Have you noticed the rising costs of bread these days? Have your concerns for many additives increased? If so, you’re not alone. It’s no wonder that people are finding out that baking your own bread can ease the strain on your budget and is very satisfying. Once you’ve filled your kitchen with the aroma of freshly baked bread and tasted the wonderful results you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this before and I believe you’ll never buy another loaf of bread from a grocery store.
I’ve always wanted to bake my own bread and a few years ago I even bought one of those bread makers. Nothing wrong with them but my loaves usually were very dense and I soon lost interest and returned to buying my bread. Then out of the clear blue I saw a posting on a cooking forum for No-Knead crusty bread in an Enameled Dutch Oven. Tried it … Loved it … Upon further research I discovered the No-Knead bread revolution started by Mr. Lahey’s method which requires no kneading, uses no special ingredients, equipment or techniques and takes very little effort.
This post is not anything revolutionary but one of millions of No-Knead recipe (99% are very similar) that can easily be found on the Internet and did I mention that there is “No-Kneading”!!
- 2 ½ cups of bread or all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups wheat flour
- ½ tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ Tbsp honey (optional)
- 1 ¾ cups of water
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 ¾ cups of water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. 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, stretch gently to a rectangular shape, roll up dough from one end to the other and fold it under.
Place the dough in a greased bread pan seam side down for the second rise. Allow the dough to rise for 1½ to 2 hours until it reaches just above the top of the pan.
Bake the bread in a preheated 350ºF oven for 40-45 minutes but don’t rely on time. Breads, like everything else, needs to be baked/cooked to it’s proper internal temperature. Breads should be golden in color, slightly darker around the edges. A toothpick inserted in the center of the bread will come out either clean or with only a few crumbs clinging to it. If there are any damp crumbs on the toothpick, return the bread to the oven and continue baking. When using an instant read thermometer, most breads are finished baking at about 190ºF. Allow the bread to cool on a rack … serve and enjoy.