As I’ve mentioned before, yeast terrifies me. Can anyone feel me on that? I mean, what if I spend all this time dissolving the yeast, mixing the ingredients, kneading the dough, letting it rise, punching it down, letting it rise again, forming a loaf, and then my bread doesn’t turn out? What if burns or deflates or is soggy in the middle or hard as a brick?
And I won’t even go into the time that I tried to dissolve my yeast in the warm oven and knocked over the bowl of water and yeast, spilling the entire thing into the bottom of my oven and had to run the clean cycle 3 times before my kitchen stopped smelling like smoke.
Anyway, this all goes to say that bread is scary. And when you can just buy it at the store, is all the heart ache really worth it?
But I stand here today to profess to you that I am a Homemade Bread Convert. And I think, with enough poking, prodding, and convincing, that I can make you one too.
The recipe I am going to share with you is from the book Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day. This is the basic recipe that they use, but I would strongly recommend actually buying the book, because it is chock full of great recipes, and it delves much deeper into the art of bread making than I will here today.
Okay, now this is my last little boring bit before I get on with the recipe. This bread recipe requires no kneading whatsoever. It’s virtually fool proof, and I would know because I am the ultimate fool and my bread turned out DE-LUSH-IOUS. Yup. Delushious. Crispy, crackly crust. Soft, chewy crumb. The best smell of all time. Like I said, delushious.
Plus, this recipe is almost 100% hands off and requires a total of only about 10 minutes of hands on time. Okay, should I cut it out and just give you the recipe now?
Only if you promise to buy that book up there (and no, they have no idea who I am). And also only if you promise to make this bread tonight with dinner, so you can become a convert too.
Okay, you Promise? Alright then, here you go:
No Knead Boule
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt (I actually use coarse sea salt and it works well)
6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (using the scoop and sweet method – spoon the flour into your measuring cup, and sweep the excess with a knife. Otherwise, you’ll be using too much flour)
In the largest mixing bowl you own (5-6 quarts), mix together water, yeast, and salt. Let the yeast sit for about two minutes, then add in the flour. Stir until combined, using a wooden spoon, or the dough hook on your stand mixer.
Cover the bowl (not airtight! I just use plastic wrap). Let the dough rise for two hours at room temperature. The dough should have risen, and then flattened out. You can go ahead and make a loaf of bread now, but the dough will be very difficult to handle. It’s recommended to let the dough refrigerate overnight. This dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 14 days, and the bread actually becomes yummier as it ages.
On baking day, dust a little flour onto the surface of the dough. Use a serrated knife to cut off a piece of dough about the size of a grapefruit. Form a ball by pulling dough from the top, stretching it over and tucking into the bottom of the chunk of dough. Repeat this step until you have “cloaked” the entire ball of dough. It should look fairly cohesive.
Let the dough rest at room temperature at least 40 minutes on a sheet of parchment paper, or on a pizza peel that has been dusted generously with cornmeal. Don’t expect much rising to occur during this step.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with a baking stone on the center rack, and a broiler tray (or bread pan, or cookie sheet with sides) on the bottom rack.
Dust the loaf with flour, and slash it with a serrated knife, making slashes 1/4″ deep. You can make a scallop or tic-tac-toe pattern.
Slide the loaf onto the baking stone, and fill the broiler tray with 1 cup of hot water. Close the door quickly to retain as much steam as possible from the hot water.
Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack, and enjoy once it’s cooled.
I am pretty sure I will never buy bread again. We have this bread (or variations of it) almost every night with dinner. It’s easy and cheap, and healthier than buying bread with a bunch of preservatives in it. This week I am making 100% whole wheat sandwich bread, which is another recipe in the cookbook.
Love, Kelsey May