Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's very easy to bake your own bread

Two of the best bread recipes I know are also two of the easiest I can imagine: a no-knead yeast bread and a low-maintenance sourdough.

Even though I am not NEARLY the baker that, say, Ben R. and Alan R. are (no relation), these are easy enough for basically anyone. 

No-Knead Rustic Yeast Bread
From Diane B. and the New York Times (among other sources,) comes an easy bread recipe that calls for very little hands-on time. 

--3-3.5 cups all-purpose flour
--1 TBS gluten (optional, but it might make the bread rise a little higher. Alternatively, you can use bread flour as a substitute for some of the all-purpose flour.)
--2 tsp salt.
--½ tsp instant yeast
--1 ½ cup water
--drop of honey (optional).

Day 1:
-- Mix together all ingredients. 
-- Let sit overnight. 

Day 2:
-- Stir down in the morning, and let rise for approximately 5 more hours.
-- Grease pan, move bread to whatever you want to bake it in (pyrex baking dish, clay pot, cast iron pot, metal loaf pan, etc.)
-- Let it rise until bread has doubled (another 3-4 hours).
-- Preheat the oven to 450F, put in your bread, and then bake 30 minutes. Take off lid and bake another 15 minutes to brown the crust. 

No-Knead Sourdough Bread -- makes 2 loaves
From Ben R. and his posse comes a very easy sourdough that comes out wonderfully every time. 

*note, it calls for "starter," which is just a yeast culture that you can start and then maintain easily in your refrigerator. It's completely worth it if you like having good home-made fresh bread around. See breadtopia.com for suggestions, or do a google search to start the culture...

Day 1:
-- mix together (1cup flour, 1 cup water, 1.5 heaping teaspoons of starter. 
-- let sit covered for 24 hours. 

Day 2: 
-- Add (2 cups water, 2 teaspoons honey, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 teaspoons salt, 5 cups flour*). Mix well.
*Flour can be any mixture of whole wheat/all purpose/bread flour, but some high-gluten flour (bread flour) will improve texture. 
-- Let sit 2 hours. During this time, flip dough over in the bowl about every half an hour. 
-- Put dough into well-greased bread-baking containers. Let sit for about 3 more hours to rise. 
-- Pre-heat oven to 450F. Once the oven is hot, put in bread and bake covered for 30 min and uncovered for 30 min (to brown crust).

No comments:

Post a Comment