Monday, November 29, 2010

something about bread

fresh bread. if you don't love fresh bread i don't know if you have the capacity for love at all. just the smell itself seems to wrap you in warmth and comfort. everytime i walk past a bakery i think this is what heven must smell like. and then the taste! oh to break open a loaf of fresh sourdough, to butter some warm pumpernickel, to tear into a foccacia. dah! it excites me just thinking about it. today i'll share a recipe for egg bread. i made it today and it was heaven. so go forth and bake. with the winter closing in what better way to stay warm then with a hot loaf? of bread...not poo. thats gross.
  ingredients: 2 3/4 cup bread flour (if you use all purpose the bread tuns out dense)
2 tsp salt
11/2 tbsp yeast
3/4 cup luke warm water
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup melter butter
for the glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
2tsp poppy seeds or sesame seeds or sea salt

step one: grease a baking sheet. sift flour and salt together into a lrg bowl and make a well in the center. mix the yeast with the water and sugar add to the center of the flour with eggs and butter. gradually mix in the surrounding flour to form soft dough. if you've made pasta...same method.
step two: on floured surface knead the dough for 10 mins until smooth and in a lightly oiled bowl cover with damp towel(clean) and leave to proof in warm place for about an hour.  maybe do the laundry.
step three: punch down dough. cover and leave for another hour. go get sandwich fixens for later.   
step four: punchh down again and knead some more on a floured surface.

*now, you can at this point do one of two things. place bread in greased loaf pan let rise for 20 mins. glaze and top then bake for 30 mins at 400 degrees F. OR ...

step five: divide dough into 4 even length strands and pinch them together at one end. then start braiding. it takes time and practice. mine still sucks. but it goes, starting from the right, first roll over the second. third roll over the fourth. then take the fourth rope and place between the first and second. it's hard. but the bread looks ballin' if you do this.
step six: cover with moist cloth again and let rise for 20 mins. then glaze with egg wash and top with your choice. bake in oven for 30 mins at 400 degrees F . then, when golden brown , take out of oven and let cool on cooling rack.
step seven: eat the bread and love your life. maybe use the sandwich fixens from earlier.

well, its been fun, but i gotta see if i can steal the last peice before someone else gets it.! enjoy!
big heart chef.

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