Tuesday, July 17, 2012

bread from scratch

If there are fresh baguettes at the grocery store, I will most likely buy one. Maybe two if they are still warm. I will most likely tear into the warm bread on the way home from the store. Warm bread eaten within the quarter mile from the store to my house doesn't count- it has no calories and never happened.

You need just four ingredients to make homemade bread. Well, five if you count patience. Bread is flour, warm water, yeast and salt... and patience while the dough rises twice for a total of three and a half hours.

I always have flour, water, salt and yeast. I am sometimes out of patience.

Save a trip to the store and make your own baguettes (or boules if that is how you get down.)

All ingredients get thrown into the pool.

This dough gets kneaded by mixer (or hand if you don't have one) for just two minutes.

After the initial rise, refrigerate the dough for at least an hour (and up to over night.) Then, shape and rise again.

Homemade bread means toasts for dinner. Top toasts with anything. Some of my favorites: honey, goat cheese and pears; marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and thinly sliced salami; smashed avocado and sea salt; or layered tomato and Swiss cheese. You can also be a purest and go with butter. 

Fresh Baguettes/Boules
from King Arthur Flour
makes 2- 15" baguettes or 2- 7"boules

4 c AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 c warm water
- - -
1. Lightly oil the bowl of a stand mixer and to it add the water
2. Add the dry ingredients and stir until mixture comes together
3. Using the dough hook attachment, knead dough for 1-2 minutes until it clears the side of the bowl and begins to climb the hook
4. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap (or a kitchen towel) and allow dough to rest in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size
5. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hr (up to over night)
6. After dough retards in the fridge, divide it in half and shape into either a boule (round) or classic baguette
7. Place shaped dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours
8. Pre-heat oven to 425
9. Make 4 small, diagonal cuts on the top of the baguette (or 2 in the shape of an X on the boule) and spritz liberally with water
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden
11. Repeat steps 6-10 with remaining dough

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