Looking for an Oasis
Life can be busy, hectic, harried, and scattered. We have a lot around us to distract us with our cell phones, computers, tablets, mp3 players, tvs, and video games. Sometimes, it’s nice to just take a break from it all. When I am especially busy, I sometimes try to take a moment to think about my Innisfree*, my oasis, my happy place. If I can, I will escape for five minutes to knit something. If I have a little more time, I bake bread.
What?! I know what you’re thinking. If she’s so busy, then how in the world does she make time to knit, much less bake bread!
To answer this question, I’d have to go into a long explanation of how I prioritize my tasks (cleaning would be at the bottom of the list, by the way) and how I order my days and my schedule. To tell you the truth, I am sometimes not really sure how things get done around here, except that, maybe, when I turn on that mixer, the whole world is drowned out and perhaps time slows down. Actually, I am just fortunate that I am home all day. They are super busy days and sometimes I don’t even get much time to think, but bread making really takes very little hands on time. What you do need to have for it is availability.
It takes an average of 30 minutes to do the initial mixing a kneading of the dough. Some take longer, such as brioche, and some are shorter like the no knead variety. Then, you just need 5 or ten minutes every several hours to punch it down or shape it. At the end, 45 minutes to an hour is what you’ll need for baking.
Your reward, after all that, is the toasty, wheaty smell of fresh baked bread in your home and something delicious that can find no rival at the grocery store. Your little bit of work transforms flour and water into a beautifully crusty, tangible reward. There is very little in life that I find more satisfying that looking at my freshly baked loaves of bread.
I was happy when June’s first TWD recipe turned out to be a bread recipe, a flat bread recipe to be more specific.
Actually, this is sort of two recipes. First, you have to make the Persian Naan recipe, then you use that dough for the Oasis Naan. The dough itself came together beautifully.
While the dough was kneading, I decided to add the dough that was leftover from feeding my stiff sourdough starter that morning. I hate to waste things, you know, and it can’t hurt. It turned out to be a lot of dough, so I decided to make the Persian Naan and the Oasis Naan.
I had fun with the Persian Naan. It was easy to stretch out and lovely to work with. My first one was really long.
The second one was rounder, and wider. I put this one on a parchment sheet because when I threw the first one on the stone, I almost burned myself very badly.
The Oasis Naan were just as easy to roll out and bake. I did two with just green onion and two with the onion and anise seed.
If you hadn’t noticed, I like variety. They all baked up really nicely, though I couldn’t understand why the tops did not brown as much as I would have liked.
We all really liked these and they kept very well in our house. After they had cooled, I threw half of them into a freezer bag and stuck them in the freezer for a future dinner. Any that were leftover sat on the counter in a bag and were just as good 4 days later after a light toasting in the toaster oven. The sourdough starter might have contributed to its long life and it does add a nice depth of flavor, though the bread was not sour at all. I would definitely make these again.
* The Lake Isle of Innisfree: One of my favorite poems, by William Butler Yeats.