Friday, August 24, 2007

fresh baked bread, tomato lentil soup

I love making bread. I love kneading the dough, the smell of yeast before and after baking and watching the whole thing change at every step. The bread I made today was reminiscent of yeast rolls my Grammie made when I was growing up, in both taste and smell. I started with about 3/4 cup of lukewarm water, a packet of yeast, a squirt of agave nectar, a glug of olive oil and sea salt. Once everything was dissolved, I added about 2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour, in 1/2 cup increments until it came together in a ball. I put more flour on my very clean counter top and kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. When all was said and done, I probably used 2 1/2 cups of flour. In a glass bowl, I covered the ball of dough with olive oil & plastic wrap until it doubled in size. After doubling in size, I put it in a loaf pan and again let it rise until it peeked over the top. I baked it at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, squirting the inside of the oven with water (with my trusty squirt bottle) 3 times within that 10 minutes. Once it was browned, I brushed the top with olive oil and turned the temperature down to 375 and let it bake for another 15-20 minutes. The hard part is letting it rest in the loaf pan for 15 minutes and then letting it cool on a wire rack for about another 20 minutes.
Fascinating, something that started as this . . .
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Ended up looking like this . . .
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And this . . .
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To go with the bread, I made a tomato lentil soup that had onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, red lentils, tomato paste, garlic salt, black pepper, ground coriander, a vegan bouillon cube and a bay leaf.
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6 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

mmm, your tomato-lentil soup and freshly-baked bread look so comforting!!

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

thanks veggiegirl, it was!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Mmmmmmm.... I made bread the other day, but didn't think about soup. (Well, it was about 85 degrees so maybe it wasn't quite soup weather yet...)

This looks good though, I'll have to do more with red lentils, I have a bunch of them!

Celine said...

your bread makes my mouth water. a lot. :]

Theresa said...

I love how you describe making bread. I've often thought similar things--I love mixing the sticky dough, the kneading it as it comes together, then watching it rise and turn into a loaf of deliciousness. Yours looks so good....

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

ah, thanks everyone! this bread was a winner . . . something i will make again.