A Little Leaven

One very important step when it comes to cooking with a recipe is to READ the recipe.  Some day, I might actually do that.  :) Yesterday, I decided I wanted to make some bread. The recipe I had called for a starter, so I figured I’d mix that up and then today I’d finish it. I knew I wanted to make four loaves, so I quadrupled the starter recipe, which called for 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/4 tsp of yeast and 1 1/2 cups of bread flour. So, I put in four times those amounts and let it sit.

Today, I went to start making the bread and realized that A. I didn’t have the olive oil called for in the recipe, B. didn’t have enough flour (it was like having some horrific Flashback nightmare) and C. the starter recipe was already going to make TWO loaves of bread, so I’d essentially made enough starter for eight loaves. Not what I had in mind.

I resigned myself to a late night and asked my husband to pick up some more flour and some oil at the store.  When he came home (at 9:30pm) I started combining ingredients for my bread…

– All of Starter
– 1 1/2 cups of warm water
– 1/2 tsp yeast
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– 2 3/4 tsp salt
– 1 Tbsp sugar
– 4-6 c. flour

(fun fact from Rina’s Kitchen: I don’t have a teaspoon.  My measuring spoons include a tablespoon and a 1/4 teaspoon.  This made it really fun when it came to adding 11 1/4 teaspoons of salt FOUR TIMES.)

As I was kneading the dough, I had the much-belated idea to read through skim through the rest of the instructions and came to the following:

“Let rise 90 minutes – 2 1/2 hours.”


Seeing as I started this project at 9:30 PM, and I was making eight loaves, three at a time (I don’t have a bread pan, either, so my oven will only fit three round loaves at a time), I was looking at finishing my bread sometime around, oh, breakfast.

I’ve decided instead to make six loaves of bread tonight and freeze the rest of the dough to bake later.  (Not sure how that will work out, but it’s worth a try, anyway.)  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Once again, in the interest of sharing the recipe (because it is really good bread, if done right, I got the recipe from a friend of mine who actually can cook) here are the rest of the instructions:


Mix up starter and cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for 8-16 hours.  Then add remaining ingredients and knead.  Let rise 90 minutes to 2 1/2 hours until dough has doubled.  Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate.  Divide dough in half and form loaf.  If you want to slash the top (it lets it expand in the oven while keeping your loaf pretty)  let it rise until almost doubled (WOW, it’s 11 pm and I’m JUST NOW catching this part.  So I get to let this rise for a minimum of 90 minutes AND THEN LET IT RISE AGAIN?!  I’m seriously going to be up all night)… then slash it and let it continue to rise another 5-10  minutes (this just doesn’t stop, does it?)  Preheat oven to 450, place dough in oven and throw water in the oven.  Reduce heat to 400.  Throw more water in the oven every 5 minutes for the first 20 minutes (ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!) and cook for 25-35 minutes, until nicely browned.  Cool completely before slicing.


On second thought, this bread is way too high maintenance for me to be working on this late at night.  I’m throwing this monstrosity in the freezer and comforting myself with the following words from a good friend of mine:

“If you were good at cooking, then you wouldn’t be so good at other things!”

As of right now, this is officially my new kitchen motto.  Dinner guests, beware.


Related Articles:

When Momma Goes A-cookin’

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Chocolate Chip Peach Banana Pineapple Walnut Almond Flax Virtually-Sugar-Free Muffins

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