There is a bread recipe that has been a huge boon for us. We like good bread, and for us that means gluteny, crusty, old world style. Create a spectrum in your mind, with Wonder Bread on one side, and Ken’s Artisan Bread on the other. I am afraid homemade bread leans to the Wonder Bread side. True dedication allows one to make bread that leans the other way. And in 95% of the settlements in the United States, there is no commercial bread available on the Ken’s side of the spectrum. This recipe creates bread that though not ideal by any means, does allow one to make bread on the correct side of the spectrum with little work. Also, it is memorable in a way that doesn’t require access to a written copy of the recipe:
6 - 3 - 3 - 12
That is water, salt, yeast and flour. The units are cups and tablespoons. To summarize: heat 6 cups water, 3 tablespoons yeast and salt in a bowl until warm (to activate the yeast). Then stir in 12 cups bread flour (it works with the normal stuff as well). Because it is very wet, the flour can be mixed in completely using a spoon and not much effort. Let it sit out for a few hours, then use or put in the fridge. The magic normally wrought by kneading happens instead because the dough is very moist and allowed to sit for a long while.
We make a half batch(small fridge) and take small 2 person sized portions out of the bowl. Usually a half batch makes 3-5 loaves. After taking a small amount out of the fridge we leave it out for an hour. We put a cast iron skillet in our oven and make it as hot as it will go. Then we toss teh dough onto the skillet and let it cook till brown, about 25-30 minutes. We also use the dough for pizza and calzones. It doesn’t beat Ken’s, but they don’t deliver to the west coast of Vancouver Island do they?