Life is always changing and, in my opinion, this is a good thing. With change brings new opportunities, new people, new places, and new food. Recently I was fortunate enough to buy a little apartment in the mountain town I call home. Having a kitchen, which allows me to be creative, means getting back to making mouth-watering meals to share with family and friends. For my birthday this past May my friend, Mariah Grooms – international raw vegan chef, sent me a book, Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob. This book has re-sparked the passion I once took in creating and writing about food, motivating me to share this story.
As always, thank you for reading!
Mix, Heat, Repeat
A Story About Bread
As I pulled the 425° cast iron capsule from the oven, my whole body surged with gratitude. Grateful to once again share this comforting sustenance in a new place surrounded by friends and family. This process has taken place in each locale in which I have resided; comforting me, nourishing me, warming my soul.
Now the smell of freshly milled grain, mixed with water and fired to a light golden brown fills each room, as does laughter and conversation. As the loaf begins to cool, pops and cracks like that of a sappy log on a summer’s night campfire, fill my ears. My hands, used to break the freshly baked loaf into palm sized portions, graze the warm rough crust and my eyes follow the steaming middle which rises and moves with the breeze flowing through the open window.
As the bread is passed around the table, the laughter and conversation changes. It become quiet, replaced with muffled sounds of delight.
Recipe from My Bread By Jim Lahey
Whole Wheat Bread
Yield: One 10 inch loaf
Equipment: A 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 quart heavy pot
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups cool water
- wheat bran, cornmeal, or additional flour for dusting
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, and yeast. Add the water and mix, by hand, until you have a wet, sticky dough. Cover the bowl and allow to sit for 12 to 18 hours.
- When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Scrape the dough from the bowl onto the work surface. Nudge and tuck the edges of the dough to make it round. Lightly dust the top of the loaf and cover with a tea towel for 1 to 2 hours.
- Half and hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the over to 475° F and place a covered 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 heavy pot in the center of the rack.
- Using post holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly, but gently, invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue baking for 15 more minutes, or until it has reached the desired color, golden brown.