Saturday, June 9, 2007
Broad on bread
Here's a couple of pictures of the bread I baked from scratch. Thanks to Mrs Rose Levy Beranbaum and Jamie Oliver, I've learnt a few things about baking bread:
1. Keep your yeast alive! I sweated over the temperature of the water to mix the dry yeast in with the honey or sugar. I've figured out 'tepid water' means water that you can stick a clean finger into and it should neither feel cold nor hot, justly slightly warm. If it's too hot, the yeast will 'die' and your dough will not rise much.
2. Kneading is fun and therapeutic. It's not hard work at all. Just five minutes of folding, pushing and prodding the dough before the first proofing.
3. Add your fav ingredients (olives, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chopped apricots, walnuts, etc) before the second proofing and shape dough into the final form you want. Slash the top half an inch deep two or three times with a sharp knife so the dough relaxes and rises nicely again. Place it onto a generously floured baking tray or loaf pan if you want it to be a more upright bread shape.
(At top is a 'window pane' montage of the wharf at Ascona, Ticino, in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.)