I started baking a lot of bread this winter. It has been something that I have wanted to do for some time but really have not taken the time to work on it. Making bread is actually a fairly easy endeavor once you start with it. Unlike cooking, baking is more of a science so it takes a little bit more care and attention when mixing your ingredients. Yet once you get it down it quickly becomes second nature.
My interest sparked last winter. However, for some reason I decided to jump right into the deep end and start with sourdough bread. Making my own starter and all. Starter takes time, attention, and the right conditions to make. This is where I think I screwed up. I followed the directions to the very end when I should have paid more attention to the starter as it was processing through its cycle. In doing this I believe that I rushed the starter and while the end result was bread, it was not exactly sourdough bread.
My little, yet time consuming experiment had me put bread making in the backseat while I dealt with other interests until a few months ago when I picked it back up. Now,I was not going to jump ahead of the learning process like last year. This time, I was going to start simple.
The bread recipe that I have been using is basic. It is nothing more than 2.5 cups of bread flour, 1 packet of yeast, 1.5 tsp of salt, and 1.5 cups of water. I mix that all together and let it set in what I try to keep at 70 degrees for 20 to 24 hours. We rarely use our bottom oven so that is where I usually put it to sit. It is out of the way and the temperature is constant enough in there to not harm the process.
Two hours before I am ready to bake I take the dough out and place it on a flat cutting board that is covered with flour. I gently lay it flat, fold it in thirds, fold it one more time lengthwise to make somewhat of a ball and cover it and place it back in the bottom oven to rise for another two hours.
A half our before I am ready to bake I turn the top oven to 500 degrees and place a dutch oven in it to heat up. When it is time to finally bake the bread I take the dough, place it in the dutch oven, put the lid on, and place it in the 500 degree oven for roughly 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I take the lid off to brown the top for roughly 10 to 15 minutes. At this point the baking process is done. I take the loaf out of the dutch oven and place it on a cooling rack for about 1 hour. Once it is cooled down it is ready to be enjoyed by all.
I mention this because this bread does very well toasted. Why do I bring this up? Because our fearless leader wants more articles on toast.
Yep, that’s it.
Anyway, on to flakes...
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