Friday, November 14, 2008

Really good one-day bread

I've reached a point where most lean breads -- those without added milk, butter, or other enrichments -- made in only one day, without any kind of starter, taste kinda flat. One-dimensional, even. It's kind of a bummer, because I don't always have a ripe starter in the fridge (keeping a ripe, ready-to-use sourdoubh/wild yeast starter in the fridge at all times requires a certain amount of flour waste I just can't live with). And sometimes I get the inspiration to make something for dinner that would go great with bread, but I didn't think to make a starter the night before.

This bread, though it does require the extra step of cooking potatoes, just might be the one to fill the gap.
5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1 T salt
1 c well-mashed potatoes
2.5 c warmish water (include the water from boiling the potatoes!)
1 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
Combine all ingredients. Mix/knead till gluten is well-developed.
Let rise till doubled; gently deflate and, if you have time, let rise again (if you don't have time, go ahead and shape the breads now)
For shaping: divide the dough in half, and gently form into a round. Don't deflate it altogether -- handle it gently.
Let it rise (covered) on parchment paper while the oven preheats.
Heat oven to 400 with a pizza stone for 30-45 minutes. Slash the bread, and then slide it onto the hot stone.
Bake for 1 hour. I like to remove the parchment paper after about 20 minutes -- makes the bottom crust nicer.
(Oh, and to give credit where it's due: this is closely based on a recipe from James Beard's Beard on Bread.)


Phantom Scribbler said...

Hmmmm. I wonder if I could half that. It sounds good, and I need to expand my repertoire a little!

Tall Kate said...

I'm sure it could be halved. It's the closest thing to a one-day hearth/"artisan" bread that I've found.