It Was So Hot…

by Anne Bennett on June 30, 2012

 

How hot was it today in the American Midwest?

It was so hot that I baked my sourdough bread outside on the barbecue.

I could not fathom heating up the kitchen oven to 450 degrees F. to bake bread on a 100 degree F. day, no matter how enticing the thought of freshly baked, hot (perish the thought) bread.

Our barbecue maintains a steady temperature up to 500 degrees, so I took a chance.

Bread baking is not an exact science, but you do have to obey certain basic rules of thermodynamics, such as constant, high heat.

How do you know when bread is fully baked? Internal temperature. Although this loaf lacked the deep browning that I get in the kitchen oven, I knew it was done when I poked an instant-read thermometer into its center and it registered just above 200 degrees.

I removed the bread to a safe place to cool, beyond the reach of hungry poodles, and threw on some chicken legs and grilled them.

For dinner I sliced some fresh tomatoes from this morning’s trip to the farmer’s market, garnished them with basil and mozzarella cheese, and we feasted on chicken, tomatoes and bread.

Oh, and wine. It reminds me of a quote from a poem by Omar Khayyam, “A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou.”

It’s a love poem.

No, really?

P.S. My so-called “safe place” for the bread to cool wasn’t as safe as I thought. I put it on the kitchen island with a towel over it. The doggies couldn’t get to it on one side. But of course, they approached from the other side, somehow circumventing the sink. (I wish I had a camera trained on them 24/7 to record their antics.)

When I uncovered the loaf to slice it, a major chunk was missing.

Dastardly dogs.

 

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