Monday, July 30, 2007

I Am a Lucky Woman

I'm a lucky gal...my husband bakes bread! I asked him to share his recipe. It's a pretty basic recipe, but for whatever reason, whenever I try to make it all I get are hockey puck loaves. In his hands, alchemy happens and something divine is the result.

This is not a recipe for the beginning baker, the instructions are sparse and assume that you already know a little something about baking bread. One trick I have observed, since I got my Zoji bread machine a few years ago, he does let the machine do the kneading for him. Then he forms the loaves and bakes in the oven. Go for it.... may the goddess of the harvest smile on you too.
Classic French Bread
Makes 2 loaves

1 cup cold water
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 Tbl salt
1 Tbl sugar
2 Tbl shortening
6 cups about flour

Mix all but flour and let proof for at least 5 min (10 better). Stir in flour a little at a time til dough feels right (sticky but doesn't stick to fingers). Then knead until it's smooth and elacticy. You might use all the flour, you might not. Allow to rise covered in a greased bowl at least 45 min, punch down and rise again for at least 45 min.Make into loves (2). Cover, let rise for at least an hour. Slash the top of the loaves with a knife. Brush on a glaze of 1 egg white and water,beaten together. Set oven 350 deg, place a pan of water in oven in the bottom rack. Bake until golden (about 40 min) and internal temp is about 180 deg.

You can add 1 Tbl each in the mix stage of parm cheese, minced garlic and italian seasoning for some awesome garlic herb bread.


2 comments:

Chia said...

You are lucky! Recliner Man can make a wonderful omelette but that is pretty much where his cooking skills start and stop.

Now you need some Sangria and a little oil with spices to dip that bread into.

Kira said...

You forgot to say to let the yeast dissolve before you add the salt. Otherwise, poof, hockey pucks.