My dad grew up with bread at every meal. Every meal there was a plate stacked high with fresh bread that my Grandma Loretta baked. Dad says the bread was wheat, but it was a light wheat because it still had pale color. A true midwest meal always had bread as a part of it. Inspired by this new found knowledge and by Ratio, I am embarking on a bread baking adventure.
Fearful as I am of baking, I will put my trust in the book.
5 parts flour: 2 cups bread flour, 2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour.
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon active, dry yeast, dissolved in 12 ounces of water. I also added 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Add liquid to flours and salt mixture and mix until combined.
Then knead your heart out. When you can stretch a piece of dough so that you can see through it, you have kneaded enough.
I am baking my in the Le Creuset, yet another reason that cast iron is awesome! Michael Ruhlman suggests that if you bake the bread in a covered dutch oven for the first 30 minutes of cooking, and then remove it to finish cooking, that you achieve the same affect as a professional baking oven that has steam injectors. SOLD! My bread is proofing in the fridge right now!
Some snags I ran into:
- I didn’t quite achieve the window pane effect with my dough where I could see through it. I might be because I used a heavier flour, but I certainly kneaded that dough for quite some time and the dough was very elastic-y.
- My yeast didn’t go crazy and bubble. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to get a volcano effect or if it just slowly rises. I followed the directions on the back of the package of yeast, so hopefully, it goes well.
- Kneading hurts my wrists! Although I did get an arm work out in today. I was too lazy to do push-ups after I ran this morning.
This one is for Dad and Grandma Loretta! I wore the apron Grandma Loretta made me when I was a kid while I was baking:
To be continued, the bread takes a while to proof.