Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cottage Loaf

Every year RaeAnne gets me a cookbook for Christmas. This year I told her that I wanted one that was for five or six ingredients. She got me "200 Four-Ingredient Recipes" by Joanna Farrow. This recipe is from it. We were having stew so I decided to make bread bowls. They were pretty yummy. Let me make a few notes before I post her recipe. I don't think that you can get "fresh" yeast at Wal-Mart which is what her recipe called for. I used Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast and followed the direction on it. I also have a Kitchen Aid mixer that has the hook attachment that knead dough, and I used it. What can I say...I am lazy! So, this is Sherry's version. From the original verbiage on the recipe you could tell this is from Britain and not the good 'ol U S of A.

6 cups unbleached strong white bread flour
2tsp salt
1 package Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast
1 2/3 cup water (120-130 degrees)

1. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Sift the flour, salt and yeast together into a large bowl.
2. Pour water into dry ingredients, then mix to a firm dough.
3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
4. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and punch down. Knead for 2-3 minutes, then divide the dough into four or five parts and shape each piece into a ball. Place balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets. Cover with inverted bowls and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
5. Carefully press a hole down into the center of the top of the balls using your thumb. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place the bread on the lower shelf of the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a rich golden brown color. Cool on a wire rack before serving.


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