The Bread Man
I think that when I mentioned that My Husband made bread over the weekend certainly got the attention of a few of you! You see, he does enjoy cooking and I've mentioned meals he has made before on this blog. A few years back - before kids - we tried our hand at making a flatbread together and loved the results. Funny, we haven't made it in years so we'll have to revisit that one again so I can share it with you.
As for what started the idea of making bread this weekend, I honestly couldn't tell you! My Husband gets ideas in his head sometimes and just can't move past them until he has given it a full try. While I was out running errands on Saturday afternoon, little did I know he was researching how to make bread on the internet. I did get a couple of odd phone calls asking if I had yeast, which I did. Then, a phone call telling me that he used 5 cups of flour from the new package that was sitting on the counter. Hmmmm... what was he up to? Well, I got home, and I didn't see any evidence sitting out. Of course, bread requires time to rise, so I expected to see a bowl covered with a towel or saran wrap doing it's thing. But, it was no where to be found.
After questioning My Husband on it, he asked me to watch a You Tube video on how to make French bread in 10 minutes. While the video is nothing to get excited about, the recipe and technique are something even a child could manage to do. The simplicity is what appealed to him since making French bread often involves a rather lengthy process - just check out the Julia Child recipe that the Daring Bakers made earlier this year, a 14 page recipe! The reason I couldn't find the dough rising? Well, if you watch the video, the man suggests using a plastic grocery bag to cover it while it rises. I didn't even notice the bowl sitting in my laundry room because I never would have thought to use the plastic bag.
Once the dough had rested, it was time for a quick knead of the bread.
Then, as the video suggests, he divided the dough into 2 pieces and rolled each one into a long loaf. Those were then allowed to rise again. Then, they were added to a preheated oven along with some water in a heated pan on a lower rack. The water is key to creating the crust, but some recipes say to spray the water on the loaf, while others say to put it in a pan in the oven. The idea being that the steam from the water helps the crust develop. Well, the first attempt was quite tasty, with a nice crust but not as browned as he would have liked.
So, not being completely satisfied with the first attempt he made bread again on Sunday. Yep, I know I'm lucky to have a man who likes to cook (and bake bread)! This time, he decided to brush butter over one of the loaves to see if it would brown a little better.
As you can see, the two loaves turned out a bit differently. The one on the left is the one that was brushed with butter, while the other had nothing sprayed or brushed on it. Both had a nice crust to them, but the one with butter was my favorite. The butter added a flavor element to it that made it nearly addictive. While the other loaf was good, I think the water spray would have made it a bit less flour-y on the crust.
So, there you have it! My Husband the Bread Man!
Here are some other links that will help if you want to try making your own bread at home:
The Bread Blog is a great reference as well as source for impressive bread baking.
Then there is Mark Bittman's video on No Knead Bread that has made it's way around the food bloggin world. So easy, anyone could make bread every day.