The “undecking” of our halls has begun, and with it, a slow sliding into the familiar quiet rhythm of winter. Having finally cleared our cupboards of the last of the holiday sugar stash, I’ve been pining for a plump, honey-colored, “I-know-what’s-in-it” loaf of bread from our oven. But once I was mixing and flouring, kneading and pounding, I realized that’s what I was really missing. There’s something about plunging my winter-worn fists into that supple warmth that’s quieting. I can’t quite explain it. But then perhaps, you already know…
one tsp active dry yeast
one tsp granulated sugar
one and one half cups of lukewarm water
four to four and one half cups unbleached all purpose flour
two tsps salt
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the lukewarm water. Let sit about 5 minutes until foamy. Stir in 2 cups flour until combined. Then add salt and two more cups of flour. Stir until dough is stiff.
On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and stretchy (8 to 10 minutes), gradually adding additional half cup of flour as needed if it’s too sticky.
Lightly grease a large bowl, add dough, cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm draft-free spot approx 90 minutes, until doubled.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Remove dough, punch down, and shape into a long baguette. Place loaf diagonally on parchment paper covered baking sheet. Let rise an additional half hour in a warm, draft-free spot.
With a sharp knife, make a few diagonal slashes in the top of the loaf. Rub top of loaf with a small amount of water to moisten.
Bake on center rack 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with everything.
Rumor has it that Winter is making plans to visit us in all her glory later today. Should I disappear from this space tomorrow, rest assured we are without electricity, in our pajamas, with noses pressed to the windows.
p.s. The Poppies start today! Head on over to Poppytalk and nominate your favorites. Categories include:
favorite handmade housewares,
favorite handmade recyclable, reusable, repurposed goods,
favorite handmade jewelry,
Nominations end Tuesday, January 12th.
| days of doing one thing = 10 |