Posted by johngl
One of my favorite sandwiches is Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato (BLT). I’ve been making these for decades. I’ve finally discovered what I’ve been doing wrong.
The bread began as as a pretty easy recipe for baguettes. I stole it from here. Since I have significant issues with following instructions (unless they are issued by most glorioius spousal unit), I modified it because I’m lazy.
I use bread flour instead of all purpose (and used half the amount). Why? Well, because it is bread that I am baking. Next, I kept the amount of yeast the same. I like yeasty bread. I also added a large pinch of sugar to feed all that hungry yeast. I used olive oil. I skipped the ice.
So far, I’ve followed the recipe not at all.
I also turn my microwave into a proofer by heating water to 165°F, pour it into a round cake pan. On top of that goes a wire rack.
- 3/4 cup (6 fl.oz.) water, heated to around 110-115°F
- 1 t (1⁄8 oz.) active dry yeast
- 1 5/8 cups (7 1/3 oz.) unbleached bread flour
- 1 t Morton kosher salt
- Olive oil, for coating the bowl
- pinch of cane sugar
- Add sugar to water.
- Add yeast to sugar/water mixture
- Let it bloom (It’ll get foamy in about 10 minutes if your yeast is alive)
- Add yeasty sugar water to bread flour. I stir it with a fork until it bends the fork (not really, but close)
- Use the oil on a large bowl.
- Add your dough (should be just coming together) to oiled bowl. Cover bowl with oiled plastic wrap.
- Put the bowl of dough in the proofer for 20 minutes (it will have risen slightly due to all the yeast and the warm proofer temps)
- Pull the dough, then knead (by hand) it for about a minute
- Re-oil the bowl and put the dough back in the bowl, re-cover with oiled plastic wrap, and put the bowl back in the proofer
- In an hour, get the now-risen dough out of the proofer. Remove and reserve oiled plastic wrap.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and flatten it into a large thick pizza-shaped thing.
- Now sprinkle the salt onto your pizza-shaped dough
- Reheat the water in your proofer to 165°F
- Fold the pizza-shaped dough in half, then in half again. Knead it for about a minute to distribute the salt.
- Re-oil the bowl. Put dough in bowl. Cover with oiled plastic. Put bowl in proofer for another hour.
- When the hour is up, set your oven to about 450°F (and turn it on)
- Remove oiled plastic and slide the dough into an oiled 8″ x 13″ bread pan (I found mine at Homegoods)
- Push dough into the corners with finger tips. Using your fingers, make dimples all over the dough until the dough is about the same thickness all over. Go crazy and sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Go crazier and add pepper and other spices. Go stark raving mad and add some grated Parm. None of this is required, but can be fun.
- Find that oiled sheet of plastic and loosely cover the bread pan and put it back in the proofer for about 20 minutes or so
- By now, if you remembered to turn it on, the oven should be hot
- Place pan of dough into hot oven
- After about 20 minutes, it should be getting a nice golden brown
- It’s done when the internal temp is 205-210°F
- Turn it upside down onto a cooling rack. The pan should lift right off.
I don’t know if you noticed, but I sliced the bread pretty thinly, about a quarter to 5/16 inch.