Bread

On Tuesday evening I began making a loaf of bread. I have had good success in raising the dough overnight on the first prove, and so I thought I would try it on the second prove. This is not too hard to do, even in the evening. The tricks are to warm the flour-and-salt in a bowl in the not-too-hot oven before mixing in the yeast and lukewarm liquid and then to cover the warm buttered bowl in which you prove the dough with plastic wrap or a warm pie plate (or both) for an hour or more before bed. Then you need to punch it and knead the dough for 3 minutes and put it back in the proving bowl, plastic wrap on top, on the kitchen counter. Then you can go to bed confident of having fresh bread by late morning. 

When you get up, you merely punch the very swollen dough, knead it for another 3 minutes, and then tuck it in a buttered bread tin. You put the piece of plastic wrap (maybe put a little butter or oil on it now) on the bread tin and put the whole in the warmest room until the dough has risen into a “bread shape” over the tin. Into a very hot oven (425 F)  it goes for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400F for another 15 minutes, then take the bread out of the oven, shake it out of the tin, and put it back in the oven on its side at 350 F for the last 15 minutes. Finally, you put it on a wire rack on the counter and let it cool completely before cutting it open. 

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