Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hearth Bread

So it all started when I decided to make bread. I got out my trusty bread bible. I have thus far tried many bread recipes, all with great results. I had no idea what I wanted to make, so I just kinda stumbled upon the hearth bread. It said that it was the soul of simplicity, I like simplicity, so I started. This bread is really great because it is really rustic with a chewy open crumb, and crisp crust. So I first started by making the bread starter.As soon as I added the yeast, it got all bubbly, which I thought was pretty cool. Then you mix the rest of the ingredients, and dump it on top, and let it rest, covered for an hour, or longer in the fridge.After you wait the hour, you mix it all up into a ball.Then you let it rise.Once it has risen, you give it two business letter turns, or simply fold it a couple of times. Let it rise again until almost doubled.I kinda forgot about my bread, and it rose till it was HUGE! Woops. Then you shape it. I just shaped mine into a rustic looking round boule. Then You shape the dough, and let it rise again. Then you bake it.Once you cut it open, there are really nice big holes!This bread was really awesome. My family ate the whole loaf that night. I'm sure it would have made great toast if there was anything left. : )

Hearth Bread
The Bread Bible

Dough starter:

  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/8 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1 1/3 cup water at room temp.
In a bowl place flours, yeast honey and water. whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside.

Flour mixture:

  • 1/34 cup plus 2 tbs bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
Combine the flour and yeast, and sprinkle on top of the dough starter. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for an hour, or up to 24 hours in the fridge after the initial one hour. Add the salt, and mix dough. Knead for 5 min, using as little flour as possible. Cover with an inverted bowl for 20 min, it will make the dough less sticky to work with. Knead the dough for another 5-10 min. It should be barely tacky and smooth and elastic.

Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl, covered with oiled plastic wrap until doubled, about an hour. Take the dough out and give it a business letter turn, and place in the bowl again. Let rise again until doubled, 45 min to an hour.

Turn out the dough on a lightly floured counter and shape into a free formed loaf, or shape to put in a loaf pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled, 45 min to an hour and 15 min.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees, have a pan on the floor of the oven.
Slash the dough and place it in the oven on a sheet or bake stone, then toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes on the sheet on the bottom of the oven. Mist the dough with water and close the door. Bake for 10 min. Lower the temp. to 425 degrees and bake for an additional 20-30 min. To ensure a crisp crust, leave the bread in the oven for an extra 5-10 min with the door propped open.

Cool the bread.

Enjoy!

If you have any questions about this bread, or if I left out any details, leave me a comment and I will clarify.

22 comments:

Jill B said...

Hmm, you're encouraging me to try my hand at some bread this weekend...

Tanya Kristine said...

well aren't you just amazing! 15? no way...NO WAY!

i had a dog named Bear :(

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Lol. I try my best! : )

daphne said...

yum! Home made bread r the best. Nothing beats fresh bread and some butter.

Michelle Ann said...

The bread looks great! I was never very good at baking bread.

Marissa said...

Mmmm, bread!!! Delicious!!!

Emiline said...

What? You're 15? Seriously, you should go on Top Chef someday. You're such a youngin' and you're cranking out some fine looking bread.

Great Big Veg Challenge said...

Great to read about a younger person baking and enjoying it so much.
You write so well - and it will encourage my children to bake like you
Charlotte, Freddie and Alex

giz said...

Yowzer!!! Nice looking bread - I better not make this or it will for sure go the same way it did in your family - I'd eat the whole thing in one day.

Elle said...

That looks fabulous! Nice work!

Bellini Valli said...

I don't think there is anything that beats the smell of freshly baked bread:D...sorry..I am wrong because it tastes even better!!!

SteamyKitchen said...

I love that book too! Awesome loaf....i can smell it from here.

Cakelaw said...

This is such lovely looking bread. I love the brown coloured innards.

RecipeGirl said...

I need to bake more bread! Looks like you had a good time with it. Turned out great!

Aran said...

Hi Jessy- That's a good looking crumb! I wish I could smell the bread. I love doing that. Cutting bread and smelling the crumb. Quick question? Are you really 15?

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Your loaf looks beautiful. It doesn't appear to have suffered in the least from being forgotten for a bit. Is the Bread Bible the Rose Levy Berenbaum book?

Jenny said...

Very cool. Bread is definitely on my to-bake list, and that recipe looks awesome.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

aran- Yes, I really am 15 lol. I will be turning 16 in September. : )

cookie baker lynn- Yeah it is the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. I absolutely love her book!

Nick said...

I've been meaning to make bread for a while now, thanks for the detailed instructions! I've never really made bread and I want to get into it.

My goal is to make a 100% whole grain bread probably using whole wheat and maybe oats. I have gluten flour so it'll help rise and I want it to be nice and chewy on the inside and crusty on the outside!

Then, I want to adapt it to make a chocolate loaf, just slightly sweet but very chocolatey. Well thanks for a good starting point! Any suggestions would be great too!

- The Peanut Butter Boy

Kitt said...

Very nice! And looks not too difficult. (You know me and bread; I'm all about easy.)

liz said...

This looks great! (And your recipe is definitely lighter than my version. :P )

pinknest said...

mmmm, looks delicious! i've been in a very bread-y mood lately, but i'm craving a sweet bread! oh but i'm so impatient.