Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Warm up your kitchen--bake bread!

Last week's single digit temperatures didn't phase us in the Hub Kitchen. With the ovens cranked up to 450F, and the classroom filled to capacity with eager bakers, we were plenty toasty all afternoon.

Our Guest Chef Alex Chambers shared his enthusiasm and know how for handling wet dough, and how to work sourdough bread baking into your weekly routine. We focused on slow-ferment, wet dough because it is easier to schedule around, doesn't required kneading, and delivers excellent flavor and texture (no-knead bread recipe). While it is very forgiving and great for beginners, the wet dough can be hard to handle and difficult to get used to, so we provided hands-on exposure.
After shaping and proofing, we popped our loaves into a hot oven, with a baking stone and a shallow pan of steam (for a crispy crust, and extra oven-spring).

Most of us imagine lengthy kneading sessions when we think of making yeast breads, and since kneading can be such a pleasurable part of bread baking, we offered that experience as well, along with recipes for traditional, enriched sandwich bread.

Our multi generational group enjoyed tasty samples, great conversation and each took home a warm, hand-crafted loaf of bread.

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