Let's just start this post with my admission that baking bread in Hawaii is a pretty dumb hobby. It's already dang hot, and I keep firing up my oven. However, I've hit upon the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread, and it's worth sharing.
I have been baking bread for years now, mostly in an absolute workhorse of a breadmaker that Mr. L got me years ago ("Maxum" brand). It does a great job, particularly on whole-wheat bread, which can be tough to work with.
Last year, I started experimenting with sourdough starter, because I was missing that crisp-crust, chewy inside, peasant-type bread that I used to buy but cannot find here. I had mixed success.
Recently, I wrote a post for wisebread.com entitled "10 Delicious But Difficult Recipes Made Easy." One of the recipes I deemed difficult was good bread, and I started researching recipes for an easy yet professional-tasting loaf. The one I decided to try comes via Mark Bittman (New York Times) on YouTube, at the Sullivan Street Bakery. It looked easy; I tried it, and it truly is. I need to work on my loaf-shaping (most things that I bake come out amoeba-shaped) but it's delicious.
This first photo shows me mixing the flour, yeast, salt and water. Oh, and there's Pumpkin napping, on the right.
After you get the dough mixed, cover it, and let it be for twelve hours. This is the slightly tricky part, only in that you have to plan ahead a little. I am working toward mixing in the morning before I go to work, and then baking when I get home. Ideally, I would like to bake every three days or so, which is about the length of time it takes us to eat a loaf.
Above: Slices of the amoeba bread. It made KILLER BLT/Avocado sandwiches, toast, croutons, etc.
Note: You will need to have a pan that has a cover, as you will see in the video. I used my roaster, which worked great. The hardest part is getting the loaf into the preheated pan. He makes it look so easy, in the video!
If you have always thought bread making was hard, you might give this a try.