Happy New Year to you all! I sincerely hope that 2009 is a wonderful year for everyone.
We had a very calm and quiet and fun New Year's Eve. Gillian and I went over to Dan and Jerry's for the evening. We enjoyed a little champagne, ate, and played a marathon game of Pixar Monopoly (Gillian received it for Christmas). We barely made it to midnight! But we did, and saw in 2009, and went home to bed. Such excitement!
Today has been a wonderfully lazy day. We have been avid watchers of SciFi channel's Twilight Zone marathon today, and I made bread. Amazing and incredible, "I can't believe I made this at home" bread. I am serious.
Last year, in a weekly newsletter from Mother Earth News, was a bread recipe. Easy, and promised to deliver home baked bread just like bread you would buy from a bakery. Crisp crust, soft and chewy interior. I've never been able to make bread like that at home. You know what I mean: those wonderful rounds of bread with the glossy brown crust, and all soft and snowy white inside. The secret? It's baked in a Dutch Oven.
I asked for, and was given, a wonderful ceramic Dutch Oven for Christmas. So last night I started the bread. It is a no-knead bread recipe, which means it takes an incredibly long time to proof and raise. We're talking 12-18 hours for the first step. All said and done, it takes about 19 hours from beginning to end, but there is actually very little work involved. Just patience.
The only ingredients in this bread are yeast, water, salt, and flour. And a great deal of time. But boy, oh boy! The results are well worth the time it takes. I ended up with a round loaf of bread that I easily could have purchased at a bread makers', but I made it myself! Making it in the Dutch Oven is what did it. It steams as it bakes, covered, which produces the wonderful crisp crust. Yum. Here are some pictures of my marvelous bread: