Easy Homemade Bread

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The Master Recipe: Boule (Artisan Free-Form Loaf) From “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois

The aroma of fresh bread baking is heavenly.  I always thought baking your own bread seemed complicated and too hard, but after really looking in to it and giving it a try… Turns out, it’s easier than I thought!  If you plan ahead, the steps are simple and won’t take a lot of time out of your day.

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What is needed?

  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated yeast
  • Lukewarm water
  • cast iron dutch oven
  • parchment paper
  • kitchen scale
  • oven thermometer
  • kitchen shears
  • mixing bowl and spoon
  • measuring cup
  • plastic wrap

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First, you mix the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl with spoon until you no longer see loose flour.

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Next, you let the dough sit out on the counter for 2 hours to let rise.  Then, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator over night (can keep in the fridge up to 2 weeks).

When ready to bake, take out your bowl…

  • dust the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour
  • rub some flour on your hands (so dough does not stick to your hands too bad)
  • grab handfull of dough
  • use kitchen shears to cut off from rest of dough

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Next, hold dough and quickly form it into loaf by tucking dough from each of the four sides underneath, making it smoother on top while the bottom will be a collection of bunched ends.  Add flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. This should be done in 20-40 seconds.

Then place your loaf on parchment paper and let sit out around 40 mins.  During this time, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Place cast iron dutch oven with lid in the oven while preheating.  I use an oven thermometer to measure the temperature.  I actually have to set my oven to 500 degrees F in order for it to be 450 degrees F inside.

Now, dust loaf with flour and cut 3 half inch deep slashes into the top.

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Time to put in the oven. Place parchment paper with loaf into the dutch oven. Put lid on and place in preheated oven.  Don’t forget your mitts since the dutch oven was preheated too!

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Bake 20 mins with lid on, then take lid off and bake 10 more minutes for crispier crust.

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What a cute little loaf! Let it cool, then you are ready to slice!

This is the book I used for my recipe:

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The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by: Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois

I got the book off amazon.com.  It is full of great recipes that I can’t wait to try!

 

My Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

2015 Pumpkins

It was Friday. I had just finished feeding the kids dinner. My husband, Phil, was not home yet. Caroline, our 3 year old, was cleaned up and clearing her plate. Our youngest, Libby (4 weeks at the time), was in her bouncy seat, and I was finishing wiping Weston’s mouth (our 21 month old). As I started to lift him out of his high chair, it happened. EXTREME PAIN in my back that knocked me off my feet! I set Weston on the ground and caught myself on the high chair for support. I literally could not stand up. Hunched over, I fell into the closest kitchen chair. The pain was intense. There I was, unable to move, hollering in pain, watching Weston drag a stool over to the kitchen sink reaching to pick up a knife, simultaneously Libby begins screaming, and Caroline was asking me, “Mommy? What’s wrong?”…I begin screaming at Weston to “Put the knife down!”. He then starts crying…One minute later Phil walks in the door to Libby, Weston, and I crying and Caroline running up to him saying “Mommy is hurt!”. He didn’t know what he just walked in to! I am SO THANKFUL this happened at the time it did, because I don’t know what I would have done if he didn’t get home when he did.

What I went through over the next 48 hours was one of the most challenging experiences physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I was unable to walk for 24 hours. Turning in bed was torture. This is really EMBARRASSING, but I could not get up to walk to the bathroom. Phil had to help me pee in a bucket at my bedside. Mentally and emotionally I was struggling…I could not sit up to nurse Libby, so I had to lay in bed and pump and then feed her a bottle. I was asking God, “Why did this happen? Where is this coming from?”. I describe all this to show you how low I was feeling.

I’ve had mild back pain before…on and off since teen years from my gymnastics and cheerleading days. But, never had I experienced pain like this! This was new and totally unexpected! During this time, all I could do was pray. The bible tells us to pray without ceasing. I don’t know if I ever prayed so fervently and desperately for healing as I did then. As I was praying, what kept coming to mind, was how thankful I was at the timing of these circumstances. Besides the fact that Phil got home immediately after the scenario happened, it happened on a Friday when Phil would be home all weekend to help me. In the midst of this disabling event, the Lord was taking care of me. I felt His peace knowing that my family was praying for me. My sister and her husband brought us dinner the next evening which was such a helpful blessing. Then, for the first time in a LONG 24 hours, I began having significant progress when Phil helped me get to the shower. Standing under the hot water, allowed me to straighten up to fully stand without pain. My hope of healing was becoming real. Our God is healer, awesome in power! I won’t go in to all the details, but the Lord healed me! It truly is a miracle the progress I made over the next few days. I did go to the chiropractor one time for an adjustment and have not had to go back since. Apparently, pregnancy hormones can cause sacroiliac joint hyper-mobility which allows the pelvic area to be more expandable during childbirth. My sacroiliac joint had some hyper-mobility and had gotten out of whack to say the least.

Through this experience, I was reminded to be thankful in all circumstances. Even in those low valley, devastating times. Scripture says,

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

This verse has been on my bathroom mirror this week. It is a powerful reminder of God’s will for my life every day.  When I question, “Am I living in God’s will?”, I can go back to this truth.  How awesome!

God says, When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. . .For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. -Isaiah 43:2-3.