waking up early yields the curious observation of a beaming moon coexisting with a yawning sun – both respective realms seeking to keep the world in their own envelope. in recent years i’ve become as much as an early morning dweller as I am a night owl – leaving, yes, the adequate conclusion that sleep is not in excess – but when I do find myself falling to slumber I fall hard and fast. my dreams are a mixture of nothing and everything, a void coupled with a psychedelic tangling of feverish and colorful events poured in between my ears. long nights, short nights. long moon, short sun.
our weather the past two weeks has been nothing short of frigid – if life was existing to serve a wintry occupation it has ceased almost entirely in the garden. sustained exposure to subzero has been causing a slight tick in all of us. without hesitation the weatherman utters “negative forty” as if his lips are pursed and poised to form a curse, and effortlessly he sends it into reality. words that wrap around me in a bitter coat before I even truly feel it. options? bake bread. it seemingly dispels and repels all, in one fell baking swoop. the simple combination of a few ingredients always enchant me. don’t be intimidated, this is an easy way to coax chilly bones and tempt the deepest sedation of smiles. this boule is a perfect solution to accompany a week of hearty dinners, fluffy breakfast, or perhaps help you craft the best sandwich ever (read: coming soon). i’ve toyed with the flavors a little (the yellow in the pictures being lemon zest), but it seems like the combination of mustard and caraway give this bread a decided presence – I’ve made it three times this week.
to warmth and holiday (more love and less polar vortex) xo
- 375g all purpose flour + more for dusting
- 1¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp caraway seed
- 1 tbl dijon mustard
- cornmeal for dusting
- in a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and yeast. add caraway. stir in 1½ cups warm water and the dijon mustard, combing until a wet and sticky dough forms. cover with a tea towel and rise 12-24 hours - if during this period you observe any kind of surface bubbling, take this as a good sign to proceed.
- flour your countertop and turn out dough onto the surface. sprinkle the dough with a dusting of flour and fold it into itself a few times. cover with a tea towel and rest for 15 minutes.
- shape dough into a a ball. dust a large tea towel with cornmeal, shake excess off, and place dough on top - seam side down. dust top of dough with additional cornmeal. wrap excess tea towel around the top of the dough and rise an additional 2 hours - you should observe the dough double in size.
- meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. a half-hour before baking, heat a lidded dutch oven in the heated oven. at the end of the two hours, carefully remove dutch oven, and turn dough into it, seam side exposed (it’s ok if this process gets a little messy or imperfect). gently shake the pot to settle the bread. cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. remove lid and bake an additional 20-30 minutes, or until top is nicely bronzed. remove bread to cooling rack.