I've started to go down this weird 'cooking' story arc. Why? Because cooking bread requires following recipes to the letter for making ingredients work, but, you can usually be a little liberal with the processes, as long as you're generally following a sane methodology. I recently bought a Kitchenaid Stone Bowl for my stand mixer and wanted to try actually baking some bread with it.
The good news?
The bread turned out ok.
The bad news?
It really had a dense crumb.
The best news?
It makes some bomb-as-fuck croutons for the next day.
The recipe is super simple, but, I'd really recommend using a kitchen scale to make sure you have the ingredients measured correctly.
- 375 grams flour. I used all purpose, but, that's only because it's what I had laying around in the house
- 6 grams active dry yeast.
- 15 grams kosher salt
- 1 and 1/4 cup of 110 degree water. Yes, I know I'm switching from metric to freedom units, but, just roll with me here.
First, I filled my bowl up with hot tap water for about 90-120 seconds then drain the water out, followed by a quick towel dry.
I mixed together the flour, salt, and yeast with a fork to get the yeast and the salt well incorporated into the flour, then, I put the dry ingredients in the bread bowl with the dough hook attachment. Turning the mixer on and slowly working the speed up to 2, I start to drizzle the water into the bowl slowly over the course of about 60 seconds. Once all of the water is in the bowl, I will continue to mix for about 90 more seconds, or, until the dough has formed a nice ball. Since I tend to keep my condo at a temperature that could best be described as a refrigerator, I chose to proof my bread outside for the first proofing – about an hour or so – just sitting the bowl with the lid on outside on the porch was fine.
After the bread has sat outside for an hour, I brought it back inside to punch down and work some more. After cleaning, drying, and flouring my countertop, I uncovered the bowl and flipped the dough over on the countertop. I punched and kneaded it by hand for about 3 minutes, stopping when the bread got a little too tough. I let the dough then rest on the counter while I washed the stone bowl out, filled it back up with hot water, drained, dried the interior of the bowl, and then I gently floured the sides of the bowl for the second proofing.
At this point in time, I preheated my oven to 450 degrees and sat the bowl, with the lid on, next to the stove to proof for a second time. After proofing, I put some parchment paper on the underside of the lid, flipped the bowl over, and sat It on the middle rack of my oven for about 40 minutes.
I goofed up Initially, because I didn't know that
The bread did turn out ok:
For my croutons, I diced up the bread into about 1/2 Inch cubes, and then tossed In some melted butter, micro-planed garlic, salt, pepper, then toasted in the oven (450 again) for about 10 minutes.
Let them cool down, throw them in an airtight bag, boom...croutons for the next week!