Bread, Bread, and More Bread!
A few years ago I purchased Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and let me tell you, it is AWESOME.
Bread making completely flummoxed me until I found this book. In fact, anytime I stray from the path and try some other recipe out I regret it horribly. Recently I’ve expanded from the tried and true (and very popular) Chile Cheese bread recipe that I adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day to several other breads – European Peasant Bread, Deli Rye Bread, and Limpa, a slightly sweet Scandanavian inspired bread that I then made into bread pudding using a recipe they had for it later on in the book.
I just came upstairs from making the dough for the Deli Rye and it so stinking easy that I just have to share it with you.
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
- 1 1/2 Tbsp salt (I used sea salt, fine grain)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 1 cup rye flour
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Combine the water, yeast, salt and seeds in a large bowl and gently whisk the ingredients together. Then add the flour and mix with a spoon (I use a nice strong wooden spoon) until all of the liquid and flour are incorporated and the dough has a shaggy texture (do not overmix!). Cover and let rise for two hours.
At the end of the two hours you can refrigerate the dough or prepare it for baking. Set the oven temp for 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the bottom of a broiler tray on a rack on the very bottom position of the oven. Place a cooking stone or even just a large cookie sheet lined with foil on the middle of the rack and let it warm with the oven.
Dust your hands well with flour, take the dough out and divide it in half or even thirds, adding just enough flour so your hands aren’t stuck in the dough, and shape it into a round loaf shape, place it on a dusting of cornmeal and wait for the oven to come to temperature.
When oven is hot, slash the tops and add the dough to the oven, quickly pour in one cup of hot water into the broiler pan below, and quickly shut the door. The steam helps give the outside crust a lovely crunch without it being dried out. Bake for 35 minutes or until loaves are golden brown. Let cool for a few moments and enjoy!
This recipe says it makes four one-pound loaves. I end up making two large loaves or three medium sized loaves of indeterminant weight!
Once a Week
Originally I started this blog with the goal of it earning me some money. You have inevitably seen the books and articles that promise you six figure salaries. And while I’m sure some people do make that – either through some truly scintillating topics or really savvy marketing – I haven’t seen that result.
I’m a “throw the pasta at the wall and see if it sticks” kind of gal. So I’m willing to try plenty of things and see if it will work for me, and I so enjoy posting here, but…you knew there was a “but” in this didn’t you?!
I started this blog with more than just money-making in mind:
- Prove to myself I could write non-fiction – check
- Share some cool info with others – check
- Entertain and amuse – check
- Get into the writing habit – check
All of these things have happened, BUT recently, instead of working on projects that could eventually earn me money, I run over here and post something. It has become an excuse of sorts. “I can’t write in my book right now, I’m behind on posting on my blogs and folks are going to be disappointed!”
In the end, I find myself choosing the easy way out. I choose to post little mini-shots of writing goodness instead of focusing on bigger shots of “get it the hell done” books. And when you dream about the stories you will write, and keep going back to them and feeling overwhelmed – something has to change.
So I’m going to try to limit my blog posts to about once per week (or less) and my “Christine Writes” newsletter to once per month.
It has been an excellent learning experience, but I need to push the envelope further and really dedicate myself to the fiction (and non-fiction) projects that I continue to put off. You can read more about that soon over at my author website.
Now go try that bread recipe!!!