Friday, May 14, 2010

I did it! I made bread!

I cannot believe it! I actually did it. And it was relatively easy! Here's my finished product:

Here's how you do it. 3 3/4 cups of flour (I used King Arthur unbleached bread flour, but I think regular AP flour would be fine.) Put that in your standing mixer. Put 2 tsp of salt on one side, 2 tsp of yeast on the other, and pour 1 1/2 cups warm water down the middle. I went ahead and bought a jar of yeast, as I envisioned that I'd be making a lot more bread.  Mix on low a couple of minutes with the paddle until it all comes together. Then switch to the dough hook. And mix on medium for 2 minutes. Let it rest 5 minutes, then mix 3 minutes more. Plop it on a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes. I felt like my dough couldn't take any more flour, but you can add up to 1/4 cup here if need be.
As you can see, mine kept trying to worm its way out of the bowl. Then after kneading you should have a "smooth satiny ball." I'm not sure mine was all that satiny, but it was smooth.
Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, flipping it over to cover the whole thing in oil, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and put in a warm place to rest for an hour and a half. (For me, that was on top of the ice machine, which puts out a considerable amount of heat.)
Here's what it looked like after the rest.
Plop it out, punch it down, reform into a ball, the put back in the bowl to rest another 30 minutes. After the 2nd rest, plop it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut it into two with a bench cutter, reform into balls, and let rest AGAIN 45 minutes to an hour under a damp kitchen towel. (I got one wet, wrung it out, the put it on top.) Aren't they cute? (Oh, and preheat your oven to 450 with either a pizza stone or an upside down cookie sheet in it. I, luckily, have a pizza stone. Just remember that the oven takes a lot longer to heat up with the stone in it.)
Slash the top with a sharp knife and send 'em on in the oven. After 2 minutes, take 1/4 cup water and throw it in the oven (on the floor of it). Wait two minutes and do it again. Yea steam! I have a video of this, but I can't figure out how to upload it.

So just bake it for 20 - 25 minutes and you're done. Don't forget to let it cool!

Frances and Elsie each ate three pieces, I think. And Elsie NEVER eats her bread. (Strange, I know.) It was yummy. I'd like it to more like the onces at Vanilla & Lace, but it was my first time. Next, I might want to try the NYTimes no-knead bread recipe and see how they compare.


  1. I made bread too!!!! Easy isn't it? And it always seemed so difficult.

  2. Mmmmm... That looks delish!