I've created magic. That is the name for the bread that came out of my oven 45 minutes ago.
Sunday I spent five minutes measuring and mixing, by hand, the dough. I watched it rise for the next two hours. It created a significant amount of heat, I might add. I could feel it through the bowl an hour and a half after mixing and could see the condensation it was creating on the loosely fitted saran wrap. It went into the outside fridge.
Yesterday it went neglected as I went to work, watched the boys first T-ball game and dealt with a bitten dog ear.
This morning I got up at 2:40. Shaped the dough in exactly forty seconds and put it in the pan. There was no flour or mess to try to scrape off my bread board. I then read for the next hour and forty-five minutes. It went in the oven with a pan of hot water. Forty-five minutes later I popped it out of the oven and it slid out of the pan. No loosening, mess.
The pan is spotless, the bowl in which I mixed the dough and let the dough rise in went back into the fridge. Total dish count: one scale measuring bowl, one liquid measuring cup and a bread pan, all of which could have been wiped out with a towel and put away.
I just sliced the loaf open and the crumb is uniform. The taste is mild and light. The crust is thin and crunchy.
Lets review. Five minute mixing, forty second forming. Bread. I still have enough dough for at least one more two-pound loaf.
When this loaf is done I will make the other one. This time I will let it rise longer as I think the outside fridge is a lot colder than the inside one and the loaf did not rise as high as I would like.
I might never buy bread again. But I do need to go to work. Sigh.