A blog about running in the Houston area with notes about diet, cross-training and weight loss. Incidental topics include USA and African travel, vegan cooking, movies, books, and bird-watching.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
'French' bread a la KitchenAid
Page 55 of my KitchenAid 'Recipe and Instructions' booklet looks like it might have been unearthed with King Tut. Parchment-like in appearance with brown spots and stains, several watermarks - and some fingerprints. No doubt mine, as I've been following this particular recipe for 'French Bread' for some 25 years now, on and off. It's easy - the most tedious part being measuring the flour - and if you get the temperatures right (don't scald the yeast!) - pretty much foolproof. You get to actually handle the dough so even though the KitchenAid does the kneading, the process still retains a bit of the romance of baking bread. Unlike using a bread machine, I would think.
The results are invariably good and reliably so. The bread can be baked either in a loaf format or it can be rolled to look a bit more like the real thing. Of course I have no illusions about this being anything like a proper baguette-style loaf. Some may differ but I think you only get those in France. Preferably Paris. To get a nice crust I spritz some water mist into the oven just before I slide in the baking stone or the bread pan, or both as was the case today. Instead of the tablespoon of butter called for in the original recipe, I nowadays use a tablespoon of olive oil. And instead of glazing the bread with the traditional egg-white wash, I simply spray the top with some Pam, 5 minutes before it comes out of the oven. This is best eaten fresh, tastes wonderful with a light smear of Marmite and toasts exceptionally well after a couple of days or so. Who loves it even more than we do? Our two Boxers. I swear they can detect the sound of a bread knife being picked up in this household.
I am a veteran runner who started running as a lark in high school and have never stopped. I have run 15 marathons, the last one of which was the 2009 Boston Marathon. My other interests include the movies, cooking, travel (the business that I'm in), opera and birding, although I do not have as much time for it as I used to.