Monday, February 14, 2011

Peasant Bread

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I don’t really have anything against Valentines Day. I like red & pinks hearts, I like chocolate, I like flowers (but not roses. I think they’re ugly). But none of those things mean love to me.

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You know what does though? Spending time with the people I love. And homemade bread. Homemade bread just tastes like love, doesn't it?


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So that’s what I’m doing today. Baking really good bread, and sharing it. With my family, and you too!

Happy Valentines Day!

European Peasant Bread
from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes four 1 pound loaves

Ingredients

3 Cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 Tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1⁄2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
1⁄2 Cup rye flour
1⁄2 Cup whole wheat flour
5 1⁄2 Cups unbleached all purpose flour
Cornmeal for dusting the peel


Mixing and storing the dough: Mix yeast and salt with water in a 5 qt. bowl or lidded (not airtight) food container.


Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading. You may have to use your hands to get the last bit of flour mixed in.


Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), about 2 hours.


The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, although it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in the lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 14 days.



On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour, and cut off a 1-pound piece (grapefruit-size). Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes.

Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450°F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.

Sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash a cross, "scallop," or tic-tac-toe pattern on the top, using a serrated bread knife. Leave the flour in place for baking; tap some of it off before slicing.

Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the top crust is deeply browned and very firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time.

66 comments:

  1. Oh, that looks great! My family are hopefully buying a KitchenAid soon and I can't wait to make bread. My mother is attempting to teach me how to make bread properly, and I think we'll be using this recipe.
    And yes--homemade bread smells and tastes and simply is love. It's pure and simple and heartfelt.

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  2. you should use this recipe! it's so so simple, and doesn't require a mixer! i love it. )

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  3. oh man i can just imagine the smell of these baking. looks beautiful!

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  4. We love bread...we just did a V-day shoot of which the theme was "You're the butter to my bread" http://bit.ly/gaePrh

    It gave us an excuse to eat bread. :)

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  5. I am so thrilled that I found your blog a week or so ago. Your photography is beautiful and I just love the way you write.

    I agree with you on the roses AND on the bread. I think I'm going to make a surprise loaf of my man's favorite banana bread, recipe courtesy of his mama. We don't see each other until friday (boo, long distance) but we're starting a vacay friday night so I think I'll surprise him friday night at the airport!

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  6. this sounds delicious! i've been considering buying that book but still havent decided if its worth it would you recommned it?

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  7. you are right "Homemade bread just tastes like love" and i use to bake it!!! thank you for this recipe!

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  8. I think roses (especially red ones) are ugly too :)

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  9. This reminds me that it has been way too long since I've made bread! I love ABin5 so much. It's crazy easy. Love your pictures, too, the bread looks fantastic.

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  10. homemade peasant bread for the win!
    happy v-day to you and yours!
    Sarah-Anne

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  11. Sounds perfect! Bread is such a good form of love.

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  12. I baked bread today also! Not one as rustic and beautiful as this, though. Just plain out sandwich bread. Still love. Just not as complexly beautiful.

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  13. A loaf of bread can be my valentine any day.

    Happy V-Day, Hannah!

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  14. I am with you. Making bread like this and share with your family speaks tones of love! :)

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  15. I with you on Home made bread equaling a pure expression of love, but I don't think I've ever heard of anyone (check that, so many people) who thought roses were ugly! Ha! Ha! So what are your favorite flowers?

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  16. oh my goodness, this just made my day. and made me smile.
    "Homemade bread just tastes like love, doesn't it?" I totally agree.
    It's also one of my favorite smells, the warm and soft flour and yeast smell

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  17. bread is love! my husband made some today too :)

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  18. Looks lovely - Fresh bread out of the oven is better than a hundred red roses.
    Love the pictures you have taken - simply gorgeous!

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  19. the friendliest flower: YES! i would recommend it. I love that book.

    the quest for zest: my favorite flowers are wildflowers or ranunculus. :)

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  20. Gorgeous Hannah. Happy Valentine's Day!!

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  21. Yup, homemade bread spells love! It comes with soul! Happy Valentine's, Hannah!

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  22. Hey who cares if they're ugly...I bet they taste great! Homemade bread is always a hit in our household!

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  23. I couldn't agree more. Few things taste better or are more satisfying than a loaf of fresh crusty bread.

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  24. homemade bread is love! can you find a recipe for homemade ezekial bread?;)

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  25. beautiful pictures. and fresh bread smells so good too!

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  26. I just came here - for the first time and must admit that your pics are absolutely stunning. I am adding your blog to my favourite ones.

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  27. Oh...this is one of my favorite bread in the book. Yours look great!

    Happy bread making!!

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  28. I bet that smelled divine when baking. I really have to start making more breads...this recipe is wonderful.

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  29. Not a fan of roses, either! Adore bread. Would love to try this!

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  30. Love love love this bread! Beautiful pictures as always! I'm more of a daisy or tulip kinda gal...not roses!

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  31. Bread=Love...so true. I love bread. I must try this recipe soon. Maybe for Easter.

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  32. Your photography is gorgeous. I believe this bread is simplicity at its best. Hope you had a great valentine! :)

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  33. I say butter is love, but the bread looks gorgeous too. Also, I love your banner.

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  34. Hi, Hannah. I've been itching for a simple new bread, and I think I may have just found it. Tell me, does the rye flour add a very strong rye flavor to this bread, or does it mostly just add texture? (I think freshly baked bread tastes like love, too.)

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  35. jess: the rye flour just adds nice texture, it doesn't taste very rye-y at all. :)

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  36. I loved your last no-knead bread recipe, so I am excited to try another bread recipe from you!

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  37. Thanks, Hannah. I'll let you know how it goes.

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  38. In the absence of a pizza peel and baking stone, can I use any other kitchen tools?

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  39. juliana: yes, i've baked it on a cookie sheet in the past and it's been fine! :)

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  40. Simple, tasty bread! Thanks for the recipe! If you're having problems with your bread. I was unsure of a bread with no fat, but since I am watching my weight and also love to eat japanese udon noodles

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