I share cooking ideas with a number of folks, including my good friend and fellow Whovian Rev. Paul, up in Alaska, who has a daughter who is a world class chef in the making. This isn't gourmet by any stretch, but it's a good recipe to have on hand.
It was 10 degrees on awakening. It was 10 here, 10 in Indianapolis, 10 in Lafayette and 10 back at the Range. That was one big cold air mass. A perfect day for staying in and baking some bread, especially as Partner drove down late last night to keep me company.
But I don't have bread pans here, having not brought any down from the Range. Hmm. I have a French Oven (it's like a dutch oven but it's beautifully enameled and slightly pretentious)
Mr. B. cooked this incredibly "cut with a spoon" tender roast in one for Midwest Chick and myself, with a very inexpensive cut of beef. After that, I had to buy one for myself. Stovetop cooking or in the oven, it makes a variety of wonderfully tender stewed and braised meats. But what about baking in it?
Don't think you can make bread? Don't have a bread pan? This is the recipe for you.
Crusty French oven bread.
1 package active dry yeast
1 and 1/3 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Mix the yeast and warm (test on the inside of your wrist) water in a small bowl, stir until dissolved.
In a large bowl combine flour, salt and sugar. Stir in water with a big spoon until a dough ball forms, (the dough mostly holds together but is still sticky and shaggy looking).
Knead the dough on a lightly floured board for three and a half to four minutes. Please the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and raise in your oven (with the light on to keep it a bit warm) for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours (double in size).
Punch dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 8-10 times and put back into the bowl, cover and let raise in the oven for an hour.
Remove dough and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place some parchment paper in the bottom of your dutch oven. Place the dough ball in the center and using a sharp knife, make an X across the top. Bake with lid on for 12 minutes then remove lid and bake for another 15-18 minutes until top is a light golden brown. Cool (well try and cool) and slice.
On the stove top was braised pork chops cooking on a bed of onion and apple slices caramelized in some butter flavored olive oil with a splash of apple cider vinegar and water and a little drizzle of molasses. But we didn't wait until it was done to eat the bread We stood at the counter and cut big slices and ate this warm out of the oven. I remembered on piece two why I don't stay alone with bread pans down here :-)
May you all stay warm and dry and have pleasant company, whatever time zone or time dimension you are in.