Friday, April 24, 2009

Bri’s Best Bread 2.0

olive oil

2 tsp dry active yeast

1 cup wrist temp water

1tsp salt

1tbl honey or sugar

1 ½ cups wheat flour

1 ½ cups white flour

garlic, finely chopped (roasted or sautéed for more flavor)

about 1tbl your desired combination of fresh ground flaxseed, sesame seed, rosemary, pepper, garlic salt, basil, and the like.

  • Place water in olive-oiled bowl and sprinkle in yeast, stir gently and let sit for five minutes.
  • Add honey and salt, and stir until dissolved, then add garlic and spices.
  • Add flour cup by cup, first stirring, and then kneading. Knead for a few minutes, adding flour and/or olive oil as needed until it's all good and doughy.
  • Oil a bowl, plop the dough in, and add more oil to the surface and cover with a cloth (be sure the bowl is at least twice the size of the dough before its risen and that the cloth won't hit the dough at any point) put in a warm spot and let rise for one hour, or until its doubled in size.
  • Punch down dough, knead a bit and let rise 20-30 minutes more, or, if you're impatient as me, get out the baking tray now.
  • Oil a baking tray, then begin stretching out the dough as if for a pizza in the air, then press it out into the pan, and brush the top with oil.
  • Bake it until lightly brown on edges, then put the pan on the bottom to brown the top (if you add some grated cheese before this last bit, you'll have a yummy slightly crunchy, cheesy foccacia)
  • Enjoy!

The first version of this bread was inspired by Mollie Katzen's Focaccia recipe, and I made it all the time! I developed this new version because I finally got access to wheat flour, and a friend who told me to grind and add flaxseed. Experiment with different types of flour to find your desired combination. The first picture is me kneading (one of my favorite hobbies now) and the second picture is of my awesome bread-rising apparatus. Since I often make Pumpkin Curry Chickpea soup (or any kind of soup really) to go along with the bread, the hour or so it takes those dang chickpeas to cook is a great time to put the energy you're already using to a second purpose-to rise the dough! They end up being done at just about the same time, and it's a wonderful hot (though a bit carb-heavy, oops) meal for cold winter nights. Though lhamdullah those cold winter nights are over! I'll try and start bringing you cooler, happy spring dishes now!

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