The Bread Man

For as long as I can remember, we bought our bread at the supermarket. We grew up on Wonder Bread…it sure is a wonder that it was called bread. Then later on in life, we started buying Martin’s Potato Bread. Below are the many ingredients in potato bread….even yellow #5 and #6.

UNBLEACHED ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (FLOUR, FERROUS SULFATE, NIACIN, THIAMIN, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), NONFAT MILK, RECONSTITUTED POTATOES (FROM POTATO FLOUR), YEAST, SUGAR, WHEAT GLUTEN, SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2 PERCENT OR LESS OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: SALT, BUTTER, DOUGH CONDITIONERS (SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, AZODICARBONAMIDE, MONOGLYCERIDES AND DIGLYCERIDES AND ETHOXYLATED MONOGLYCERIDES AND DIGLYCERIDES), MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PROPIONATE (A PRESERVATIVE), SOYA FLOUR, GUAR GUM, ASCORBIC ACID, DATEM, ENZYMES, F.D.& C. YELLOW #5 & #6 COLORING, SESAME SEEDS.

A couple of years ago, my dad started making his own bread. He kept telling me how amazing it was that his bread had barely any ingredients. He would make me different types and it was amazing. My dad was retired so he had plenty of time to make bread for everyone. He would go to the dentist and bring bread, same with the acupuncturist and whoever else he was going to see. He was known as the bread man. My dad would bore everyone to tears with stories about bread…it became a big joke with our family and friends.

In November of 2011, I asked my dad if he could get me the necessary tools to make bread for Christmas and to show me how. I can’t even tell you how happy this made my dad.  It was like I just told him he won a million dollars lol. So he did as promised and I started making awesome bread too. I tried to keep my bread stories down to a minimum. Unfortunately, in June of 2012, my dad the bread man passed away. At the wake, everyone told stories about what a great guy he was and how his bread made them so happy. Luckily, he passed the tradition down to me to carry on before he left and now I’d like to share it with you.

Round Loaf

Ingredients:
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal

You will also need a pizza peal, plastic container with lid and a pizza stone. Go to www.kingarthurflour.com if you need to buy these.

In a food processor, combine water, salt and yeast (they don’t have to be mixed). Add all the flour at once and mix on low with the hook attachment until everything is blended. You can use a bowl and a spoon if you don’t have a food processor (good luck). Put the dough in a plastic container and cover with the lid, but not airtight. Just rest the lid on top. Let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature.

Put cornmeal on the pizza peel. Put flour on your hands and flour on the dough. Take half the dough and gently stretch the surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Rest the dough on the pizza peel for 40 minutes. 20 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place a broiler tray on the bottom of the oven.

Dust the top of the dough with flour and cut 1/4 inch deep slash marks with a serrated knife. Slide the dough on the pizza stone (it’s ok if your oven isn’t at 450 degrees yet) with a fast jerking forward motion.  Pour 1 cup of hot water in the broiler pan and close the oven door quickly to trap the steam. Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until the crust is browned. Let the bread cool if you can wait that long. We never can. :)

 

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