Jan
30

The Best Bread. Without a bread maker.

Written by | 8 comments »

So in light of living and enjoying each moment – nothing says ‘life is amazing’ quite like freshly made bread.

I’ve been keeping this from you for a while now. Since arriving in Mexico and discovering that there is no bread here without sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (I joke not), we have been breadless unless I get my act together and whip some up from scratch. The first loaf was shit. Not even worth talkin about. But I am now the master of bread. Well, master to the point where it tastes damn fine to me, Ivan says ‘can you make more?’ and Mika gobbles up the crumbs faster than you can say ‘baby led weaning is awesome!’

Over the next few days I will share my pizza dough recipe, my delicious warm perfect soft center crispy/chewy crust white bread recipe, my 5 grain bread roll recipe and my wholewheat baguette recipe. Are you ready for an overload of amazing bread in your life?

First up: The easiest loaf of bread you will ever make, but one that you will probably wait the longest for.

Embarrassingly, I don’t have my own photo because we eat this bread too damn quickly. However, this is almost exactly what the bread looks like and I stole the photo from here. The recipe is from the no-knead bread craze started in 2006 by this article in the NY Times.

  • 3 cups of white flour
  • 1/4 tsp of instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • just over 1.5 cups of water
  1. Put flour, yeast and salt into a bowl. Mix in the water until the dough is all shaggy like. It will look ridiculously shaggy and wet. This is AOK.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and put the bowl somewhere safe on your counter for 12-18 hours. (A LONG TIME). Make it for tomorrow’s dinner.
  3. After 18 hours, flop the bread onto a floured surface and sprinkle generously with flour. Fold the dough over on itself a few times, sprinkling flour as you go to stop it sticking to you or the counter. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Grab a couple (clean) dish towels. (Cotton ones that aren’t fluffy). Sprinkle one with quite a lot of flour. Take the dough into your hands and kinda mush it into a ball. Place it on the towel, sprinkle with more flour and cover with the other towel. Leave for 2 hours.
  5. Turn oven on to HOT. I put it at about 220 C. Put a pan (or the original recipe suggests a skillet. We don’t have a skillet, but this would probably be awesome) into the oven to heat up. When it’s hot, take it out and dump the dough, shaking the tray a bit to settle the loaf. Place in oven for around 20-30 minutes. Check on it. Maybe put it back in for another 10-15. You’re looking for a nice lightly browned crust that sounds hollow when you tap it.
  6. Take it out, cool, and try to fend off the hoards of people who will be swarming your house as they catch whiff of your freshly made bread. You’re amazing, and you just made the most AWESOME loaf of bread.

Go life!

  • Jenn

    I’m SO going to try this! thanks.  Do you reckon it would work with spelt flour too??

    • Anonymous

      Hmmm I have no idea – but it probably would! I’m gonna try it with wholemeal flour too…so if it works with that – then I don’t see why spelt won’t?? Yum! Let me know how it goes!

      • Jenn

        Made it. AWESOME. just like you said! Have got another one with half wholemeal spelt/half regular wheat on the go right now.

        • Anonymous

          this makes me very happy :) tell me how the spelt one goes!

          • Jenn

             Turned out fab, made no difference really, having half spelt.  Now, when the budget allows I’ll do a 100% spelt one and see how we go. 

  • marisa

    New follower here! Homemade bread sounds lovely! I wonder if this recipe would work with wheat flour?
    http://my-kindof-life.blogspot.com/ 

  • Pingback: Mi Vida Contigo » A healthier little whole grain bun

  • Anonymous

    Visiting for the first time via Top Baby Blogs. And I must say, THIS post is so useful. I’ve been trying desperatly to perfect the no kneed bread recipe. I live in Japan where whole wheat bread is pretty much a unicorn, so I’m trying to make my own as much as I can. But, I’ve always had a hard time with the no kneed technique: the dutch oven method doesn’t work in my tiny oven; the shaggy nature of the dough makes it fall into a pancake when free form. I’ve never seen this idea of a second rising and  using the tea towels to shape it. Going to try this. Thanks!!!!