I have been doing a lot of reading about bread baking. The bread I have been making, although it is good, by the third day, it is only good for toasting, and so I thought I would explore other options. I saw a piece on TV with Mark Bittman, and the bread recipe they made was adapted from Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery. The bread looked so amazing when it was done I simply had to try it! The recipe has 14-20 hours of rising time. Basically you stir flour, yeast, salt and water and come back 12-18 hours later and fold it over and then wait 15 minutes, make it into a ball and let it rise for 2 more hours, then bake for 45-60 minutes in a preheated dutch oven. It turned out absolutely amazing! Here is the photo to prove it!
The bread made…
…an amazing grilled cheese, with some 5 year cheddar from an excellent local cheese maker.
I will be sticking with this bread for a while. I also finally found a better bun recipe, as well, the others were so heavy they just weren’t what I was looking for in a bun and now these wheat buns are just right!
It’s been a transformation since last November when I began my incremental steps. My relationship with the kitchen has changed. One might think that making crackers, tortilla chips, buns and other things might not be worth the time. So to the contrary! I realize that making all these things takes a lot of time, and generally that phrase is looked at as a negative. I do not see it this way. Each loaf, bun, pot of soup stock, and freshly made batch of coleslaw are things made with enjoyment and accomplishment. Cooking is a wonderful process, I think of it as art really. It is startling to think of how much less Hubby and my food travels and how many less hands our food passes through since we started this last November. I always have something going on in the kitchen, even if it’s just a bowl of rising bread dough. The kitchen is in many ways, to me, to be the heart of the home. Living a lifestyle such as this is time well spent, and the “work” that goes into it? Bliss, really. I couldn’t feel luckier.