there was a little red hen who lived on a farm.
She was friends with a lazy dog, a sleepy cat, and a noisy yellow duck.
One day the little red hen found some seeds on the ground.
The little red hen had an idea.
She would plant the seeds… and grow some wheat, to take to the mill, to be ground into flour, to bake into bread.
Synopsis: None of her slacker farm mates would help with any part of the making of the bread, so even though they wanted a piece; fresh, aromatic, savory and filling, little red hen didn’t give a damn.
Moral: You should probably participate when a hen can pull something like this off. I know humans who couldn’t do this.
Once Upon a Time…
A Giant smells a human boy.
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread!
Synopsis: Jack steals a lot of valuables from the Giant over the course of a few secret visits, climbs down the beanstalk, with the Giant on his tail, grabs an axe, chops the stalk down sending the Giant to his death and Jack and his mom live happily ever after on the stolen loot.
Moral: I think the Giant was under-appreciated.
Once Upon a Time…
Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and two children.
The boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel…
blah blah blaaaaaaaaah
We all know the drill.
Synopsis: Starving peasants, including obligatory evil stepmother, take their children to the forest to die because there isn’t enough to go around. Not only are the children abandoned, starving, and lost, but they have to face an evil witch who attempts to bake Gretel in her oven with a loaf of bread (because nothing goes better with a fresh loaf then thigh of child) however, Gretel pushes HER into the oven instead and the witch incinerates, as the children, now somehow, remember how to find their way back home to a grateful father who is no longer being pussy-whipped by his wife- ’cause she’s dead, too.
Moral: I don’t have a God damned clue, but there’s the bread theme- again.
What I do know is that I have baked some bread.
And it is good.
So, if you find wisdom in listening to talking poultry (and I do), would have liked to try a slice of that Giant’s bone-dust bread, and would never have been so stupid as to venture into the forest with the biiiitch that had your daddy doing dumb doggie tricks without a trick of your own up your sleeve, then join me…
While we bake bread.
Fairy Tales can come true.
Sour Dough Bread Recipe
First, make the STARTER.
1 package active-dry yeast
4 cups warm water
4 cups flour
In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast with 1/4 cup of the warm water. Whisk.
Add 1- 3/4 cups of warm water and 2 cups flour. Blend. It will be runny.
Place the bowl, uncovered, in a warm place for about 12 hours.
Stir the mixture.
Add the remaining 2 cups warm water and 2 cups of flour. Blend well.
Again- place the bowl, uncovered, in a warm place for about 12 hours.
It should be bubbly and smell yeasty at this time.
Separate the mixture, 1 cup each, into sterile 1-pint containers (I use Ball jars). Cover loosely as it will continue to expand. Refrigerate.
1 cup sour dough Starter
1-1/2 cups warm water
4-1/2 – 5 cups flour
1 package active-dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1- 1/2 teaspoons table salt
Course ground sea salt
In a large mixing bowl (I use my electric Kitchenaid stand mixer) combine the Starter, water, yeast, sugar and table salt.
Add the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for at least 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and firm.
Oil a large bowl.
Turn out the dough into the oiled bowl and twist it around to coat the dough with oil.
Cover loosely and let the dough double in size in a warm place. (About 2 hours).
Turn the dough out, again, onto a floured work surface, and divide into two pieces.
Form each piece into a loaf.
Place each loaf, side by side, onto a baking sheet and cover loosely. Allow the loaves to rise again in a warm place. (About 1 hour).
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Right before placing the loaves into the hot oven, take a sharp knife and draw it across the top of each loaf, cutting a shallow slit into each top.
Generously sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.
Remove to a cooling rack.
Slice after brought to room temperature.