Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You CAN make bread by hand...

Last year we sold everything and moved to Italy.  Then in June we came back to the US.  In the move I had to sell or throw out almost everything, including my KitchenAid Mixer.  It was old more than 21 years.  I can't remember if I had the mixer before my first child or after she was born.
ANYWAY, my husband loves fresh bread.  He doesn't eat sliced bread.  So I make him bread at least every other day.  Since I don't have a mixer I was thinking that I couldn't do it.  But I was wrong.  I actually think it is better than before. This recipe will make 2 bagettes.
This is how I do it....

First you need a medium size bowl - add 1/2 -1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of yeast (or one packet you get at the store) and 1 cup of warm water. Cover with a tea towel for a while

until it looks like this.  I call this the sponge. This step will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

Add 2 cups of flour and 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the sponge.  Mix it as best you can until it looks like the next photo.

Then put the dough onto a floured surface. You are going to add in more flour, maybe a half to a cup more.  The dough is going to be sticky.  You want the dough to get more flour until it's not sticky anymore.

 Here's a little video of me trying to show how to knead the dough.  You do this as you are adding flour.  It's hard to hold the camera and work the dough at the same time!!  This is one of those things you have to get a feel for.  It's not hard but it may take a few times.  When you think you have added enough flour form it into a ball by rolling the edges under it.

The dough should look like this.

 Place the dough in a large oiled bowl.  I just spray it with a cooking spray. Make sure you get both sides of the dough ball oiled.  I put the top side in first and then turn it over.
 Notice the size of the dough ball.
Cover it again with the tea towel and let it rise until it's doubled.
 Probably 1 hour unless it's very warm,
may take less time.  There's no hurry.

 After it's doubled it will look like this.

Remove from the bowl to a floured surface and divide into two pieces.  I use the back of a long knife.  Please be careful if you use a knife.  I haven't found my dough scraper yet. 
 It is in our moving boxes somewhere!!

Roll these into bagette shapes and place on pan.  I have a bagette pan but you can bake
these on a cookie/baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

 They will look like this!
Cover them again with the tea towel and let rise.

 When the dough has risen the loaves will look like the photo above.
Bake at 400º F (make sure your oven is preheated) for 11 minutes.
Then lower the temperature to 350º F and bake for another 10 minutes. 

 This is how the bread will look when it is done baking.
Cool and enjoy.

On my other blog I had a post about making bread using the mixer.

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