I tried a new bread recipe this weekend. It was interesting in both ingredients and method -- some new twists and turns I'd not seen or tried before.
This is in the EXTREMELY EASY category. The trick is having enough time to commit to being present with this bread at a few critical moments. I'll do it again, now that I'm a little more familiar with its timing -- but I would consider this a "free weekend" project when you're housebound because of weather or sheer desire.
I'll go through some photos of the steps first, then will share the odd little recipe at the end:
First, all the things we need. Unbleached all-purpose flour; whole wheat flour, instant yeast, salt, water, BEER, vinegar.
Wet ingredients. Mmm. Ingredients.
Stirred together to form a "shaggy ball."
All tucked in for the next 8 to 18 hours.
Ready to knead:
Smooth as a baby's bottom:
Preparing a parchment lined skillet for the second rising:
Spraying the top with no-stick spray:
It took another two-hour nap at this point.
Now, I see if it's awake and finished rising the second time. Close enough.
The oven has been heated to 500 degrees, with the dutch oven inside. HOT.
I flour the top of the loaf:
And then cut a 6-inch slit in the top
Using the parchment sling, the loaf now gets popped into the very extremely hot *ouch* dutch oven. The lid is put on top.
Then the heat is turned down to 425 and the loaf bakes, covered, for 30 minutes. Then the lid comes off and it bakes for another 20 to 30 minutes untiil it is dark brown and an instant-read thermometer reads 210. (I'll check to see how it sounds.)
Then it cools for two hours on a wire rack while I run off to play handbells.
When I took the lid off the pot, the parchment had already turned brown. This will be interesting!
The Verdict: The bread is GREAT. Good, crusty, flavorful. Definitely a peasant type bread. Would make a great soup bowl type bread.
Straight out of the oven. Too hot to touch!
Back from bells -- about an hour and a half cooling time on the rack. Cut and ready for butter!
It's soooo good.
The regular bread recipe calls for 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour. The version I made substitutes 1 cup whole wheat flour for one cup of the unbleached.
I would make this again, now that I've got the hang of the timing. It would have to be on a weekend when I knew I would be home at the key times without being too stressed. Total time to do: 5 minutes for the mixing step. Lots of waiting. 5 minutes for the little bit of kneading before the second rise. 5 minutes to super-heat the oven and dutch oven. 5 minutes to get it ready to bake. An hour of time while it's in the oven.
There are other options in the recipe as well. I like this well enough to forego store bread. I just have to be careful not to devour the whole loaf when it comes out of the oven!