Monday, October 08, 2007
Anna Bakes. Some years ago, I used to bake bread from scratch often. I was in one of my "let's clear the cupboards" moods when I noticed a Bob's Red Mill bag of flour and yeast ready to be turned into Potato Bread. There is nothing like the smell of fresh bread baking to fill a home with nostalgic smells. So I planned the rest of the meal around baking this bread.
Looking in the cupboard I spied a can of albacore tuna (from Costco) and a jar of capers - yes, makings for a Tuna Salad! I already had red leaf lettuce, arugula and Kewpie mayonnaise in the refrigerator, so I was set! This and fresh baked bread would go wonderfully. The salad was the quickest part of the meal.
Making the bread, even though the ingredients were pretty much gathered, took some time. First I put the flour and yeast packet in the bowl, and combined it with the warm water and oil. Then I kneaded the bread for about 10 minutes, using my special karate chop approach when I got tired of the roll and push motion. Then I put it in a big ceramic bowl (bought a long time ago at my mother's advice just for bread raising), and waited for it to double in size.
What fun to PUNCH it down when it has doubled (about 40 minutes after leaving to rest)!
Then you wait another 4o minutes or so, and punch it down and shape it into a loaf, and finally put it in the loaf pan, oiling the top. Then you cover it and wait about 45 minutes before taking off the towel, or plastic, and seeing the risen bread ready for the oven. Then about a half hour in a 375F oven, and it comes out looking like the photo heading this blog post. Yum! And the smells!!
Of course you have to let it rest a little, then cut it up, slater it with butter and munch it with the tuna salad. Dad and I had a second piece, still warm, topped with organic strawberry jam for dessert. This loaf won't last long!