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La Belle Cuisine - More Bread Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith,"

 

Sourdough Starter, Francese Bread
and Focaccia

 

 

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"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing
water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight..."
~ M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating


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La Belle Cuisine

 


Sourdough Starter
Iggy's Bakery, Watertown, MA

1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1/4 ounce package active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached high-protein flour,
such as bread flour

1. Pour 2 cups warm water into a 2-quart glass or bowl. Add sugar; let
it dissolve. Sprinkle yeast over top and let it dissolve. Slowly stir in
flour, 1/4 cup at a time.
2. Cover with a clean dishcloth and place somewhere warm. The mixture
will begin to bubble and brew almost immediately.
3. Let sit for 2 to 5 days, stirring every day, as it will separate. When
bubbling has subsided and a yeasty sour aroma has developed,
stir again; use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. (The
starter will last a few weeks; stir daily.) It should have the con-
sistency of pancake batter.

 

Francese Bread

 3 1/2 cups unbleached high-protein
flour, such as bread flour
2 tablespoons sea salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
Sourdough Starter
1 1/2 cups spring water

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt, creating a deep well in
the center.
2. Pour the starter into the well, slowly mixing with a wooden spoon.
Slowly add the spring water, mixing until combined. Add additional
flour as needed to make the dough workable; the mixture will be
very sticky.
3. When fully combined, knead dough in an electric mixer with a dough
hook attachment for about 10 minutes at slow speed, and 3 minutes at
medium speed. Or knead by hand for about 10 minutes, until dough is
smooth and elastic. Cover the dough, leaving it to rest in a warm
place for about 2 hours or until it doubles in bulk.
4. Once dough has doubled, spread it gently onto a well-floured work
surface. The dough will be soft and sticky, so use a lot of flour to ease manipulation. Spread the dough until it is approximately 1 inch thick.
Let it rest for a few minutes.
5. With a dough scraper or knife, cut the dough into two or three squares. Sprinkle organic cornmeal on a baking stone or cookie sheet, and place
dough squares on top. Cover dough with a damp towel for about half
an hour.
6. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Spray dough with water before placing
in the oven. Bake loaves for about 40 minutes until golden brown.

 

Focaccia

1 Francese Bread recipe
Toppings, such as sun-dried tomatoes,
olives, garlic, boiled and cubed potatoes,
Parmesan, fresh herbs

1. Prepare dough according to steps 1 through 3 of Francese Bread,
above. Cut dough into two or three pieces. Round the dough into
balls, adding flour so dough doesn't stick to your hands.
2. Sprinkle organic cornmeal on baking stone or cookie sheet, and place
balls on top. Place a damp towel over the dough and allow to rest for
about half an hour.
3. Lift dough off baking stone and sprinkle sheet with more cornmeal.
Place dough back on stone or sheet and stretch into round shapes,
about 1-inch thick. Gently press chosen toppings into dough. Let rest
for another 10 minutes.
4. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Poke dough with a fork to prevent from
rising too much. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.


Featured Archive Recipes:
Farm Stand Focaccia
Parmesan Focaccia
Sourdough French Bread


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