Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rustic White Bread

It's been a while since I did any bread baking, but it felt nice to get back into it! This recipe is fairly simple, so it's a good one to try if you haven't done much bread-making in the past. It won't rise as much as other bread recipes, so don't fret if your final product seems... short.

Heat 1 cup of water to between 100 and 110 degrees (it's best to verify the temperature with a kitchen thermometer). Dissolve one packet of yeast (or about 2 and 1/4 teaspoons) in the water in a large bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes.

Lightly measure 2 and 3/4 cups bread flour into measuring cups (I like the white flour from Bob's Red Mill) and level with a knife. Add to the yeast mixture and stir until you have a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup more bread flour as needed, to keep the dough from sticking to your hands (I only added about an additional tablespoon). My kneading reminder is this: flatten the dough down with your palm, fold over, turn a quarter turn, and repeat!

Place the dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top of the dough as well; cover and let stand for 45 minutes, ideally some place about 85 degrees and free of drafts.

After 45 minutes, punch the dough down and let it rest for 5 minutes. Shape it into a 6-inch round loaf, and place on a baking sheet sprinkled with 1 teaspoon cornmeal. I accidentally used 1 tablespoon of cornmeal here, but had sprinkled the entire baking sheet, not just the area where the loaf sat, so I don't think it mattered too much. Coat the top of the dough with cooking spray, then cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.

In a small bowl, make the equivalent of one egg using egg replacer (such as Ener-G). Add an additional teaspoon of water. Brush the mixture over the top of the dough (you'll have more than you need, so discard any leftover 'egg' mixture). Make 3 cuts across the top of the dough, each about 4-inches long and 1/4-inch deep, using a sharp knife (my other small mistake was making 4 slits instead of 3).

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes - the crust should be golden and the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

You'll have 12 slices of 130 calories each.

cooking spray $9.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance