Feb. 5th, 2013

dancingyel: (Default)
I'm still looking for suggestions for the 2nd half of my list! I've gotten a few, but I'm not quite at 30 yet, so there's room for more. Thanks to all my friends who came up with interesting things for me to try, btw.

Anyways, since I've already done two things on the TaT (Thirty around Thirty, yeah?) list, I figured I should post about them here. The first one, baking bread, happened before I actually created the project, but since it was something I'd been wanting to do for a while, it seemed to fit.

So, why baking bread? Well, I love bread, and you can get really great artisanal bread, but it's so expensive! Plus, I had just gotten a dutch oven (this lovely one, for a fraction of the price of a Le Creuset and with great reviews!) and I needed something to do with it. When I googled "vegetarian dutch oven recipes," one of the ones that came up was this one for no-knead bread.



I won't retype the recipe here, since it's a pretty clear original, but I'll tell you my modifications and results. First, the bread came out great! As you can see in the photo, it looks like real bread from a store! The only thing I would change about the recipe itself is to add more salt, or some flavorings. There just wasn't enough salt in it, even for me, and I don't like things very salty. From a bit more googling, it sounds like other people had similar comments, so I plan to try something slightly different next time.

A few other caveats/impressions. First, although the recipe is easy and takes very little effort, it does take time. The dough has to sit for 12-18 hours, and from what I read, 12 is not actually great. I let mine sit for about 16. Then, however, you do 15 minutes of stuff to it and then it has to sit for another 2 hours! I was glad I noticed that when I did, otherwise I would have been unpleasantly surprised and rushed. I ended up letting mine sit for about 3.5 hours on the second rising, and it seemed fine (when I told my hair lady about the second rising, she exclaimed, "zombie bread!" It was awesome.). So, it seems that the timing is flexible, but definitely long. Second, you can use active dry yeast if you don't have instant yeast, but if you do, you have to stir it into water first, then add water and yeast to the other dry ingredients. I suppose I don't know what would've happened if I hadn't done that, but according to the internet, it would've been sad. Finally, next time, I will use a little less flour on the outside, because it didn't need quite that much not to be sticky, and I don't like how it got everywhere.

So, overall, a definite success and a recipe I will certainly use again!

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