Hoorah! I have a new pizza (bread-baking, actually) stone! Here is a picture of what I have been using, in case you think it's extravagant of me to want a new one.
I'm not entirely certain what happened to this one. It's possible that the pan I put on the shelf under it, in which I pour the hot water for the steam that makes the bread all crusty and crispy may have made it heat unevenly. I'll have to figure out a different configuration with the new one, so I don't crack it up, too. I'll be keeping the rectangular piece, to use in the toaster oven. Waste not, want not.
This bread is fantastic, by the way. It's from ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY, which isn't entirely true (I mean the title's claim isn't entirely true), but it is quick and easy.
BASIC BREAD FROM ABin5
- 1 1/2 Tbs salt
- 1 1/2 Tbs yeast
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 6 1/2 cups bread flour
Mix. Will be wet, not kneadable. Put in storage container, loosely covered, and let rise until doubled. Refrigerate until chilled.
Pull off a lump when you want some bread, coat the lump in flour and shape it. Let it rise for about 20 minutes while you pre-heat the oven--PREHEAT THE OVEN THAT LONG! THE OVEN MUST BE HOT for the bread to bake properly. The bigger the lump, the longer it needs to cook. If you want the crust really crunchy, with a meltingly soft interior, put a pan in the oven along with your bread and add 1 cup of HOT water when you put in the bread. Don't open the oven until you absolutely have to check, because the steam, weirdly, is what makes the crust hard.
Yesterday, I pulled off a lump and pressed it out into a thin rectangle. Cut up some mushrooms over half of it, sprinkled with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese, folded it over, oiled it with olive oil, and slapped it in an oiled panini press. The result was flatbread stuffed with mushrooms. MAN, it was good with Eggplant Parmesan!
Grocery day today. What treasures and what chance meetings await? Oh, and Mom and I are meeting a friend for her (the friend's) birthday. Happy!