UTENSILS AND VESSELS
Stand mixer, rubber scraper, measuring cups and spoons, or a teaspoon and coffee cup, sieve/sifter(I think a sieve is faster.), big mixing bowl, flat stoneware, or cookie sheets.
10 C sifted flour (all purp)
1 C warm water (100 to 110 degrees F,
2 t., or 1 packet dry yeast, not instant
2 t. Sugar
1 T. Kosher salt
1/4 C. EV Olive oil
4 to 8 C. Cold fresh water
REMEMBER: The measurements are only guidelines! Your bread will slightly differ each time, depending on humidity, flour brand, your altitude…, so adjust the amount!
1. Add warm water to stand mixer bowl. I add cold water if it seems too hot. It’s important not to kill the yeast, and you will add more cold water later anyway.
2. Now sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the warm water in mixer bowl. Then sprinkle the 2 t. of sugar on the semi-foamy mixture. This will help speed the development of the yeast.
3. While yeast comes to life at bottom of stand mixer, sieve the flour into big mixing bowl. Add remaining sugar, and the salt to flour and whisk.
4. Using the dough hook, seat your stand mixer bowl, lock the stand down, and turn it on low. Now add dry flour mixture to yeast mixture a cup at a time.
5. When it’s well mixed and gets stiff, add another cup of cold water, and the olive oil. You may need more than one cup of water!
6. At this point, you can play with the amount of water, flour, AND olive oil. I like to end up with a full bowl of silky bread dough, but if you only want half a bowl, that’s fine—the yeast will make a bigger bowl rise just fine.
7. Make sure the dough is silky and semi-wet. When you lift the hook, the dough should want to do a silky, moist dough ball but want to stay in the bowl, and it should be dry enough to not stick all over the to hook when you lift it. This is the most crucial step! Silky, wet ish, not too dry—hugging the hook when you lift it from bowl—but not so wet it’s sticky and won’t form into a ball—just add more flour, OR water to get it perfect!
8. Once you feel good about the texture of your dough, let it knead on med-low while you lightly dust your rolling surface with flour from the sieve/mixing bowl.
9. Turn your dough ball onto floured rolling surface. Knead just to make dough ball look smooth—seems on bottom. Add 1 T. Olive oil to bowl in which dough will rise—I use my just-used stand mixer bowl, cause anything still in it will become part of the dough once it has risen!
10. Add dough ball, bottom side up, to oiled bowl and flip it right side up and around, so the ball is lightly covered in the oil. Place a clean kitchen towel over bowl to stop drafts, place in a warm ish, dark place to rise for one to two hours—the longer you let is rise, the lighter it, and more tender it will be—it also depends on weather you want smaller loaves, pizza dough, or hoagie buns!
11. Let the dough rise a total of two hours—for pizza dough, it can rise two whole hours right in the bowl. Then you separate into equal size balls while you shape each one with your hands; dough should be tender and easy to work with.—I put the covered dough in the oven with a hot bowl of water.
12. If you will shape your bread, let it rise for 1-1/2 hours, then divide dough into equal, desired-sized balls—in half then half ball again… Start with the first ball you rolled, and shape and roll into desired-sized shapes, leaving any seams on the bottom, and place each shape, or even one big round loaf, on your baking vessel—with multiple shapes—leave 2” of space for the second rise. Here is where you make slits, or add corn meal, or more olive oil for shine to top surface of dough for flavor—salt tends to deflate the loaves.
13. Place round loaf, or pans of buns back into oven with new hot tap water to rise another hour.
14. When loaf/loaves have risen nicely—may take less time, or more—remove from oven to preheat. Preheat to 415 to 425 degrees leaving bowl of hot water on bottom of oven-moisture make your crust nice, and bread doesn’t dry out! Bake only 10 to 20 mins. In small home oven, I bake one tray at a time; it takes longer trying to rotate them I’ve decided. After ten mins, or so, I turn the bread from front to back for even cooking. Bread is easy to tell when done. It’s not like cake. If one side browns more, flip the bread and cook another minute or two—don’t over bake! Cut one end piece using a serrated knife while it’s still warm, slather with butter, open your mouth, close your eyes, and enjoy how worth the time it was. Share with people you love, and feed their soul.😘