As any of my readers might know, I really do love baking, but I truly have never ventured past soda bread within the realms of real loaves. I have a Sonoma Sourdough addiction that is costing me dearly. But I only buy a couple of loaves a week so have just about been able to put up with the crazy $8 pricetag.
The blogger Gourmet Girlfriend, yet another talented individual I came across via instagram, and her #ggbreadrevolution persuaded me to give bread a go. And I'm so glad I did. She uses a New York Times recipe for a no knead bread.
It's really simple. Four ingredients. Flour, yeast, salt, water. And lots of time, but not much kneading. Truly, this is worth giving a go.
3 cups of plain flour. Use the best you can afford.
1/4 teaspoon of yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 5/8 cups of water (yes, this is just a fraction over 1 1/2 cups of water)
Incorporate all the ingredients with your hands. My tip is to have wet hands at all times when handling dough - and this one is sticky!
Place in a glass or ceramic bowl (not plastic, it won't rise as well) for 16-18 hours in a warmish spot. Your kitchen will work just fine for this.
Turn the risen dough onto a flour surface and roll into a ball. Sprinkle flour on the top and cover with a tea towel for another couple of hours.
Pre-heat your oven to 220C and place your french oven (ie Le Creuset) inside for 30 minutes.
Then put the dough into the pre-heated french oven and place the lid on. Bake for 30 minutes, and then remove the lid for the final 10-15 minutes.
Allow bread to cool.
Not much effort, but it's not immediate either. Miss 3 has really taken to bread making. In fact, after just a few weeks, she can almost measure and mix the ingredients without a great deal of help from me. Really the part she seems to struggle with the most is trying to not spill the ingredients everywhere! Big vats of flour are more than a little tricky for toddlers, I am slightly terrified that she will drop my 5kg container off the kitchen worktop....
It's gorgeous bread. It does have a bit of a crust and a soft and chewy inside. Not really big enough for sandwiches, but the most wonderful accompaniment to lunch or dinner. And it's the star at breakfast with jam & butter. Be sure to buy yourself some stunning quality butter.
And check out #ggbreadrevolution on instagram for many more beautiful loaves.
Have I convinced you yet?