Today I felt like eating warm, home baked bread. I also wanted the bread to be soft and fluffy, but flat similar to a pita so I can save the rest of the uneaten bread for lunch.
I made this:
Bread is easy to make. I started with 1 cup of warm water, 1 teaspoon of yeast, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 cup of flour (I used a blend of whole wheat and white). Stir all together in a bowl. Let sit for half an hour. I let my handy dandy Kitchenaid mixer to do the hard work for me. I use this spare time to fan myself and drink Tom Collins.
So, I put the mixing bowl onto the Kitchenaid and added 1 teaspoon of salt, another cup of flour, and started the mixer. When the flour is incorporated I turn off the spinning dough hook (very important if you want to unbroken fingers) and check to see how wet the dough is so far. I wanted a moist dough so the bread would have a rustic holey kind of texture. The dough was sticky and wet — too sticky and wet so I added 1/4 cup of flour and turned the dough hook on again. Now and then I’ll check the dough to see if it’s the way I want, and add an extra 1/4 of flour. Basically it’s still sticky but elastic. If I was making pizza dough I would add more flour until the dough was smooth and elastic.
I prepared a bowl to hold the dough while it rises. I rubbed a teaspoon of olive oil inside the bowl and flopped in the dough, then covered it with some plastic wrap. I left it for about a couple of hours.
Two hours later I punched down the puffy dough with my flour covered hands and took the dough to my clean kitchen counter. The counter has 1/4 cup of flour on it and I knead the dough with my hands for about 10 minutes, adding extra flour to make kneading easier. I then cut the dough into quarters, flattened the chunks until the circle measured about 5 to 6 inches across. With plenty of flour on both sides of the circles I let them rest for another 30 minutes.
Pre heat the oven to 500 fahrenheit and spend the next 30 minutes scrapping up all of the leftover flour, washing the mixing bowl, putting away the mixer, wondering why the devil I just don’t buy bread like normal people, and why I didn’t start the clean up two and a half hours earlier. I calm down and put the circles on a baking sheet and put it in the oven.
Cooking takes about 10 to 15 minutes. The loaves puff up and turn golden brown. I flip them over so they turn colour some more after the tops look golden. Take the beauties out of the oven and let them cool. But I usually tear into the first victim armed with butter. It was so delicious it brought tears to my eyes!
And they make excellent rolls for a hearty lunch.
I split the dough into 4 large 5 inch or so in diameter and that makes rather puffy loaves. You can make one large flat loaf, or split the dough into 6s or 8s and stretch the dough into thinner circles. I wouldn’t try using this recipe for a traditional bread loaf because the density makes the bread rather chewy. Think jaw cramping. But damn tasty!