As most of you know, my breadmaker is D-E-A-D. Damn it! Sigh… Anyway… I am transitioning from making dough in the breadmaker to using my KitchenAid Mixer that I have named Rebel. You can of course mix everything together with a spoon and knead with your hands if you like.
This recipe originally comes from Canada’s Best Bread Machine Baking Recipes but I have adapted it to work outside the breadmaker world. Please note, they refer to this loaf as “Batarde” but I am pretty sure they meant “Bâtard” but I could be wrong. Let me know!
In the world of bread-making, you got to keep your yeast alive. I mixed together 1 1/2 cups of warm water (just above body temperature) with 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 1/2 tsp of bread machine yeast. You can use regular yeast of course but not instant. Mix together and leave for five minutes.
This is what you want to see. It should be foamy and frothy. If it isn’t, your water was either too hot or cold or the yeast is no longer viable.
In a large bowl mix together 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 3 3/4 cups of flour. I used bread flour but you can use all purpose if you like.
Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the water with the yeast and sugar.
Can you ever tell it is winter! So bloody dry… I obviously needed more water to bring the dough together so I added more.
On the left you will see the dough finally coming together with no flour on the bottom which is what you want. Knead together for ten minutes until the dough gets all stretchy and smooth like the photo on the right. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and keep in a warm spot. Let rise for two hours. If your kitchen is cold like mine is a lot of the time you can put the dough in the microwave with a warm glass of water.
The dough will be all puffy and beautiful, just like this. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface so that it is a long loaf that is flat on top and tapered at the ends:
You want the loaf to be around 14″ long. I am terrible with measurements so I always get out my ruler to check on the length.
Place on a baking tray. I floured mine but you could sprinkle it with cornmeal or semolina flour instead. I added some decorative slashes on the top with a knife, covered again and let rise in a warm spot for at least 30 minutes. Then I baked it in a 425F preheated oven for 20 minutes until it was golden brown.
Such a stunning perfect bread that I can still have even though my breadmaker is toast! This is one of my favourite all-purpose loaves of bread to make. It makes the best garlic bread in the world and I recently discovered that it also makes perfect grilled cheese sandwiches.
I thought the transition away from my breadmaker was going to be tough but it wasn’t at all. I hope that one day I will be strong enough to knead the dough myself but for now I will let Rebel do it. She is so tough I am happy to let her do all the heavy lifting… for now!