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recipe, and a request

Have effectively been snowed in since this weekend, so I've been entertaining myself with World of Warcraft, harassing the rabbit, and baking. Yesterday, I made my first yeast bread. Recipe follows, but first, a request:

I'm in need of a content editor for a piece of original fiction. Because of the snow, I'm very possibly going to miss out on most, if not all, of my editing time for my first story for the creative writing class, and I refuse to submit something that I know can be improved. The story is complete, but the ending is rushed an unsatisfactory. Would someone be willing to look over it and help me make what changes I can? More details available if you're interested.

And now, the recipe. I snagged this from copperbadge, but I'm rewriting it because his version was very hard to read-while-cooking. This is a very basic crusty bread, good as a vehicle for Nutella or jam. I think it would also make great sandwich bread if made in a rectangular loaf pan.

No-Knead Bread
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus extra for dough-thickening and dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (I accidentally used double this, but the bread still came out just fine)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 5/8 cup warm water
cornmeal for dusting
This recipe requires 16-22 hours to make, so start the night before.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually stir in water; resulting dough will be very sticky, but that's fine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit 12 to 18 hours, in slightly-warmer-than-room-temperature kitchen.

Dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour hands and work surface and then shape dough into a ball, adding additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Be careful to use the sides of your hands--not your fingers--so you don't disturb the air bubbles in the dough.

Generously coat a cotton (not terry) towel with flour or cornmeal. Please dough ball seam-side down on the down and top with additional flour/cornmeal. Cover with sides another towel and let proof (read: rest) for two hours. When ready, dough will double in size and spring back slowly when poked.

If using a covered pot, preheat oven to 450° at least half an hour before dough is done proofing. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is done proofing and oven is hot, carefully remove pot and set aside lid. Use towel to flip dough into pot. It should now be seam-side up. Shake pot once or twice if the dough is very uneven; it will settle out while baking. Cover pot and return it to stove. Bake 30 minutes, and then remove lid. Bake an additional 10-20 minutes, until loaf is golden brown, and--when removed from the pot--makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

If using a loaf pan, preheat oven to 450° when dough is done proofing. If using a metal loaf pan, grease and flour it before using. When ready, place dough into pan, seam-side up, and bake 30-45 minutes, until golden brown and--when removed from the pot--makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

The faint checker-pattern you see is from the towel I used sticking to the dough slightly. I'm definitely going to use cornmeal next time, since it should leave the loaf less floury.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
Damn that bread looks fIIIiine. Want.

Keep me on the backburner as a beta. Life is crazy right now and who knows if you want my help again (because I rock at titles, right?) but I could help a mite if no one better comes along.
Feb. 12th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
Aw, don't be so dismissive of yourself. Your help was invaluable last time, and anyway I'm just passing it around to see if anyone can help me come up with a way to fix the ending.

I originally posted it online here when it was first written. If you want to take a look, you can read it there, and then drop me an e-mail with any thoughts about making the ending less abrupt.

Thanks, hon.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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