- I have a horrid head cold (I'll be fine, it's just the start of school yucks) and the hinge of my jaw feels like someone has cracked it with a hammer. I have a delightful chipmunk look.
- Note to self: don't mini-head bang when "One" by Metallica comes on your play list because your head is 703% heavier when ill and ouch
- I have a super bad ass therapist and I think she's awesome (our couple's therapist on the other hand...)
- My daughter - who has been under a lot of stress with everything that's been going on lately - has pulled away physically from me (everyone, really) and while it's hard to not get hugs like I used to, when she DOES ask for me to hug her or play with her hair or something, it's like the best thing ever. <3
- I made the first loaves with my starter - proper, 30 hours from start to finish loaves - and they taste SO FLIPPING GOOD. The crust is amazing. I modified my "daily bread" recipe to accommodate the starter, and wow, delish. Is anyone interested in the recipe?
- I did make some pizza dough with the starter cast offs, and oh man. It was so thin and crispy and chewy. <3
SEE?! (this was the size of my two hands. Wee tiny personal pizza. :)
Prosciutto, Humbolt Fog cheese (almost too salty, honestly. Regular goat cheese would have been better), and arugula with a drizzle of balsamic. Crust flash-baked at 450F for 5 minutes with a brushing of olive oil and rubbed garlic before toppings added.
Wow, I'm hungry now.
Daily Bread/Sandwich Bread Makes 2 loaves - give yourself at least 12 hours from start to finish. The longer you take, the better it tastes
1 C starter (make sure to feed your starter after taking some away!)
4 C bread flour (you could use APF or 1 C Whole Wheat + 3 C APF)
1 1/2 C WARM (baby bottle warm) water
1/2 C milk, room temp
In a large container, add the listed ingredients and mix with a spoon. This is going to be a touch thicker than batter.
Spray a bit of plastic film with oil/spray, cover the bowl.
Cover the plastic-covered bowl with a tea towel if you have the A/C on.
Let this double in size. This took 6 hours for me.
Dip your fingertips in flour and press the dough down (don't "punch"). Cover with another Cup of flour, 3 TBSP of sugar and 2 tsp salt. With oiled fingers, fold that in (or use a spoon. I like to use my hands). This is like a mini-knead in the bowl to incorporate the remaining flour. Turn it out onto a floured surface, shape into a rectangle, and fold it like you would a business letter. Turn 90 degrees and repeat. Cover with the plastic wrap from before and let it rest for about 1 hour.
NOTE: if this is too sticky to handle, just work 1/2 C more flour into the dough as you fold. Try not to add more - you'll end up with a too stiff/dry bread.
After an hour, remove the plastic wrap and grease two loaf pans really well. Cut your dough into equal halves, put one half aside and form the piece of dough left into a rectangle with your hands. (If you need to flour your hands or your rolling pin, do it as sparingly as possible.) You want it long away from you, short in width. Roll it out with your pin to pop out air bubbles. This is your arm workout for the day. :D You want the width to be at least as wide as your bread pan. Wider is fine.
Roll that dough up like a jelly roll and pinch the seam into the body of the dough to seal it, do the same on the ends, tucking them under. Cooing and naming it is up to you. Put into your bread pan with the seam side down and rub a little olive oil onto the top of your wee tube of nom. Repeat with your other section of dough. Set away from drafts, several inches apart from each other (so they don't dwarf into a Mega Loaf), cover with a towel and let rise until doubled.
IF IT'S LATE, COVER IN OILED PLASTIC WRAP LOOSELY TO ACCOMMODATE THE RISE AND PUT IN THE FRIDGE. Or if you want crazy flavor, do this and be prepared to bake 8-10 hours later.
Preheat your oven to 400F, slip your beautiful, silky loaves into the oven when ready, TOSS AN ICE CUBE INTO THE BOTTOM OF THE OVEN, shut the door, and set the timer at 20 minutes. Pace. Chew your nail. Stare at the wall. Check your loaves at 20 minutes. They should be golden brown and gorgeous. Knock your fingers on the crust. Do you get a hollow sound? Pull them out! If note, let them bake for another 3-5 minutes.
Pull pans out, let cool on a wire rack IN THE PAN for a few minutes. Turn out and let cool completely on a wire rack until cool to the touch. NEVER CUT HOT BREAD. I know, I know, you want to. But it'll tear!
But this is what mine looked like (I brushed them with melted butter after they came out of the oven).
PIZZA DOUGH WITH CAST OFF STARTER Technically this is a Quick Bread, so yeast is involved. Makes 2 "large" pizzas. (and a wee small one)
6 C Flour
1 pkg yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp. of bulk)
1/2 C cast off starter
1 1/3 C WARM water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP good olive oil
1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan (my secret ingredient)
MIX: 4 C flour, sugar, Parmesan, salt and yeast. With a spoon, add in starter, olive oil and most of the water. When that's difficult, turn out onto a floured surface and knead in flour by hand, adding reserved water as needed. Knead for several minutes until it's all glossy.
This is a SUPER STICKY DOUGH. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and drop your dough ball in there. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes. Punch down with floured knuckles. :) Let it rise again for about 25-30 minutes.
Preheat oven as high as it can go - at least 450F, move your rack to the top third of the oven. If you're using a baking stone, that needs to be preheated as well. Turn out onto your lightly floured surface, cut into sections to be turned into your pizza crusts. I like free form pizza shapes, so I flatten with my fingers from the center out, then use a rolling pin from the center and out to stretch it into shape. I'm not brave enough to toss it into the air. I have had NO success doing that, because I'm a derp.
FOR A CHEWY, THIN CRUST: Bake blind (meaning, put the dough on your baking stone or pan and bake for a few minutes). Pull out, top as you'd like, and slip it back in the oven for another 10 - 15 minutes, depending on your oven and when the cheese is bubbling. (I like to turn the broiler on for the last 2 minutes to get lots of browning on top.
FOR A THICKER, CHEWY CRUST: top your dough as you'd like, and slip via paddle onto your baking stone, or put your pan with your pizza into the oven. Same instructions for the top, minus the blind bake.