|A finished loaf cooling|
I remember making basic white bread with my mother as a boy. Standing next to her on my little stool and mimicking her floured hands pushing and pulling the dough back and forth, slapping it onto our oak counter top in the pantry and the flour speckling the air. What fun it was to be able to punch something and get away with it in front of my mother, laughing together side by side. It is a memory I re-create once a week in my kitchen, although with an even more simple technique and recipe.
I discovered this bread maybe 15 years ago now, while viewing on a television program, someone who has become one of my "Guardians of Kitchen Divinity" (although she will probably never know it), Darina Allen of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. Simplicity. Common Sense. Freshness. These are the words that I have learned from her and only hope to achieve and be able to convey to others. Everything that comes from her hands seems so easy and it is. That is the sign of someone I want to learn from and how they become one of the guardians I channel while in the kitchen.
(Whole Wheat & Unbleached Flour with Salt)
|(Proofed Yeast with Molasses and Water)|
|Mixing by hand to get the right consistency|
|(My Lunch. Sauteed Red Peppers on top of sliced Cucumber wtih Tuna and Red Onions)|
(Adapted from the Ballymaloe Recipe)
2 tsp. Dry Yeast
1½ Cups Warm Water (105-110ºF)
2 Tbl. Molasses
3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Salt
Butter an 8” x 4” (1 lb.) loaf pan. Preheat oven to 450°F.
Add the molasses to a bowl and mix well with the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and mix well. Leave for 10 minutes in a draft-free spot until bubbly.
Mix the flours and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Combine to form a thick batter for about 1 minute, until it begins to leave the sides of the bowl cleanly and forms a soft, sticky dough.
Place the dough in the prepared pan and cover with a dish towel. Proof until the dough is ½“ above the top of the pan or has doubled in size, about 25-30 minutes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to complete the cooling process.