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La Belle Cuisine - More Bread Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith,"

 

Best and Easiest Home-Baked Bread

 

 

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC 

"[Breadmaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance
from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's
sweetest smells...there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise,
no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you
emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread."
~ M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating


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Loafs of Bread, Vesuvio Bakery, Prince Street, New York, New York, USA
Loafs of Bread, Vesuvio Bakery, Prince Street, New York,
New York, USA
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Bibikow, Walter
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Wheat and Wheat Products
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Werner, Carol &...
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La Belle Cuisine

 


Best and Easiest Home-Baked Bread


How to Bake:
Complete Guide to Perfect
Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Tarts,
Breads, Pizzas, Muffins...

1995 by Nick Malgieri, HarperCollins

One large round loaf

Starter
1 cup warm tap water
(about 110 degrees F)
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup unbleached all-purpose
or whole-wheat flour

Sponge
3/4 cup warm tap water
(about 110 degrees F)
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup risen starter, above
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Dough
All the sponge, above
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups unbleached
all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

 Cornmeal for bottom of loaf

“Using a starter for this bread minimizes the amount of yeast in the dough and
gives the bread a slow-risen, nutty flavor characteristic of the finest breads.
The whole process takes about 24 hours from start to finish – but there’s very
little work during that time.”

1. For the starter, place the warm water in a glass or stainless-steel bowl
and whisk in the yeast. Stir in the flour and cover with plastic wrap. Set
aside to rise at room temperature until doubled and bubbly – from 2 to 8 hours, depending on the room temperature.
2. For the sponge, place the warm water in a glass or stainless-steel bowl
and whisk in the yeast. Whisk in the starter, stir in the 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).
3. For the dough, stir the sponge to deflate and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the
flour and the salt. Knead 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 the sponge, 1 1/2 cups
of flour, and salt in a work bowl fitted with a metal blade. Pulse repeatedly
until the dough forms a ball (if the dough will not form a ball, add the remaining flour, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough forms
a ball). Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then let the machine run
continuously for 20 seconds.
To mix the dough in a heavy-duty mixer, place the sponge, 1 1/2 cups
of the flour, and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a 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.
4. Oil a bowl and turn the dough into it. Turn the dough over so that the top
is oiled, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to
rise until doubled, about 1 hour or so.
5. Line a round basket or 2-quart bowl with a napkin or a tea towel and flour the cloth generously. Remove the dough from the bowl, press the dough to deflate, and shape it into a sphere by tucking the bottom under and in toward the center all the way around, [illustration included in cookbook]. Invert the dough into the cloth-lined basket or bowl so the tucked-under edges are on top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about an hour.
6. When the loaf is almost risen, set a rack at the middle level of the oven
and preheat to 500 degrees. 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 the oven temperature to 450 degrees
F. Bake the loaf for about 45 minutes, or until it is well risen and a dark
golden color. It should reach an internal temperature of 210 degrees.
7. Cool the loaf on a rack and do not cut it until it is completely cooled.

Serving: Slice the bread about 1/2 inch thick with a sharp serrated knife.

Storage: On the day it is baked, keep the bread loosely covered at room
temperature. For longer storage, wrap in plastic and freeze for up to
1 month.

Variation
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.

 

Featured Archive Recipes:
Country Hearth Loaf
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Herbed Wheat Bread
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French Bread

 

Index - Bread Recipe Archives
Index - Breakfast Recipe Archives
Yummy Muffin Recipes
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