Thursday, December 15, 2011

Organic French Bread Boule

I have been prepping for a week getting ready to start making artisan breads. There were quite a few things I needed to get, like a baking stone for the oven and a KitchenAid mixer since I was not going to be making this all by hand.

I made the French bread dough last night in my KitchenAid mixer.

5 1/3 cup organic bread flour
1 tablespoon (14 g) sea salt - I use Celtic for the vital nutrients and minerals
2 1/4 teaspoon (7 g) instant yeast
2 cups 95 degree water

I weighed the salt and yeast on a scale. Just a difference in brand can make a complete difference in the amount of salt and yeast going in. I bought the cheapest little scale I could find on Amazon. (I am upset with myself every time I go for the cheapest.) This little scale is more apt to weigh crack rocks and an 8 ball of cocaine (I watch way too many jail shows). This scale was not meant to weigh food products. My mother in law even laughed when she saw the scale and asked if I was going to start making and selling artisan drugs now too.

I hid the scale.

The yeast I only found at Woodman's. Sendik's did not have instant yeast.

I combined all the ingredients on low with the paddle in my food mixer. I let it rest for 5 minutes. Then, I switched it to the dough hook and on medium low mixed it for two minutes.

After that, I kneaded it by hand for two minutes, right on my granite countertop that was sanitized and lightly floured. I oiled my hands first though so that the dough wouldn't stick to my hands. I lightly oiled a pan and put the dough in the fridge to cold ferment overnight.

I don't know why I took a picture with the plastic wrap on,
but this is before it went into the fridge

This morning I took the dough out of the fridge and divided it into two pieces. As gently as possibly I formed it into two boules and put it on parchment paper on a pan. It needed to rise for two hours. I used an oil mister and filled it with cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil and misted the bread. I then covered it with plastic wrap.

I was rather nervous about doing this since I hadn't done this before. There is a definite technique required so that the dough doesn't just spread free-form on the pan. I followed this video by Peter Reinhart:

It is his book, Artisan Bread Every Day, that I have been reading in my quest to make perfect, artisan breads.
This book is amazing and so well done.

An hour before baking, I turned on my oven to the highest it would go with my bread stone in the oven.

15 minutes before the boule went into the oven, I took the plastic wrap off. Right before putting the boule in the oven, I used a serrated knife to score four lines on the top.

This is how I prepped my oven right when I was about to put my bread in:

I did exactly what Peter said to do. My mother in law was watching me and she thought it was the most ridiculous routine ever. She can laugh all she wants. I followed the rules to get the proper crust formation. As soon as I put the boule in the oven, I dropped the temperature to 450 degrees.

6 minutes in the oven.

15 minutes in the oven. I'm getting so excited now because it is turning out so well!

I had it in the oven for 12 minutes and then I rotated it in the oven and baked it another 15 minutes. It looked done to me. I took it out and the inside was a perfect 200 degrees.

A beautiful little loaf!

It was allowed to cool about 2 minutes before we couldn't wait any longer to try it.

I have the other boule I made in the fridge waiting for when all the boys to come home. I will bake it when they get home. 

This is a great recipe! If you aren't familiar with bread baking, I think this was easy enough to give it a try.

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