23 January 2013

Not so "white-bread" after all

I was first introduced to Michael Ruhlman when the Sailor read his book, The Making of a Chef, in preparation for our visit to the Culinary Institute.

Ruhlman at work in his kitchen

Since then, I've learned a little more about Ruhlman and WOW! What an interesting guy! In addition to being a renowned chef and author of nearly a dozen cookbooks, including several that he co-wrote with Thomas Keller of  French Laundry, Ruhlman is author of Wooden Boats: Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard and Walk on Water, a book about the life of a surgical team that specializes in pediatric heart surgery.

We have Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes in our expansive library of cookbooks.

"Rare is the cookbook that redefines how we cook. And rare is the author who can do so with the ease and expertise of acclaimed writer and culinary authority Michael Ruhlman. Twenty distills Ruhlman's decades of cooking, writing, and working with the world's greatest chefs into twenty essential ideas from ingredients to processes to attitude that are guaranteed to make every cook more accomplished. Whether cooking a multi-course meal, the juiciest roast chicken, or just some really good scrambled eggs, Ruhlman reveals how a cook's success boils down to the same twenty concepts. With the illuminating expertise that has made him one of the most esteemed food journalists, Ruhlman explains the hows and whys of each concept and reinforces those discoveries through 100 recipes for everything from soups to desserts, all detailed in over 300 photographs. Cooks of all levels will revel in Ruhlman's game-changing Twenty." -Amazon

One of the best comfort foods on a cold, wintery day is fresh baked bread. I'm usually the one who bakes up a loaf of banana or cranberry bread-- something sweet, more along the lines of a dessert of course! The the Sailor is the practical one, who makes real food, and Ruhlman's Twenty Dutch Oven Bread has become a favorite accompaniment to homemade soup around here. It's a bit time-consuming--but easy and worth the effort. (And the carbs. I don't care what anyone says. This recipe proves that white, enriched can't be all bad for you!)

via Eat at Joe's

Dutch Oven Bread
4 cups All Purpose Flour
1.5 cups water
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for sprinkling
vegetable oil
olive oil

Combine the flour, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on the size of the bowl, you may need to stop the mixer and remove the dough from the dough hook of the dough is not developing thoroughly. When the dough looks smooth, cut off a piece and stretch it. If it stretches to the point of transparency, it’s mixed enough. If not, continue mixing until it will.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with a pot lid or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size and does not spring back when you push your finger into it, 2 to 4 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead it to release the gas and redistribute the yeast. Shape it roughly into a ball, cover it with a towel, and let it stand for 10 minutes or so to allow the gluten to relax.

Shape the dough into a tight ball- the tighter the better- by rolling it on the work surface between your palms.

Coat the bottom and sides of a large Dutch oven (5 ½ quarts) or larger) with vegetable oil. Put the dough in the center of the pot and put the lid on. Allow the dough to rise again, 30 to 60 minutes (less if it’s very hot and humid, more if it’s cold).

Preheat the oven to 450f. 

Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil gently over the surface of the dough. Score the bread with a sharp knife or razor making an x or a hash mark; this will allow the dough to expand freely. Sprinkle the dough with salt. Cover the pot and put it in the oven.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid, reduce the oven temperature to 375f and continue baking until the bread is nicely browned and cooked through. It should have an internal temperature of 200f or so when done.

Allow the bread to rest on a rack for at least 30 minutes before serving so that the interior finishing cooking.


1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite cookbooks too! (A group of my girlfriends have a "cookbook" club, and this was one of our recent choices.) The Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Blue Cheese were unreal, and we also loved the Chipotle-Corn Fritters with Cilantro-Lime Dipping Sauce. I have not tried the bread recipe, so I'll have to give it a try soon.