Saturday, January 16, 2010

White Loaf

Yesterday I had a hankering to make bread. Nothing that took too long to rise, but something that gave me a feel of dough and yeastyness: white loaves. I've made it once or twice before and it's always lovely. So, here it is (recipe is from "baking with julia" cut in half:
-In mixer bowl add 1.5 tsp yeast to 1/4 c warm water and 1.5 tsp sugar. let sit for 5 minutes so yeast can get creamy.
-Add to the yeast 2c flour and 1c water mixing on low until just incorporated, then add 1.5 c more flour and then once flour is absorbed, beat on medium for 10 minutes until dough comes together then add 1.5 tsp salt.
-Beat for 10 minutes more until dough is smooth and elastic, then add 2tbs room temp/softened butter to the mix, a small amount at a time. The dough will separate a bit, but then it will come together with more beating. When the dough comes back together, turn off the mixer and shape the dough into a ball and put in an oiled or buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45min-1hr.

When I made this, the dough was sticky and moist, but very elastic, so it stays together and pulls itself into a ball. In the directions, it said to shape the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface, but I didn't feel like pulling out my wooden board for such a small task, so working quickly, I gathered it into a smoothish ball and neatly plopped it into the bowl.

-Shaping the dough (My favorite part!): On a lightly floured surface, deflate the dough. Pat out your dough out to a 9x12 rectangle. Fold the top down two-thirds and seal it with the heel of your hand. Fold it down two thirds again and seal with the heel of your hand. Fold the dough down so it meets the bottom and seal.
-Flip the dough so that the seam is facing up and pinch the seam to make sure the dough is completely sealed. Then fold in the sides so that they will fit into a 4.5x8.5 loaf pan and pinch together. Put your loaf into your buttered/oiled 4.5x8.5in loaf pan and let rise for 45 minutes, covered with greased plastic wrap. Preheat your oven to 375.
-bake your loaf for 35-45 minutes (until an instant read thermometer plunged into the center of the bread reads 200). During the last 10 minutes of baking, you may also take your bread out of its loaf pan so that it may brown all over.
-Let cool, then slice when just a little warm. "just warm is just-right"

Do not slice hot bread. Hot bread has no texture and will collapse if sliced.

Now enjoy your bread. It is a nice buttery loaf and easy to make.

Alas, I will not have the luxury of a standing mixer when I return to New York, but I will continue to make bread by hand (my favorite way to make things, if messier and more time consuming, but it's a labor of love).

A little introduction:
Hi, my name is Patricia. I like to make bread. Right now I am a student in New York City studying biology, but I'm thinking of pursuing baking in culinary school afterwards. I love yeast, I love mixing things and I love throwing down dough. My resolution for my return to NY: buy some quarry tiles at Home Depot so I may make artisanal loaves with a proper crust, perhaps a scale (I may be too poor to afford one, but we'll see), smuggle in my thermometer, buy a dough scraper (I have one at home, but I can only smuggle in so much), whole wheat flour, a jar (!!! I usually only buy those little packets) of yeast, bread flour..the list goes on. I only hope that I will be able to fit my Baking with Julia cookbook into my luggage. This semester, you can count on me to make lots of bread, hopefully stews and the occasional pie, among other things, of course. Stay tuned...


No comments:

Post a Comment