Sunday, March 28, 3010
The reasons I picked this recipe were: 1) It's a simple, direct-method dough that requires nothing other than flour, water, salt, and yeast; and 2) it directs you to whack the bread violently about 100 times with a rolling pin. It "helps to break down the gluten." (I'll just bet it does). It is also supposed to give the bread a very uneven texture.
After the bread rises in its shaped form, it gets double-slashed.
what the difference was. It turns out that an egg white glaze gives you a less shiny and not as dark loaf of bread. I prefer the result from the egg yolk glaze, which is shinier and more dramatic.
This compagnon (it means companion or company: synonyms include compère, camarade, condisciple, confrère, collègue, maître, intime, copain, complice, amant, associé, baron, collaborateur, acolyte) is a good basic bread, although the only thing truly extraordinary about it is that you attack it with a rolling pin. I can tell you that that will get the full attention of anyone who's with you in the kitchen, and that that person will be nicer to you the rest of the day because he's not completely sure what you may do next with the rolling pin.
--from The Village Baker, by Joe Ortiz
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 3/4 cups water
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
Glaze: 1 egg white beaten up in 1/2 cup cold water.
Mix yeast and 3 cups flour in food processor fitted with plastic blade. Pour 1/4 cup cold water in food processor and pulse two or three times. With the motor running, slowly add 3/4 cup water and process for 30 seconds. With the processor still running, slowly add the rest of the water. Sprinkle the salt onto the dough and process for another 15 seconds. Add all but a handful of the remaining 1/2 cup flour, a little at a time, and pulse a few times.
Sprinkle the remaining flour on a countertop, and pour the dough out onto the table. Beat it vigorously about 100 times with a wooden rolling pin, folding the dough over onto itself several times. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. After the dough is beaten, it should be moist, elastic, and satiny.
Let the dough rise in a covered bowl for 45 minutes. Put it on the counter, press it into a rectangle, and fold it over, business-letter style. Return to bowl and let rise another 30 minutes.
Flatten the dough and roll it into a tight, oval loaf or divide it in two and make two small loaves. Place the loaf, or loaves, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Slash two long, parallel cuts on the top of the bread. Glaze the loaves and place them in a preheated 450-degree oven. Immediately spray the oven with an atomizer filled with water. Bake a large loaf for 35-40 minutes and small loaves for 25-30 minutes.
Remove when crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.