Monday, September 10, 2012

No Knead Bread

Growing up, my family made their own bread in our bread machine.  I love the smell of baking bread!  When it was done, we would cut the top of the bread off, slather it in butter, and eat it in pure happiness!!!

{Yummy fresh bread!}

I am all about fresh, homemade food.  I know bread is daunting especially yeast breads (sometimes I am intimidated!), but leave it to smitten kitchen to make bread super easy!  Seriously-- three ingredients and no kneading!  I could not ask for more!

I grew up on German bread, and this recipe makes a hardy, heavy bread which is what I love.  This is the second time I made this recipe; this particular bread is a white wheat bread (I substituted some of the bread flour for whole wheat flour).  Side note--I am playing with sourdough starter so my next bread will be sourdough!  Actually, now that I am thinking about it--this bread recipe is almost like a sourdough starter (just flour, water and yeast).  That's pretty cool!

{Blooming yeast}

{Dough will be extremely sticky!  Don't worry--it'll work out}

{After 18 hours of just sitting on the counter}

{Put in a hot ceraminc pot}

No-Knead Bread

Makes 1 medium loaf


3 cups bread flour (can substitute up to 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
1 5/8 cups warm water
1 envelope of active dry yeast

  1. Place yeast in warm (NOT hot!) water; this is called blooming the yeast.  Since the yeast is in a dry form, it works best to rehydrate it before using it.  Just let it sit for 3-5 minutes or until the yeast looks like super soggy cereal.
  2. Add yeast and water to flour.
  3. Mix to create a sticky dough.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap (or lid) and let sit for at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours, at a warm room temperature.  Dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  6. Heavily flour the work surface with flour; form dough into a ball shape. 
  7. Heavily flour the top of the dough and cover with a cotton towel.  Let it rise for two hours or until double in size.
  8. About 30 minutes before the dough is done doubling, preheat an oven to 450.  Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats.
  9. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under the dough, and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but don't worry.
  10. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  11. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.
  12. Cool on a rack.
How easy is that?  Mix it up; leave it.  Play with it a bit; leave it.  Bake it; DONE!  Fresh, homemade bread with no stress or worries!

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