Monday, October 31, 2005

Rain! Rain! Rain!

I'm having a very strange Monday and I'm much too mellow to do any real work. Mostly due to my supervisor's moonshine. She brought in homemade wine and grapes and bread and various spreads for our morning meeting. Yum!

Now, I rarely drink anymore, so I've got zero tolerance. One glass of wine is enough to get me woozy. I had that at the meeting. Then, someone had to finish the last cupful in the bottle, and I wanted the bottle, so I volunteered to finish it. I've been sipping it for the past couple hours. I'm in a happy place.

I actually started the day in a happy place. I've started listening to zen meditation CDs in the car on my way to work, and I am so much more relaxed during my commute. I even let a big ol' truck in front of me, knowing that the truck would slow me down. But all was good in the world!

And, as the post title makes clear, it is raining. Pouring, in fact. Thundering and lightening. Wonderful fall weather! The lights flicked off once. I am so ready to go home, make myself a nice bowl of soup to go with the bread I made last night, and curl up with a book and a cup of tea. I *should* go to the gym, but I went yesterday, so . . .

Anyway, here's the bread recipe I made last night. It's apparently idiot-proof, because I tried my darndest to screw it up and it still came out scrummy.

Baguette Bread (from Cooking Light)

1 pkg dry yeast
1.25 c. warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
3 c. bread flour (or high-gluten flour)
1/4 tsp. salt
Cooking spray
1 tsp. corn meal

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add 2.75 c. of the flour; stir until a soft dough forms (my dough turned out too sticky and I wound up adding a lot of flour during kneading, so this might not be exactly right). Cover and let sit 15 minutes.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Sprinkle with salt. Knead until soft and elastic (approx. 6 minutes), adding flour as needed to keep from sticking to hands. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray; put dough in bowl and turn to coat; cover and let sit in a warm spot for 40 minutes or doubled in size.

Punch down dough. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Sprinkle corn meal on a large baking sheet. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12-inch oblong, slightly tapered at each end. Place on baking sheet. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450.

Make three shallow, diagonal slits on each loaf. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until bottoms are turning brown and the loaves make a hollow sound when tapped.

Enjoy the yummy goodness!


At 1:22 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

You made your own bread! Cool! In Massachusetts, I used to make pizza dough in the past, for a butternut-squash and rosemary pizza, but I can't find yeast in New York for the life of me. I guess I have to look harder.

At 1:27 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

Check the refrigerated section. Some places keep it there.

When I was in Italy, I kept trying to make my own pizza dough and it just wouldn't rise and came out very dry. I couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing wrong---until about four months into my stay I realized that I had been using baking powder, not yeast! They sell baking powder in little pouches like we sell our yeast. And they use the same word for both---lievito.

At 6:16 AM , Blogger Liz said...

You can't find yeast in NYC? (shudder)

I wish I could drink wine at work! We're not allowed to have it on the premises, even for staff social events. Bah.

At 6:18 AM , Blogger Liz said...

Now I am laughing and picturing myself drinking wine at the reference desk.

"Yeeeeesh? How may I hilp you?"

At 3:33 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

Hehe ;)


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