29 June 2012

My Heart’s Desire And Homemade Bread

If you look deep into my heart, you’ll find a longing for simplicity. A desire to be part of the rhythm of the seasons. To grow my own food. Have chickens. Make my own clothes. Spend more time in nature. Teach my daughter about the birds and the bees in the literal sense of the word.

Some day I want to be free of worry. Worry about money, worry about bills, worry about a job, worry about the future, worry about my daughter watching too much Scooby Doo. My heart knows I should “Let go, and let God” but my brain puts up a powerful fight every time.

But until we have our own piece of land with our self built dream home that doubles as a Bed & Breakfast, I shall satisfy myself with little snippets of what’s to come. And so I grow corn, tomatoes, strawberries, and assorted peppers, make homemade toys, and occasionally bake my own bread.

I own a bread maker and love it. It’s so simple to throw in the ingredients and wait for the wonderful scent of fresh baked bread to fill the kitchen. The only thing I miss is a nice crust. And I don’t like the bulky machine on my kitchen counter so I put it away in the basement and then it’ll be months before I use it again.

But then I found the perfect recipe for crusty bread. It’s even simpler than using a bread maker. It does, however, require patience. This bread must rise for 12 to 18 hours. Plan ahead! Aside from patience, all you need is flour, salt, yeast, and water, and a Dutch oven or cast iron cooking pot with a lid that you can put in the oven.

Crusty bread1

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups of water

Recipe:
Pour flour, salt, and yeast into a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the water and mix it in until you have a nice sticky mess. Cover the bowl and let it sit on the counter for 12 to 18 hours. Do not refrigerate. The amount of dough should double in size.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Once it’s hot enough, put your cooking pot in to preheat as well. Leave it in for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, take you sticky dough out of the bowl and shape into a ball on a heavily floured surface. Cover and let it set until your pot has reached the right temperature.

Take your cooking pot out of the oven, it is now HOT!!!, and dump your loaf into it. No need to grease the pot. Put the lid back on and set it in the oven. After 30 minutes, take off the lid and let it brown for 15 minutes more. Take the pot out and let your loaf cool on a wire rack before slicing it up.

Crusty bread3

It is very tasty bread, and the crust is just right. If it weren’t such a pain to slice fresh baked bread, I would be in heaven. (I’ll just add a food slicer to my wish list.) I have yet to try making rye bread (replace 1 cup of all purpose flour with rye flour) or mixing in chopped rosemary, olives, cheese, cranberries, and other tasty additives. But I will, rest assured.



I am linking my loaf up with:
All Spunk No Junk at Twig and Toadstool
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia
Friday's Nature Table at The Magic Onions

6 comments:

  1. Oh that LOOKS SO GOOD! I think I can smell it from here!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I came over from Creatve Friday, this post is making me hungry!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bread looks great, now just make room on your counter for the slicer, that also takes up a lot of room!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nothing beats some homemade bread! Visiting from SITS. Have a great weekend. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Skip all the machines and join the sourdough movement. That is simple life. Following the sourdoughcalendar.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails