Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My daily bread

No, seriously.  This is about how I make bread, daily.

I often get fed up with the complicated state of my life, and changing my habits is making me want to simplify everything.  Starting with bread.  I love bread.  And I love fresh baked bread best of all.

Which is why I was so very happy to find this:


See, between the covers of this book is the secret to having fresh baked bread throughout the week, which sounds more complicated, not less complicated, but I promise you that it is actually very easy.  And the beautiful thing about it is that the dough made from this book can be used to make bread, pita, pizza crust, all manner of things.  From scratch.  Without funky preservatives.  With only ingredients that I can pronounce.

It's fantastic.

And it goes like this:

You make a large batch of dough and store it in the fridge.  The basic recipe is easy as pie (er, bread.  Whatever.) and only has four ingredients.  But today we are using a slightly more complicated recipe, that is still ridiculously easy, and has a whole six ingredients.  Here they are (well, here they are, minus the most basic, flour and water):


That's right.  Flour, salt, sugar, olive oil, yeast, and water.  I grind up a bit of wheat and mix whole wheat flour with all purpose flour, but using just all purpose flour would work just as well.

That's it.

See this bowl?


Sorry if the picture makes you feel seasick.  I apparently was feeling tilty today.

My mom used it when I was a kid for all manner of things, not the least of which was bread dough, and then she gave it to me.  And it sat in my cupboards for many years, sad and unused, because really, who is going to use a tupperware bowl that big?  Me, that's who.

I just mix up my ingredients right there in the bowl, let it sit for a couple hours, slap a lid on it and toss it in the fridge.  Let me repeat that:  I mix it up, in the bowl with a big wooden spoon (and my hands, when it gets too thick to stir), without dragging out a mixer or any other kitchen gadget.

One. Bowl.

Then it looks like this:


I let it sit, covered, on the counter for about two hours, and then it's ready to go.  I could use it right that minute, but I never do.  Because it is so, so much better after it's been in the fridge for at least overnight.

*Sidenote*
Just for the record, I had a picture of the dough in its risen state, and it really is a sight to behold.  It filled that whole giant bowl.  But the fact of it is, that by the time it had risen enough to put it in the fridge, the sun was down and the light was bad and I just couldn't bring myself to end with that pic when the one above it was so much better.  So just trust me that it easily doubled in size and was amazing.  Then go look at that first picture of the dough and marvel at how well that pic came out.  For a girl who has no idea what she is doing with a camera I was pretty happy with it.
*End Sidenote*

Then whenever the mood hits me, I grab a chunk of the dough, form it up (no kneading involved), let it sit while the oven heats up, and bake up some fresh bread.  Which I then eat a lot of, so in hindsight this might not be my best plan, but it is working for me now.

Before I forget, make sure that the bowl you mix and store your dough in is not air tight.  While rising, it's giving off yummy, bready gasses (which sounds gross, but I assure you is good) and your bowl WILL explode.  How do I know?  Because I just went ahead and put the lid on mine, sealing it all way up (even though I know better!), and just a moment ago I heard a *POP* from the kitchen.  Sure enough, it had popped the lid off my bowl.  So I'm pretty sure letting this rise in, say, a large sealed mason jar would be disastrous.  Not to mention dangerous.  So don't.

A large batch is enough for four loaves of bread.  Or many, many really good pizza crusts.  Or a whole lot of pita.  Yum.  Imagine what you could make if you doubled it!  The dough gets better throughout the week, and is truly spectacular by the end of the week, or even into the second week.  

And it's easy.  No rise times.  No all day baking.  Just simple, easy bread.

This recipe is very forgiving, and can be adapted six ways from Sunday by adding ingredients (nuts, garlic, olives, etc.) when you bake.  Mmmm, garlic...  And seriously, can you imagine this fresh made pita with some homemade hummus?  Yes, please.  In fact, let's do a hummus recipe to go with the bread next week, wanna?  I do.

I'll share some pics of actually baking the bread when it's time.  Which it isn't yet.  Maybe I'll even give away a copy of the book, I love it that much.  So stay tuned...

How do you like to make bread?  Maybe a better question is do you like making bread? 


2 comments:

  1. ok...did I miss the recipe? I'd really like to try this!
    Thank you!
    Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Dawn! Yeah, I never actually gave measurements. Oops! But I am doing a follow up post about the bread I make with the dough, and I will put the recipe in there. Stay tuned... and sorry about that!

    ReplyDelete