Friday, February 28, 2014

Rustic Bread

For years I have always been intimidated by the act of kneading dough.

I don't really know why. I know how to do it. I guess I never felt that my skills met that of my great grandma's. Not really a good measure seeing that she cooked for at least 100 years...Im not a spring chicken but I have NOTHING on that.

Anyhow so for years my love of homemade bread was killed by the thought that all bread had to be kneaded.

Then years ago I found a no knead recipe and tried it. It turned out...we had fresh bread. But the whole time involved was too much for me to wrap my head around.

Then a go with some dead yeast just really took the wind out of my sails.

I hadn't made this bread in about 2 years but the thought of lentil soup for dinner made me want a nice rustic loaf.

Wouldn't you know it...healthy yeast and 2 more years of cooking skills (I am learning to go with my gut and what I know to be true about cooking and stop following directions turn by turn) I got a great loaf.

Just a bit of preplanning. Making the dough the night before and letting it sit in the oven over night made for bread baking in the morning. By doing this it doesn't seem like an epic waiting/cook time.

The hardest part is making sure we don't eat it throughout the day and still have bread left to eat with dinner.

Rustic No-Knead Bread

* 3 C Flour
* 1/4 tsp yeast 
* 3/4 TBSP Kosher Salt
* 1 1/2 C Warm Water

* In a measuring cup add warm water (110 degrees) with yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let sit for about 5-10 min till it has bloomed.

* In a large bowl add flour and salt (whisk to make sure salt is intermingled)

* Once yeast is ready mix into the dry ingredients and mix (This will give you a shaggy dough)

*Cover with plastic wrap (I use press and seal) and let sit for 12-20 hours (I put mine in the oven (off) overnight so it stays toasty)

*On the counter lay down a fairly large piece of plastic wrap sprinkle with flour.

*Dump dough on floured plastic wrap and loosely wrap up (it will expand some)

*Let sit for 2 hours. When you have 1/2 hour left heat the oven to 450.

*When the 2 hours of "resting" are up, dump dough into a cast iron pot (shake into place)

*Bake 30 minutes covered.

*Bake 20 minutes more uncovered.


***If you don't have or don't want to use plastic wrap you can use a towel (non terry) I just find that the dough comes off the plastic easier then the towel. I always seem to loose 1/2 the dough on my towel then find it in the wash after the fact YUCK!

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