Smell the aroma of fresh-baked bread?
Smell that yeasty goodness of simple flour, salt, yeast (and perhaps sesame seeds) mixed together in a glass bowl? Are your taste buds watering? Would you like a buttered piece of homemade peasant bread to compliment your soup or summer salad?
If you have already headed to the kitchen, come back. For just a minute.
Let me share a recipe for Peasant Bread from Dave. He brought a loaf to our Artist’s Way meeting last summer and we devoured it like manna from heaven. We begged for his recipe, and he thoughtfully complied.
If you are tired of store-bought bread and have two days…keep reading. (Two days! Yes, yes. But do not fear. You will only need ten minutes on the first day. Maybe five. And not much more time on the second day. Best of all you hardly have to knead.)
Whisk the following ingredients together in a large glass bowl:
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (if you want a really heavy-duty loaf of bread–like mine–use all whole wheat bread flour. But only if you like your bread extra dark and healthy.)
1/2 Tablespoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon yeast
Yep, that’s about it. Except for adding the water. Add one and a half to one and 5/8 cup of water and mix well.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm location for 12-18 hours.
Lightly flour an area on the counter and turn dough out on it. Slightly knead in some of the flour. Leave dough ball on counter covering lightly with plastic wrap. Let sit 15 minutes.
Lay a cotton cloth on counter. Sprinkle half with sesame seeds, flour, or cornmeal. Maybe even poppy seeds. Carefully transfer dough ball onto cloth. Fold cloth over dough and rest for 2-3 hours. (You can rest again, too.)
Selected a heavy walled two-quart or larger ovenproof glass, cast iron, or clay dish with lid. Oil it well. If you have no lid–use aluminum foil. Preheat oven with rack in center to 450 F with dish and lid in it. (Ooops, I forgot to do this part today.)
When oven is ready carefully lift dough ball into the dish and bake 30 minutes with lid on…15 minutes without lid.
Turn onto cutting board or wire rack to cool.
Try to let cool. Really try. Then cut off slice, slather with butter (or vegan alternative) or peanut butter or jam or honey. Lick your lips. Mmmm, isn’t homemade bread good?