Tomato, Cherry and Mozzarella Salad
I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again. I love making meals that center around fresh produce. Look at all this color (and vitamins. And fiber. And and and).
So, we have gone through many, many pounds of flour this weekend. I think we are done buying those small regular-sized bags because they last about a week. Whoops! Do we have some kind of problem?
With bread this pretty? I am going to go ahead and say “nah.” Plus, it’s been going to some very good causes. We had a lovely brunch Saturday with friends, and we brought scones (yes, they are coming). Then later Saturday we were off to a barbecue with Pete, Aggie and Sidney. Dave made some adorable sweet biscuits (also to come) that became strawberry shortcakes.
You may recall the last time we made one of these. It was delicious, but not quite there. Well! We have come a ways.
This bread was for a very excellent date night dinner from Saturday night – and I think that I can officially call this bread our most successful non-pizza sourdough iteration so far. We pretty much have our flatbread/pizza variation down to a science, and it turns out great every time. But the full-size loaf perfection has eluded us. Sometimes, the bread hasn’t had enough time to rise. Other times it has and the bread hasn’t risen anyway. This one came pretty darn close to perfection.
Here’s what you need:
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 Tbsp. flax seeds
Start by mixing the starter, yeast and warm water in your mixer with the dough hook until they are a smooth consistency – basically you are blending them so the starter can reach more flour right away.
Next, add the flour and salt together and continue to mix with the dough hook or your hands. This is not a time for a hand mixer! That is not going to be fun to clean and might not even work with this thickness. Finally, add the rolled oats and let the bread hook run or continue to knead for another 5-10 minutes.
Place the dough in a gently-oiled owl and cover with plastic wrap (this works much better than a towel). Place in a warmish area for at least an hour. The dough should be pretty puffy and have risen to almost double its original size.
Next, remove the dough from the bowl and punch down a bit to get rid of the air bubbles. Form into a ball (try to keep any seams on the bottom) and place in a VERY WELL GREASED Dutch oven or baking crock. You could probably also use a cast iron skillet, but it will rise higher if it is in a relatively narrow container (there’s nowhere to go but up, you see).
Allow to rise, again covered (either with the lid of the pot or more plastic wrap) for at least another hour, and two would be better. Place in a cold oven and set the temperature to 450 as you put it in. Bake for 350 with the lid on, then take the lid off for an additional 10 minutes of baking (so, 45 minutes total).
Hooray! I think we’re getting a handle on this.