Thursday, April 10, 2008

Awesome bread

I got really into making bread a few years ago. I made it from total scratch in the oven and it was really good but it took me awhile to get the hang of it and it took sooo long. So I bought a bread machine and that was a lot easier but it didn't taste great. It was just alright. NOW I have a new recipe and I tried the other day and it is amazing. I found it on craftster.com (greatest site ever) but that recipe was taken from one that was in the New York Times and there are similar recipes around that all have the same basic principle.

Basically, you put some very simple bread ingredients together and instead of kneading it and kneading it again, you don't knead it at all and you just let it sit in a bowl for 12-18 hours. Then you shape it once or twice, let it rise for 2 more hours, then throw it in a preheated bowl and bake it for about 45 minutes. It seems like it's a lot of work, but it isn't because there's so much time when you don't have to pay attention to it. I put it together before I went to bed and let it sit all night and most of the day. I took a few minutes to shape it and then instead of letting it sit for the 2 hours it suggested, I had stuff to do and I didn't get back home for four hours. It didn't matter! It was still yummy! In all, it was under an hour of my time and attention. I'm going to make it again and again.

Here's the recipe:

3 cups/375g bread flour
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 5/8 cups/13 oz water, warm but not hot

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients to combine. Add the water and stir until it’s a blended and shaggy dough. It will be very wet.

Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 12 -18 hours.

Dump the risen but still-sticky dough onto a well-floured surface and turn it onto itself once or twice to deflate. Drape with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Heavily flour your hands and a cotton dishtowel or silicone sheet. Form the dough, as best you can, into a ball and place it, seam-side up on the towel. Cover with another floured towel and let rise about two hours, until doubled in size.

Place a large covered pot in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees/ 230 C/ Gas Mark 8 for at least 20 minutes.

Dump the dough into the hot pot, seam-side down, and shake to distribute, if necessary. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 15-30 minutes until bread is browned.

Cool on a rack.

2 comments:

Pegeen said...

What kind of bowl did you use, ceramic, metal, plastic?

Lisa said...

I put it in a Pyrex bowl for rising and then I baked it in a ceramic pot--it was a round casserole pot.