Monday, August 03, 2009

Pain d' Epi

Whew! Now that was a long break! I haven't messed with my blog all Summer. The kids will be starting school again in a couple of weeks and I can't believe how fast this pickin' Summer went. ...I'm convinced I need more time off...
Well let me tell you a story. A story of a frustrated hausfrau who moved to the high desert in search of peace and tranquility. She was so excited...she was going to ride her horses, get pedicures while the kids where at school, see her soap company to success, and bake great homemade bread. Well, NONE OF THE ABOVE actually happened. The horses became lawn ornaments and the pedicures never happened because she had to homeschool the kids. The soap business took a back seat and became a hobby, for the same reason. Now the bread...let's just say someone neglected to tell her that at her elevation (3410 ft. approx.), bread comes out like a freakin' brick!
After many failed attemps, she was about to completely give up...until.....TODAY!
I picked up a great little book at the library, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, this past week. Well, I tried my first bread recipe, Pain d' Epi.
Hello! It's awesome! I did, however, make a couple of minor adjustments because of my elevation...and let's just say, "WOW!"

Here is my adjusted recipe for Pain d' Epi, to make #2 loaves, 1 lb. each.

1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
2 1/4 tsp. coarse salt (has to be, of course..)
1 1/2 tsp. Fleischmann's Highly Active Yeast
3 1/4 cups bread flour

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until all flour is incorporated. Cover loosely and let proof on the kitchen counter for two hours. Then place in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours.

Time to bake!: Divide the batch in half, placing one half on a lightly floured surface, the other back into the refrigerator. Guess what?? The dough will keep for two weeks!!
Gently work dough into a ball and sprinkle with flour. Roll into a long loaf shape. Let sit for thirty minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Lightly flour the loaf, then make superficial slices across the top. Transfer to a baking sheet that's been sprinkled with cornmeal.
Place a pan on the lower oven rack and fill with 2 cups of water. Place bread on baking sheet on the middle rack. Let bake for 25-30 minutes. kids were begging for more!

For all the folks that don't have a major elevation disability like mine, here is the standard recipe that actually is designed to make #4 loaves:

3 cups of lukewarm water
2 packets of granulated yeast (or 1 1/2 TBL.)
1 1/2 TBL. coarse salt
6 1/2 cups bread flour

Have fun baking!!


Tamerie Shriver Halliday said...

Boy, it has been a long time since you've posted! I hope you'll be on more regularly now. Or at least once school is back in session.

ReluctantYankee said...

Hi Tamerie :)
Yes, I really need to commit to regular blog updates! Time management - if I can nail that down....then you can bet there will be more to see! :)

Crickets!!! I'm hearing CRICKETS!!

Welcome back to my archaic blog. Started years ago as merely a creative "mommy" outlet, now, it is simply therapy for boredom. ;) ...