A few days ago, I ran out of organic unbleached flour and went to the supermarket finding only unbleached bread flour from King Arthur. Brought home two packets of this, and on a whim, decided to try out the flour. Here’s what I did. I ‘threw’ into a Kitchen Aid bowl the following:
380 gms (3 cups ) unbleached bread flour
235 ml (1 cup water)
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs butter
1 tbs Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp anise seeds
I mixed the ingredients for 5 to 7 minutes using a dough hook with the Kitchen Aid, till the dough came off clean from the walls of the bowl. I had to add about 2 to 3 tbs more water to get the right consistency of dough; then transferred the dough onto a floured surface and kneaded it further by hand to arrive at an elastic, springy, silky smooth dough. (Hence the importance of knowing what a good dough looks and feels like!). This took 3 to 5 minutes. Shaped this into a ball, covered and proofed the dough for 1 hour. An hour later, I shaped the dough into an oval loaf and proofed for a further hour during which time the oven was heated up to 220˚C. I Added a small metal tray in the oven to later pour 1/2 cup boiling water to provide the steam when I placed the dough in.
An hour later, I brushed the dough surface with an egg white and salt mixture; scored the dough and baked it at 210˚C for 30 minutes till the crust was nicely brown. Cool the loaf on a metal rack before slicing. The aroma of anise and herbs filled the entire room. It was just heavenly!
A crispy-crusted bread with an aromatic, soft, chewy crumb. Our family’s daily bread for breakfast next morning, done simply and quickly! No mess. No fuss. Just delectably aromatic and delicious!
“If you run out of dough, all you knead is love.”
― Khang Kijarro Nguyen ―