Captain Karen the Baker

Sunday, August 31, 2008
This weekend I thought I would attempt to follow in the footsteps of the fabulous Wandering Coyote and try some baking. On her cooking blog, ReTorte, she's always teasing us with delicious looking dishes and amazing baked goods. Unfortunately, I knew that I could never come close to equaling any of her projects but I gave it my best shot. And what did I choose to bake, you ask? Bread. Now, I don't have a bread maker so I was going to have to do it by hand so I opted for the easiest recipe I could find. A no-knead recipe that was featured in the New York Times and on CBC a while back. Four ingredients and little effort. Who can screw that up, right? Just wait...

Step one: Mix dry ingredients: flour, instant yeast, and salt. That's it. Easy enough.


Step two: Add water. Even I can do that. They said it's supposed to get gummy and slightly wet. No problemo.


Step three: Cover and let sit for 12 - 18 hours. This is a cinch.

Step four: Dump bubbling dough onto floured surface, fold a couple of times. Alrighty. Althought I was a bit shocked to see what it looked like. This doesn't seem right...




I have a problem following a recipe, as I'm sure Red and *Asterisk could tell you. I just HAD to pump it up a bit. So, I figured I'd add some oregano and make it an herb bread. Mmmmm. Lots of potential.

Step five: Drop into a preheated dutch oven or cast iron pot, bake. Are they sure? If that's what the recipe says then that's what I'll do. The bread is cooked covered for the first 1/2 hour and then uncooked for the last 20-30 minutes. When I pulled the lid off, I added some sesame seeds and a bit of margarine to the top of the loaf to give it even more yummy goodness. Here is the result...



The verdict? Not too shabby. It's a bit airy but pretty yummy. Needed more herbs though as you can barely taste them.

Oh yeah. And one thing the recipe failed to mention? GREASE THE PAN before you plop the dough in. Let's just say it was quite the job to get this out and onto the cutting board. It's not overly crunch or anything but the bottom centre of the loaf was stuck so bad, it's going to take a miracle to get it off of the pan. Don't worry Big Brother, the pan's not ruined!!!!

7 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Wow - I am totally impressed! It looks so amazing! Airy is good, the airier the better - ever had ciabatta? I WANT THIS RECIPE. Can you send it to me? I have also made bread in a dutch oven - the Kazakh Family Loaf from Beyond the Great Wall. At first I was like, WHAT? But, if you think about it, it makes sense for nomadic people who have to travel light and use minimal equipment to make their meals. The dutch oven fist over a fire and had constant, even heat. Excellent job, Karen! I hope you try bread again soon!

Wandering Coyote said...

Incidentally, what you did there was pretty much made the precursor to sourdough starter, the pre-dough. I know it looks a little alarming, but that's how we get sourdough bread and what you did there is essentially how they made bread back before cultured yeasts were available.

SME said...

Looks pretty good to me!

Gardenia said...

It looks good! If I had it here, I'd be a gonner - I'd pull out a cube of butter, sit down and eat the whole thing while it ws warm.

If I wasn't afraid to knead for now, it would inspire me to make a batch of bread - I have all the ingredients. Some people are purists and don't like bread machines, but I have one - hmmmm, I COULD make some without kneading, couldn't I? You've inspired me.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Mmmmm, that looks so good! I haven't made bread for ages, but I did make pizza dough last night and that's pretty close.

Heather said...

Oo!! So much better than hard tack!

Red said...

That looks really good, Captain! Mmm... I love bread. I might just try to make my own one of these days.

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