Sunday, August 28, 2011

Welcome To Kate's Bread-Making Cocktail Hour!

 I was in the mood to make bread.  Actually, I was also in the mood to make ricotta cheese, but that's another post.

Breadmaking is not all that hard, really.  You need to remember a couple of things.  

FIRST: Don't forget the frickin' salt.  Really.  Make a large sign and put it on the oven if necessary.  Bread without salt is grody.

SECOND:  You shouldn't kill the yeast.  I've never killed yeast, but I guess I've been lucky.  So, just do the stuff in order and you'll be fine.  And no boiling water.  But boiling water would take effort, and I'm not planning on going there, so you're fine there too.

THIRD:  You'll need some liquid, some sugary stuff (sugar, honey, etc.) and some flour.  I'd suggest water, honey, and wheat flour.  (FYI: wheat flour is just the regular stuff -- not self-rising, etc.)

LAST: You'll need an oven.  And maybe something to bake the bread on (like a pan).

People have been making bread for zillions of years without complex measuring, equipment, or even a high IQ.  It's not that hard, people.  

Here's my yeast.  I keep it in the fridge.

I dump some into the mixer.  (I don't know -- a couple of teaspoons?)  See?  I pointed to it so you could see it.  There's a bump in the bottom of the bowl.
 This is a clear coffeecup.  I used warm-towards-hot water.  I always just stick my hand in the water, and when it feels like the temperature I use for a shower, that's what I use.
 BLOOP.  Into the bowl.  Highly technical.
 This is honey from our farmer's market.  But the "bear" honey will work too.  I use honey because it makes the bread nice and soft and squishy and moist.  You can use plain sugar too.  I use one loooong bloop from the bottle.
 I like to whir it around a bit with a chopstick.  Don't know why I always use a chopstick, but I do. Sue me.
 Here's what I used for flour/grain.  I had a half bag of wholewheat, and I'm always trying to sneak it when the family's not looking.
 This is a souvenir sports coffee mug.  I filled it nearly up with whole wheat flour.
 And this is white flour.  One cup.  (Coffee cup, that is)
 SEE?  It's in the bowl!  Proof that I remembered to put it in.

 Now, I don't know why I used this corn meal, but I like a bit of a crunch in my bread.  And it was at eye-level in the cabinet.
 I used one generous handful.
 LOOK~ I remembered the salt!!
 One partial palm full.  This is NOT mounded up.
 And LOOK.  You can see the dough hook moving! Whirrwhirrwhirr.
 Notice that the liquid (water, honey) is getting mixed in.

Hm.  Not looking moist enough.

A little more water in the cup.  Nice and warm.

HEY! It looks like dough now.

Ahh, crap.  Too wet now.

See how it's sticking?

This is the lid from the flour canister (you can see the others in the 
 background). I'm adding more flour.



Now's a good time to wash the counter.  The dough is resting in the bowl.

Empty the dishwasher.

Cocktail hour!

Like my martini shaker?

Nectar of ... Kate

It was kind of bare.  I tossed in 2 blackberries and a couple of grapes on  a skewer. Now it's full of ANTIOXIDANTS.        It's healthy.



OK.  Back to business.  Gotta spray the pan.

What an awesome shot.  You can see it spraying!

"Forming" the loaf means you make it into a shape other than a blob.

Kind of folding the edges over, towards the middle.

Pinching it like you do a cute kid's cheeks.

My favorite part.  The Dangle.  Hold the end of the dough and flap it back and forth.

It is oddly embarrassing to do this.


See how I propped it up on the pan?  The burner under it was still warm from cheesemaking, and I didn't want to burn the bread.  But it still was emanating enough heat to help the rise.

Multitasking.  Let's make a pitcher of iced tea!!

Mmmm.  More multitasking.

Check. It. OUT!  (on my family's inherited handmade bread board)

It's even done in the middle!  (BTW: Baked for 1/2 hour at 450F, until it registered about 200F on a thermometer)

The next day, I sliced it thinly, layered it with 3 cut-up pears, and poured over it a mixture of:  4 eggs, about 1/2 cup plain yogurt, cinnamon, and 2-3 TB of sugar.  Baked at 450F for 1/2 hour.
Pear tart! 

1 comment:

MandaRoo said...

I read this whole thing and now I want to make bread. But nothing to make bread. We don't even have flour. Damn you K8!