Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bistro Bread

This recipe came from Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François's Artisan Bread in Five website. Which is stretching it a bit, as it really takes what seems forever for this to produce it's perfect crumb and crust...but perhaps the 5 minutes isn't for how it takes to make it, but rather, how long it takes to eat the whole loaf.
You start with a 6 quart container with a lid, into which you pour 3 cups of lukewarm water (105/110*).

Add 1 tablespoon of yeast. Make certain to use fresh! Then add 1 1/2 tablespoons flake salt. Let rest for 20 minutes.
 Add in 6 cups of sifted white flour. Stir with a large wooden spoon. Cover but not snugly, leave just enough space to allow some gases to escape, or you can pop a hole in the middle of the lid and snap it onto the container. Leave the dough in the bottom of the container undisturbed for 2 to 4 hours (depends on room temperature, cold rooms take longer than warmer ones).

At first it's flat and dense...

...and after a while it fills the whole container with it's pale air-filled loveliness.

The dough will eventually flatten out and shrink slightly. Remove the lid, sprinkle several tablespoons of flour, cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Set the oven to 450*. Measure out one pound (16oz) of dough. Gently form and set on waxed or parchment paper for 40 minutes. Heat a glass lidded crockpot, pizza stone, or cast iron pan in the oven while the dough rests.

If you use the pizza stone, sprinkle it with coarse meal before setting the dough on it. If the cast iron pan, add a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set a metal pot with one cup of hot water 5 inches under the stone or cast iron.

The crockpot will not need anything. See this link for the crockpot bread directions.

Make five slashes with a serrated knife 1/4 to 1/2 inch in depth to prevent the bread from splitting or cracking on top or the bottom.

Bake for 35 minutes, do not open that oven door until the time is up!

Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before cutting into the loaf.

The remaining dough can be covered and refrigerated. Over time the dough mellows, making for even more lovely bread.

Here is another loaf. This one is 50% hard red berry wheat, locally grown and ground.

1 comment:

  1. Looks awesome!!! I'll take it! (the recipe :)