Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bread Rescues Fingers from Certain Death


The key to a good loaf of French bread is the baguette pan. It's full of little holes to make the French bread wonderful and crispy, or I guess you could say it's empty of little holes, although the result is the same. The recipe is simple:

2 cups warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp dried yeast (1 packet)
2 tsp salt
5-6 cups white flour (King Arthur's, Gold Medal Bread flour)

Mix the yeast, sugar and some water so the yeast hydrates (listen for huge sucking sound) and goes all frothy. I feel the same way when I drink sugar water especially when it's about three-quarters tequila...but I digress.
Mix in the rest of the water and salt. Add about 3 cups of flour and stir like mad until the mixture is smooth and elastic.

Note of interest: If you are not using a Kitchen Aid mixer, then you must have arms like Popeye. In this case eat a can of spinich before starting to make bread.

Add the rest of the flour a bit at a time and knead the mixture until it is smooth and bread-dough like. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with Saran wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Punch it down (removing the Saran wrap first. Duh!), divide into thirds and stretch it out into long sausage shapes that will fit your baguette pan.

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees F. When the baguettes have risen for about 30 minutes, make some diagonal cuts to relieve stress...in the baguettes, not in your wrists...spray with water and pop them in the oven.

Spray with water twice more at 3-minute intervals, set the oven timer for 20 minutes and have a bottle of wine.

1 comment:

Beth said...

holy cannoli, you made your own bread.