Topographs*::1 / by Christina Rosalie

*top'o·graph' (tŏp'ə-grāf') n. The surveying of the features of a place or region. The study or description of a region or part of something.

I am planning to share a photo or two at the end of every day for a while. To remember the shape of things. The texture of moments. And to practice honing my eye with the camera.

Also, this bread turned out brilliantly today. My favorite so far (I plan to start regularly blogging about my bread adventures.) Perfect for sopping up fresh olive oil with mozzarella and a little basil and tomato. It was also yummy fresh, with raspberry jam.

Ingredients: 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 7/8 cup warm water (I approximated this. Who has a 1/8 measuring cup?) 2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (I used this kind.) 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt cornmeal to sprinkle on baking sheet

Proof yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar in 7/8 cup warm water for 10 minutes in a warm place. I put mine near our wood stove.

In processor, mix flour, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and salt. With processor running, (Bean was TOTALLY into being in charge of this!) pour in the yeast mixture in a continuous stream.

The dough should combine and come clean from the sides of the bowl within a few seconds. After dough combines, let processor run for a little bit more until the dough forms a ball.

Roll the dough with your hands to about 18 inches long. It was sticky at first, but then became pleasantly soft and dry. Place on sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal (to prevent dough from sticking). Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. (The oil is essential!)

Allow to rise in warm place for about 45 minutes. I put mine by the stove again, on the floor, the plastic wrap covered with a tea towel. When I went back to check, the cat had found it and was contentedly kneading it and purring. No harm done. Thank god for the plastic wrap though!

Preheat oven 375. Remove plastic and diagonally slash loaf with a sharp knife at about 3-inch intervals.

Spray dough with water & bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Mine needed more time. I also sprayed it a 2 more times.