Monday, April 12, 2010

Crusty-Chewy Bread ~

I am really stinkin' excited about making bread this afternoon. After lazily blogbrowsing over the weekend and finding some really saweet cooking blogs, I ran across a recipe from Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (I'll post the links to the blogs in a few) and I was excited to try it. I mean, 5 minutes? Come on! Who wouldn't want that!

So I did it. The 5 minute prep time is just that, short and sweet. There is rising time, and a minute or so shaping time, and a rest, before baking - but those are the times to do another couple loads of laundry, surf the net, read or watch tv, or even exercise.

The blogs I visited were a sweet blog by Hannah called Honey & Jam, and a lovely blog called The Ivory Hut. I'm just posting links to the blogs, but if you want to search the recipe there, the posts are called No Knead Bread and Baking Bread Made Easy, respectively.

The ingredient list is short and sweet, and I'm just going to put this in my own words, since it's so simple.


Basic No-Knead Bread
adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

3 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large (and I do mean large) bowl, mix the water, yeast, and salt, and let it sit for a few minutes. It doesn't have to be all bubbly or all the yeast dissolved. I let it sit for probably 5 minutes. Add the flour all at once, and using a wooden spoon, mix it until there are no more streaks of flour. I muttered to myself "gotta get my hands in it" and ended up flouring my hands and kneading it for just 3 or 4 folds. lol. Kinda defeated the purpose of no-knead.

Anyway, after that, cover it and let it sit on the counter for 2 or 3 hours. Don't cover it too tightly - there's a photo on The Ivory Hut of her dough just volcano-ing out of the container, LOL. If the cover or plastic wrap is on too tightly, it wouldn't be a good thing.

After the dough has risen and started deflating a little bit, it is ready for refrigeration or for baking right then. I did both, baking one loaf and refrigerating the rest for later. Tear off a grapefruit sized chunk of dough with floured hands, and gently pull the edges into a ball. Place this on a wooden cutting board or pizza sleeve that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Let it rest for at least 40 minutes.

About 20 minutes before you want to bake, preheat the oven to 450 and place a pizza stone on the middle rack and a cookie sheet or broiler pan on the bottom rack. (These are supposed to heat for that 20 minutes too). While they heat, dust the loaf with flour, and slash the top. Slide the loaf onto the preheated stone in the oven and pour a cup of hot water in the cookie sheet. Close the oven door quickly to contain the steam, and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until beautifully browned. Let it cool before slicing, according to one poster, although I couldn't do it and had an end piece after only 10 minutes out of the oven. LOL Photobucket Photobucket

This is supposed to keep for a couple weeks in your fridge, and you tear off what you want to bake and follow the baking directions above.

Fresh baked homemade bread. Isn't it a beautiful thing?



  1. I have been wanting to try this bread forever. There's a parmesan and peppercorn version. Being a non-baker, I just have to remember to buy the yeast!