Best And Easiest Home-Baked Bread
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Best And Easiest Home-Baked Bread
  Bread  
Last updated 6/12/2012 12:59:18 AM. Recipe ID 22240. Report a problem with this recipe.
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      Title: Best and easiest home-baked bread
 Categories: Live
      Yield: 4 Servings
 
           Starter:
      2 c  Warm tap water, about 110
           Degrees
    1/4 ts Dry yeast
      2 c  (about 9 ounces) unbleached,
           All-purpose flour or whole
           Wheat flour
           Sponge:
    3/4 c  Warm tap water, about 110
           Degrees
    1/2 ts Dry yeast
      1 c  Risen starter, above
      2 c  (about 9 ounces) unbleached,
           All-purpose flour
           Dough:
           All the sponge, above
  1 1/2    To 1 3/4 cups (about 7 to 8
           Ounces) unbleached,
           All-purpose flour
      2 ts Salt
           Cornmeal for the bottom of
           The loaf
 
  For the starter, place warm water in a glass or stainless steel bowl
  and whisk in yeast. Stir in flour and cover with plastic wrap. Set
  aside to rise at room temperature until doubled and bubbly from 2 to
  8 hours, depending on room temperature.
  
  For the sponge, place warm water in a glass or stainless steel bowl
  and whisk in yeast. Whisk in starter, stir in flour smoothly, and
  cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until about triple in volume,
  about 4 to 8 hours (I like to do this late at night and allow it to
  rise all night). Stir sponge to deflate and stir in smaller amount of
  flour and salt. Knead dough by hand to form a smooth, elastic and
  slightly sticky dough, about 5 minutes, incorporating the remaining
  flour a tablespoon at a time if the dough is too soft.
  
  To mix the dough in the food processor, place sponge, smaller amount
  of flour and salt in work bowl fitted with metal blade. Pulse
  repeatedly until dough forms a ball (if dough will not form ball, add
  remaining flour a tablespoon at a time, and pulse until dough forms
  ball. Let dough rest 5 minutes, then let machine run continuously for
       20    seconds.
  
  To mix dough in heavy-duty mixer, place sponge, smaller amount of
  flour and salt in bowl of mixer fitted with dough hook. Mix on low
  speed to form a smooth, elastic and slightly sticky dough, about 5
  minutes, incorporating the remaining flour a tablespoon at a time if
  the dough is too soft.
  
  Oil a bowl and turn dough into it. Turn dough over so that top is
  oiled and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise
  until double. Line a round basket or 2-quart bowl with a napkin or
  tea towel and flour the cloth generously. Remove dough from bowl,
  press it to deflate, and shape it into a sphere by tucking bottom
  under and in toward center all the way around. Invert the dough into
  the cloth-lined basket or bowl so tucked-under edges are on top.
  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about an
  hour.
  
  When the loaf is almost risen, preheat oven to 500 degrees and set a
  rack at the middle level. Place a heavy cookie sheet or jelly roll
  pan or a baking stone on the rack. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with
  cornmeal and invert it onto a piece of cardboard or a peel. Holding a
  razor blade at a 30-degree angle to the loaf, quickly slash a cross
  in the top. Slide the loaf off the peel onto the pan and lower oven
  temperature to 450 degrees. Bake the loaf for about 45 minutes, or
  until it reaches an internal temperature of 210 degrees. Cool the
  loaf on a rack and do not cut it until it is completely cooled.
  
  Variations:
  
  PART WHOLE WHEAT BREAD: Make the starter with whole wheat flour and
  the sponge and dough with white flour. Or, if you make the starter
  with white flour, substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups
  white flour in the sponge; and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 to 1
  1/4 cups white flour in the dough.
  




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Recipe ID 22240 (Apr 03, 2005)

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