Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grillin' up some Bread

So the heat wave continues and whats a gal with a hankering for fresh bread to do?
Go to the grocery?
Go to the bakery?
While we have St Louis Bread Co (Panera to the rest of the country)
just down the street, and their bread is yummy
(in a commercially, chain store, tastes the same here as in Ohio, California, and South Dakota
((not that I ate there on any of my various vacations, 'cuz I didn't))
 baked kinda way),
Ummmm.... in a word,

Its too durn hot to turn on the oven
(its almost too hot to put on clothes!),
but sometimes you just gotta have some 
fresh, flavorful, open crumb, warm deliciousness
that is homemade bread.

I contemplated trying to bake bread right on the driveway,
kinda like the old 'its so hot fry an egg' trick.
But then I looked out on the deck and through the waves of heat
shimmering up off the (in desperate need of a new stain) deck
and lo', there stood the grill
in its shinning armour,
looking like third degree burns might result from touching its surface.


I could do this.
Grill/bake bread.
So I did, to delightfully wonderfully yeasty goodness.
And I did post about it.
Sort of.
But not enough, because people started emailing me:
You have to teach us.


I started with my favorite go to, so easy a child can make it,
 dough recipe from King Arthur Flour Company.

It's a no knead recipe that I just mix up in my dough bucket and let sit in the
fridge until I can't stand it any longer and HAVE to have bread.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to let it sit for more than a few days.
It's that good.
Seriously, if you think you are intimidated by bread, dough, or kneading,
Intimidation no more!

I grabbed about a grapefruit sized handful (around a pound of dough)
and shaped it into a baguette.

The secret to beautiful baguettes is gently flattening out the dough in to a rough rectangle
and letter folding it (like a piece of paper), pinching it closed along the fold,
and putting it down to rise with the fold down.
You do NOT have to have the fancy pants pan I do.
In fact, most of the time I just bake on a parchement lined cookie sheet.

I digress.

Let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes.
Vaccum the house, fold laundry, clean the sinks...
Who am I kidding??? Kick back and watch trash TV!
During the last 15-20 minutes of the rising time, light the grill.
Now I just have a gas grill, but this works with charcoal too.
Preheat the grill to about 500-550 degrees
(translation, all burners on high!).

Brush the bread dough with a smidge of olive oil for color (really, just a smidge!!).
Turn the burners on low that will be directly under your bread (don't want to scorch the bread)
and if you have room, add an old pan or pot that you can add water to for steam.
Open the grill and lay in the dough, add a cup of water and
Your temperature will have cooled some with the lid open,
but should come back up to around 450-500.
Just don't open the grill for the next 25-30 minutes.
And then....

Geek that I am, I take my bread's temperature to check for doneness'
somewhere between 205 and 210 degrees.
You don't have to join my geek club, just test for doneness like a watermelon.
Thump the bottom of the bread with your finger.
If it sounds kinds hollow, it's likely done.
 The bread will bake faster the thinner the baguettes are.

One of the most critical steps is after you take the bread off the grill
(or out of the oven).
Do NOT cut into your bread for at least an hour.
Its still doing its thing inside, and if you cut into it now
all you'll have is hot gummy gooey not quite baked dough.


After it cools, you can of course reheat it in the oven for that warm bread at the table
And I warn you, this bread will not last long in the house.
In fact, one of these two loave have magically disappeared into my belly already,
and I baked it yesterday.
Good think I like to hike and my hiking buddy doesn't mind a punishing pace!

If that wasn't enough info to get you feeling confident about putting bread on the grill to bake,
check out Jeff Hertzberg's youTube video.
He's a great resource for bread on the grill
and his recipes in all of his books are really easy.

Happy Baking! 

1 comment:

  1. i'm excited to try this technique. thanks for sharing!


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