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Slow like a metaphor

We found a new bread recipe!  Incredibly easy, and slooooooow.  Slow like Sunday afternoons.  Slow like syrup.  Slow like me learning how to use Gimp.  Slow like committee meetings.  Slow like bank queues.  Slow like dial-up internet.

M discovered the recipe, although I’m afraid that it’s a New York Times link, which can be a be tricky: clicky for bread.  (I’ve had trouble accessing NYT online archives before, so if you have some trouble, do a bit of googling — I’m sure more than one blogger will have reproduced the recipe.) It’s so easy and very, very tasty.

Allow me to summarise:

  1. Mix ingredients.
  2. Leave in bowl for 18 hours.
  3. Turn onto floury board, shape into a square and cover with a teatowel, rise for another 2 hours.
  4. Heat a cast-iron, ceramic-coated casserole dish (like a le Creuset one) in the oven for half an hour.
  5. Plop bread in and bake.
  6. Profit!

It’s awesome, and easy peasy.  And I didn’t forget the “knead” step in my list, because there isn’t one!  No kneading.  It feels strange to just plop all the ingredient in and walk away, but it totally works.  I’m calling this M’s Slow Bread.  (I was going to call it “Rustic M-Bread”, but if you say that with the right accent, it sounds like ‘inbred’, and whatever else M is, he is definitely genetically diverse.)

Here’s a shot of it rising for 18 hours:

Hard to get a good photo, though.  Maybe you should watch the video.  Here it is, wrapped up in a cotton cloth and let to rise for another couple of hours. (I may or may not have sung it a lullaby.)

I think the use of that particular cooking dish is just as important as any of the other steps, too; it gets bloody hot and transfers heat into the bread to cook it comparatively quickly.  Plus, you cook it for the first half-hour with the lid on, which stops the bread drying out, and lets a crust form that isn’t too hard.

It’s magnificent.  Check it out.

Aw yeah.  It was so awesome that I wanted to get in on the action, so here is a hastily-concocted insalata caprese type thing piled on top of the piping hot, soft bread:

Chopped tomato, bocconcini and basil, tossed with salt, oil and a blob of pesto, piled onto this incredible bread.

We ate a whole loaf in a day, with various cheeses, oils or whatever else came to hand, so we had to make another one yesterday.  It’s mostly gone as well.  We’re making another one tonight.  (Of course, I say “we”, but I actually mean M, the chief baker Chez Cutlery. I just hover around taking Very Close-Up Photos in order to hide my absence of actual photographic skills, and then eat the products with startling speed.)

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