Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It is Works for Me Wednesday again! I hear a lot of girls on the web talk about homemade bread. It seems that every good wife is baking fresh baked bread with some type of secret recipe. I heard somewhere along the line about "no-knead bread", which is easy for the novice to try. Since I am a novice bread maker (actually, a first-time bread maker), I did some searching and found an archived recipe from a blog I like to read, Steamy Kitchen. Here, since it really did work for me, I'm posting my pictures along with Jaden's recipe. Enjoy!

No-Knead Bread-

3 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose because it was all I had and it was still good! It's probably soo much better with the right flour!)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt (3/4 tablespoon if you're using kosher salt)
1 1/2 cups warm water

1. The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess (like this):

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop. (After which it looks like this:)

2. When you are ready for it, dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Wet your hands. This will prevent the very sticky dough from sticking to your hands. If you find dough sticking to your hands, wet again. Why not flour your hands? You could, but you want to keep the flour: water ratio pretty even. Since we are adding flour to the surface, I balance it out by wetting my hands. It is the high water content that makes this bread so deliciously light and the crust very crisp. With wet hands, grab the dough and fold over all ends towards the middle. Turn dough blob over so that you get a nice, smooth, tight surface. Try to tuck the dough ends under to get that taut surface. (Ok, mine didn't have a "taut" surface, but this is what my tucked and flipped over dough looked like:)

Gently move dough onto a floured towel. Cover. Let nap for 2 hours. It should puff up nicely and double in size. (Here is my dough inside the floured towel. My "after 2 hours" picture looks exactly the same, but it really did rise:)
3. A half hour before the nap ends, slip covered pot into your oven. Crank up the heat to 450F. Let it pre-heat for 30 minutes or longer. Use a 5-qt or larger cast iron, ceramic, Pyrex, stainless steel or enamel pot. Just check your pot collection - look for large, heavy, no plastic. Round, oblong - doesn’t matter. Should be at least 4″ tall. (I used the Pampered Chef stoneware roasting pan, since it was my only oven-friendly pan with a lid.) After pre-heating, remove the hot pot from oven. Now plop this wobbly dough into the hot pot. Doesn’t matter how it lands - actually, the messier it lands, the more “rustic” it looks. Shake pot a bit to even out the dough.

4. Cover and put back into the oven. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Photo below is peeking through oven door after 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake further for 15-20 minutes. To check - you can either tap the bread (should sound low, hollow, like a drum) or take its temperature (should be 210F in middle).
Here is bread just after baking:
5. Remove and let cool. This bread really does sing - the crust crackles as it cools. Listen to it! (Mine was super quiet...just a little crack here and there, lol)

And that's it! Oh, and the bread was delicious! The smell of the house was amazing, the warm fresh bread was great, but can you tell I'm just really proud that it worked? I had zero faith in myself that this would work, because I have a hard time baking anything, especially brownies from a box. To view the entire original recipe (along with her super-cute pictures) click here.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, click here!


Lynne Campbell said...

This looks good. I use my bread machine alot.....But I may try this recipe.

Come and visit my new blog...I am a newbie and need lots of pats on the back....lots of visitors...

Love your blog

ilovemy5kids said...

Can't wait to try this!

Stephanie George said...

Omg rebekah you made bread!!! wow this suzie homemaker look is looking good on you! good job :o)


Gretchen said...

Way to go, that bread looks delicious.

Eric said...

I am going to try this.