Saturday, September 04, 2010

Baking Bread

It was a absolutely gorgeous day yesterday. Perfect. Everything the weather could be to be ideal, it was - cool, breezy, puffy clouds, the smell of fall...perfect. Perhaps that was why my bread dough turned out so perfect!

Every Friday the Moodys have pizza - homemade pizza. About 4:00 I make the dough. I've gotten the recipe down so well I probably could make it in my sleep but sometimes I add a bit
too much flour and the dough is tough and doesn't stretch very well.

Yesterday, however, it was perfect.
Now I judge dough to be perfect when after kneeding it and balling it up, before placing in my oiled bowl to rise, I slap it and it feels like a 3-month-old baby's bum. Yeap, that's the test and I've had four babies and their bums all felt like perfect bread dough at 3-months-old.

When the dough rises it should have a look of clouds, like the clouds of yesterday: puffy, airy yet substantial. When you punch it down to begin working on it (after letting it rest for 10 minutes after the initial punch) it should be pliable - no tearing, no ripping but stretch where you want it to go.

The pizza dough cooperated, I think because the barometric pressure was just right. I was so impressed with this dough I decided to make 2 loaves of my new bread - Chai bread. Instead of just cinnamon, butter and sugar to add with a swirling effect I added cardamon, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of black pepper (cracked of course).

Now Emma says I should use tea in the dough
(replacing the water).
I will try that next time.
And I hope the barometer is it its happy place!


Suzanne said...

ok....I'm ready for some......

Viola Larson said...

What fun to watch you do that small bit of your bread. And everything looks yummy.

Heather said...

I'm a little late with a comment here, but loved this post. I just ready a book about Julia Child and how she learned to make great baguettes in a regular oven with regular flour. I tried out her recipe in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking II" It was marvelous! It's fun when it works! Thanks for posting this.