Monday, April 30, 2007

Man cannot live by bread alone; woman, however...

I just found a boss hog bread recipe (love you, Eryn!) at Like Clotilde, I did not find immediate success. My first attempt was dough soup, baked into a golden brown curling stone in my Le Creuset dutch oven (curling stone, because a hockey puck would be too small). But undaunted (thank goodness Clotilde admitted her own third-time's-a-charm luck with this recipe), I made a second loaf today and, my dears, it's nearly gone. I did share a large hunk of it with some fellow bread-desperate friends, but mostly it's just been the work of me slicing into it all evening, slathering on the butter, and telling whoever walks into the kitchen, "I'm so happy! I made good bread!"

Find the recipe here, and then pull out your scale – kitchen scale, that is; pull out the bathroom scale and you may never make bread again. The key to this bread is the moisture content, and humidity is gonna mess with standard cup-of-this, cup-of-that measurements, as will variations in measuring a cup of flour (scoop? spoon? tap? level?). The loaf I'm nibbling on now (yes, right now), is plain Jane, strictly by the book. I have started another loaf tonight with the addition of three sprigs' worth of fresh rosemary needles, and will top it with coarse sea salt before baking tomorrow morning. See, that's the beauty of it: there's no kneading. You mix it, let it sit forever (or at least the next 12-18 hours of forever), drop it into a hot cast-iron lidded pot, and bake in a very hot oven. No mess. No kneading. No more crappy white Taiwan bread.

I am SO happy. You have no idea.

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