Thursday, September 4, 2008

"No Knead" To Pay $7 For Bread

Out here at the Whiskey Path we are about 20 minutes to the nearest grocery store and about an hour away from the nearest bakery so you are somewhat forced to become resourseful.

Melissa and I get a magazine, Mother Earth News, which is great. It covers everything from the best solar products to excelent recipes.

The following reciep is for a No Knead "Artisan" Bread, you know, hard crust soft center. I will admit the first few times I tried this I walked away covered in flour swearing I would never do it again. With a few changes I have made it work for me, and hope it will work for you.

All you need for this adventure is a cast iron dutch oven, glass bowl, flour, salt, yeast and water. It needs to "rise" for about 12 to 18 hours so, start it in the morning before you go to work or on the weekend.

A funny story before I go. I was making a two loaves of bread for an auction for the Fletcher Family Reunion. I mixed everything up and had it sitting outside to raise. Melissa and I were watching the X-Files DVD when we heard what sounded like a car door slamming. I got up and went to the door to see what was going on. I saw nothing, but thought that while I am up I might as well bring the bread in. I found one loaf in its bowl where I had left it, the other was pulled down onto the porch steps with a racoon paw print in it. I only had one loaf for auction, which my Mother bought.


1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the countertop.

1 1/2 tsp salt

Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting Dutch Oven

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add flour and salt stiring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at lease 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18 at about 70 degrees.

(I have two different size Dutch Ovens, for the larger I triple the recipe.)

2. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over onto itself twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

(Keep the plastic wrap from the bowl to cover it with. I say this because I never remember to do it myself.)

3. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or your fingers, gently shape into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it is ready, the dough will have almost doubled in size and not readily spring back when poked with finger.

4. Al least 20 minutes before the dough is ready heat oven to 475 degrees. Put heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully pull out the oven rack, remove the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process. Give the pan a firm shake to help distribute the dough evenly, but don't worry if it's not perfect; it will fix itself as it bakes.

(Sprinkle some cornmeal or wheat bran in the bottom of the cast iorn before heating.)

5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Remove bread from Dutch Oven and let cool on rack for at least an hour before slicing.

(With all cooking it will take longer for the bread to be done if cooking in glass or Pyrex)

This bread is so very good.

Bye for now.

1 comment:

spinster girl said...

Shouldn't that read, "I got up, grabbed my rifle, and...?"