip in a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Yummy stuff.

el cuerpo negro said...

it's also tasty to throw in some brown sugar and cinnamon instead of rosemary. i forget how much brown sugar i used last time though, maybe a cup? maybe not that much. anyway, makes for good breakfast bread!

s-p said...

Breakfast bread! What a great idea. Now if I can figure out how to make it into Pop Tarts. :)

deb said...

I made this today, and it's yummy. I think it's a bit salty, though, so I may cut back on that in the future. Also, I'm pretty sure that you used a 10" skillet in your example, not 12" as it says? Because no way would this amount of dough rise up that high and fill a 12" skillet that much. I used a 12" and got something more like focaccia, because the dough had so much room to spread out. Not that there's anything wrong with that! That just gave me the notion of baking it topped with carmelized onions and sun-dried tomatoes some time . . .

s-p said...

Hi Deb, I think you're right about the 10" pan. The salt is definitely a personal taste thing. I tend to like salty/vinegary stuff... my wife is getting used to it. I LOVE carmelized onions, I was talking to my wife about trying kind of a "roll up" bread with stuff in it. Good idea!

jen said...

Thanks for posting this recipe. I broke the cardinal rule of potluck and made something for the first time and took it to Presanctified taste untested. It was a huge hit and everyone was impressed and thinking I'm a great cook. Hopefully I can recreate it a second time. I'm going to try other mix-ins. Next try is going to be cranberry walnut. Thanks again.

Job said...

I am toying around with the idea of seeing if this will be the first bread successfully made with and IPA.

s-p said...

Job, ohhhh, that's a cool twist. Let me know if you try it.