Monday, January 10, 2011

Huffing Hooch...

Hi there neighbors! I'm on a bread-bender this week. I read an article (from some random and probably unreliable source) which explained that if bread dough is allowed to ferment then the chemical compounds in the dough begin to break down and become (somehow) more easily digestible (which is good news for people who have problems digesting bread - like me... in theory anyway.)
So I did some recipe research and stumbled upon this age-old (recently revived) tradition of making 'no knead' bread which is allotted a nice long slow cold-fermentation (of up to 10 days.) As I explained fermentation means breakdown and breakdown means there's a possibility that I may be able to tolerate it. May be has become a very exciting possibility for me - so I was game to try it. Worst case it turns out terrible and no one eats it, best case I can eat and enjoy it - and the middle-case scenario it makes me sick but Z gets awesome bread. Either way - it seemed silly not to try it.
4 ingredients. Yeast, water, salt & flour. The first 3 get dumped into a container with a lid and stirred to dissolve. Then the flour gets added - everything gets mixed with a spoon until it's a relatively uniform consistency and everything is 'wet' - then you slap the cover on and let it all rise for 2 hours at room temperature. Finally you put the whole shebang into the fridge (where it slowly ferments for anywhere from 24 hours to 10 days.)

When you're ready to bake you pull off a chunk of dough and shape it. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes. Then dust it with flour, slash the top and bake for a whopping 30-45 minutes.
It's really not a whole lot of hands-on time and the bread is absolutely uh-may-zing! Yes - I tried a bit.

Well, I couldn't in good conscience send a loaf down to Sara (along with 2 servings of split pea soup) without even having a try.

And you know - watching Z devour 1/2 a loaf along with a bowl of carrot soup for lunch wasn't enough of a tip-off that the bread was really really good. I mean, he doesn't even like crusty breads - but within minutes half a loaf was gone.)Just one note - when it's time to bake and you take the lid off of the container that's been fermenting - do yourself a favor and try not to inhale too deeply. A whole lot of fumes escape and they are strong.

Lots of stuff coming up in the next couple of days. Tomorrow we may or may not be hosting dinner for 2-4 of Z's school friends. Wednesday is going to be a busy day baking challah and desserts for Shabbos. Thursday there's cooking to do in the morning then I'm running away with Sara cause there are errands and surprise parties to attend to. Friday night Sara & her roomie are joining us for dinner. Shabbos lunch may or may not be quiet - nothing is decided yet. Saturday night Z's homework frenzy continues. Meanwhile I really have to figure out what I'm doing about the wedding gifts that I need to give to the next 2 friends that are getting married in the next couple of weeks.

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