There are a few things in the culinary world that intimidate me for no logical reason. Bread would have to be in the top 5 if I were to actually sit down and write that list. I don’t know why. I have done a billion cake like breads, but to me, they don’t count. I’m talking yeast and dough and kneading.
However, I was determined to overcome this silly fear by taking on my first bread dough with a no knead version (pretty much can’t screw that up right). So after googling and tastespotting - then not reading the recipe through, this is what I came up with.
No Knead Artisan Bread adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
makes four 1 pound loaves.
3 cups lukewarm water
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated fast acting yeast (2 packets)
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6-1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose white flour
1. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart bowl or a plastic container with a lid.
2. Mix in the flour - kneading is unnecessary. Add all of the flour at once, measuring the flour by scooping it and leveling it off with a knife. Mix with a wooden spoon – do not knead. You’re finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches. (it said wooden spoon, but I just used my hands as my BF doesn’t have wooden spoon – that was probably a bad choice as it was crazy messy >.< but who cares)
3. Allow to rise. Cover with a lid (not airtight – I used a large bowl and cling wrap – but not sealed). Refrigerate overnight (they say you can use it after 2 hours of rising, but the dough is better to work with over night – and will taste better as time passes).
4. Shape your loaf. On a upside down baking sheet, sprinkle a little flower. Sprinkle the surface of your dough in the container with flour. Pull up and cut off about a 1-pound piece of dough. With flour dusted hands, stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball as you go.
5. Let the loaf rise / Preheat your oven. Let the dough rise about 40 minutes (it doesn’t look like much has changed). Preheat your oven and baking stone to 450 for the last 20 minutes. Place a rimmed baking pan on the rack under your stone.
6. Dust the loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a knife. (haha, I forgot this step – it wasn’t the end of the world).
7. Baking. Quickly transfer your dough ball to the stone in the over and poor water into the rimmed pan under it. The water in the pan creates a steam that gives the bread the crusty outer layer.
8. Cool all the way through
10. Store the extra dough. You can store the extra dough in the same not air tight bowl it is in for up to 14 days. Once again, they say it gets better the with time.
My other culinary accomplishment this week was a nice baked chicken – using the best of both an Anna Barrel and Ina Garten’s simple baked chicken recipes.
And on that note, I have just potted some rosemary, lavender, and parsley (and by I, I mean, my BFF’s hubby did all the work – thank you so much Arthur!). Hopefully they live long enough to be used as herbs for something in the future. I would love to see them grow and actually get all down and dirty in the yard planting all kinds of beautiful things just to spruce up the place.