Ma, I made bread!
Yessir I did it! I finally made a beautiful little boule. Basic European style yeast bread is so simple to make, you don’t even have to knead it! Say whaa? Yup, that’s right, this recipe is a no knead yeast bread. If you could not tell already by my tragically informal typing, I am so excited by this accomplishment (no matter how minor it may be!). I have worked with yeasted dough before in the form of pizza dough and foccacia , but for some reason this bread provides such great satisfaction.
Today was one of those long days, that seem really busy because you are constantly doing something, but then by the end of the day, you realize that you have only checked two items off of your to do list. And as if that isn’t enough minor frustration for my day, I got a parking ticket. What is it with LA parking patrol? I really believe that they have a tracking system of ridiculously high intelligence that makes sure there’s a meter maid at your car the moment your meter hits 0:00. Anyways, enough of my grumblings. Basically, whilst working at my job, and then the photo lab, I had a huuge itch to make something. Sweets? Maybe…Carbs? YES.
As soon as I walked through my front door I headed straight for Tastespotting and my essential cookbooks. It was nearing 6 o’clock and I wanted bread by later tonight, so I couldn’t get too fancy up in here. Nonetheless, bread does not have to be a day long affair! This recipe is quick, especially if you have a food processor, and painless. There is only about 5-10 minutes of active work, and then you just let the bread rise and bake!
Oh yeah, then I made a breakfast sandwich :)
Fast French Bread or Rolls – Makes 1 boule or 12-16 rolls (Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)
3 1/4 cups bread flour; 1/4 cup cornmeal (or other flour); 2 teaspoons salt; 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
In a food processor, blend flour, cornmeal, yeast and salt together. Next, turn the food processor on and slowly pour in roughly a cup of lukewarm water. The dough will begin to appear flaky, and eventually form a ball. Add one tablespoon of water at a time until it becomes smooth. If the dough gets stuck on the sides of the food processor, add a little more flour and keep going. The bread should look like a moist, slightly shaggy but well-defined ball. This should not take more than a minute.
Put the dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap for at least an hour at room temperature. Preheat oven to 400°F with an oven proof skillet on the lower rack. Once bread has risen for at least an hour, dust a clean surface area with flour and shape bread. Slash the top of the boule or rolls with a sharp knife to allow the steam to vent. Lightly grease a baking sheet with canola or other flavorless oil. When oven is hot, quickly pour a cup or so of water into the skillet and shut the oven. This will create a lot of steam to create a nice crust on your bread. Wait one minute and then put the bread in the oven. Baking time depends on what shape you choose, 1 boule takes around 30 minutes, rolls take less. Bake until golden brown.