Last week I was traveling all week and got sick. It was horrible. It’s like my body broke up with me. I thought my bod and I were finally getting along and then out of nowhere it just straight up ditches me. I was totally blindsided and I couldn’t even have a solo pity party in the comforts of my apartment. I kept trying to make it work between us but it’s like I was Taylor Swift and my body was every guy ever. And instead of writing a crappy song about it I had to power through meetings and a week in a hotel.
I came home Thursday night to a food-less apartment and knew I would not have the energy to head out Friday for sustenance. So I mixed together 17.5 ounces of bread flour, 0.25 teaspoons of active dry yeast, 2.5 teaspoons of salt and 12 ounces of filtered water, covered it with plastic wrap and went to bed.
15 hours of sneezing, hacking and what was essentially total misery later I used the only energy I had to turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter, punch it down, turn it over onto itself once and cover with a tea towel. Normally I take great joy out of punching down dough but this was a survival mode. If you are going through a break up with a dude and not with your body, however, this would be a good opportunity to really let out some aggression. 15 minutes later I shaped the dough into a ball set it on a tea towel covered in flourr (seam side down), sprinkled flourr over it, and covered it with another towel. I don’t think I floured it enough though because 3 hours later (when the dough had doubled in size) it kinda stuck to the towel. So either flour more or be prepared to really scrape it off the towel like I did (which was fine- it was the least of my problems at this point).
Anyway, when the dough has doubled in size (2-3 hours) heat your oven to 450 degrees F with a 4-5 quart dutch oven in your regular oven while it heats up. Once the oven is ready dump the dough in the dutch oven, cover and bake for 30 minutes. I didn’t do the most lady like dough transfer from towel to dutch oven so my bread looked kinda wild but I can’t care about things I can’t care about. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. If you have a thermometer you want the bread to be at 210 degrees but 15-20 minutes should do the trick.
Okay take it out, let it cool and eat it. This is Alton Brown’s recipe for sourdough bread but you have to wait basically days for the dough to become “sour” and it’s perfectly consumable after 15 hours so go to town. You could probably let the dough hang for 48 hours though (who are the people in the world that can wait that long for homemade bread?).
This bread is really, really good especially warm so even after it comes to room temp I suggest warming it up or toasting it. It kept me alive through the weekend and a week later my body is finally considering entering a non-committal relationship with me (Who gets colds in summer? Dumb.)