Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cookbook: "My Bread" by Jim Lahey

Note:     We have rediscovered making bread instead of buying it.     We are just loving it.    When this book showed up on a "must have" list while watching one of the morning news shows, I was hooked.     This man loves bread and he doesn't believe in kneading.      Who wouldn't at least want to try that?      He has delicious recipes for bread like roasted red pepper, pizza bianca, panino cubano, and traditional whole wheat.     I have included a fun peanut butter and jelly bread recipe for you to try which I found at   

"My Bread" by Jim Lahey
W.W. Norton, $29.95
From the man who popularized the no-knead bread-making method made popular by Mark Bittman in an article in The New York Times, comes this very accessible book for the home cook. As advertised, there is no kneading involved. You just mix the ingredients and then let the bread rise slowly. There are many delicious variations to choose from. "My Bread" will get nonbakers baking. After all, what is better than home-baked bread?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread

- egg, beaten/1 large
- bread flour/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons
- whole wheat flour/2 tablespoons
- table salt/¾ teaspoon
- instant or other active dry yeast/¼ teaspoon
- cool (55 to 65 degrees F) water/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- unsalted smooth peanut butter/3 tablespoons
- unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, whole/¼ cup
- unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped/¼ cup
- seedless fruit jam of choice/1/3 cup

- nonstick cooking spray
- additional flour for dusting

1. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg for glazing the bread. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, yeast, and the remaining egg. Blend the water and peanut butter in a blender until smooth (some settling will occur if this is left to stand, so blend just before using). Add mixture to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough without any lumps, about 30 seconds. Stir in the whole peanuts until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, about 12 hours.
2. When the first rise is complete, sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Lightly flour your hands and gently pat and pull the dough into a rough rectangle about 8 by 12 inches.
3. Now you’re going to make a sort of jelly roll: Position the dough so a long side is in front of you. Spread the jam evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Lift up the far side of the rectangle and fold one third of it over toward the center, then continue rolling up the remainder into a cylinder. With the seam on the bottom, tuck the ends of the roll under to seal them, so the jam doesn’t ooze out during baking.
4. Lightly coat the loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of the chopped peanuts into the bottom of the pan. Gently transfer the dough, seam side down, to the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining chopped peanuts onto the dough. Cover the dough with a towel and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 hour. The dough is ready when it has doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.
5. About 15 minutes before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a rack in the center.
6. Brush the top of the dough with the reserved beaten egg. Bake until golden, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the peanuts start to darken, loosely cover the loaf with foil. Use pot holders to invert the pan onto a rack, remove the pan, and turn the bread right side up to cool thoroughly. (Don’t dawdle—the bread will get soggy if it cools in the pan.)

1 comment:

The Japanese Redneck said...

I would so love to make all my own bread. Part of the problem is lack of time. I will look at the book and see if it changes my mind on doing it all by myself.