Tuesday, December 2, 2014

T's bread

So my son comes up to me and says, "Hey, if you're not doing anything tomorrow, can you help me bake some bread?"
Um, huh? This is a kid who can barely tear himself away from his video games to go to school to learn how to make them. Now he wants to feed the world? I don't get it. But, hey! I'm game. Absolutely. Maybe he can even get a job as a baker somewheres or something. One can always hope!
So he had texted me this link for French bread. Great, I said, I will pick up some bread flour and yeast and we will make bread. It's a no-knead recipe, too, so all the better. 
So we put the flour in the mixer, add salt and yeast, and measured the temperature of the water we heated in the microwave for a minute--perfect 105 degrees. I sat back and supervised while Taylor did all the work. He started the mixer and got the dough going, then stopped it to change to the dough hooks. At that point, the mixer began squealing. It wasn't going to work...either the gears were worn out or the mixer was too old or whatever. I told Taylor to knead it by hand on the floured cutting board. So that was a good workout and a good lesson in bread making, too. He kneaded the bread for about 5 minutes, then put it into an oiled mixing bowl for the first rising phase. We left it on top of the stove where it was warm for an hour and a half. The bread rose nicely, meaning we didn't kill the yeast. That is one success all in itself. Taylor learned how to punch it down, form the loaves and let it rise again for 30 minutes. I put a little softened butter on the loaves, then he made his slices on top and transferred the loaves to a baking sheet. Then he put a little water into the small iron skillet we had preheated in the oven to make some steam, shut the door and set the timer for 25 minutes.
When it dinged, Taylor checked the bread with a digital thermometer. It read 190 degrees--perfecto! The bread was a very light golden brown. I personally would have let it go for another 5 minutes, but he wanted to pull it out. After cooling for 5 minutes, we couldn't resist slicing off the end and tasting it. Oh my! We grabbed the butter and cut everyone a slice to try. Yep, it was good...great, actually! What an accomplishment!

 The bread was a huge success.

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