A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to try making my own bread. It’s something that has interested me for awhile, but always seemed so overwhelming. Letting it rise, kneading it, using a breadmaker—too much work!
We are actively trying to cut back on the prepackaged products that we buy, and finally decided to give bread a go. I’ve been making our own tortillas for nearly a year now, and when I would buy regular bread, we didn’t like the taste anymore. I blame the yummy homemade tortillas!
I did a ton of research and tried out a few bread recipes. Some were disasters, some came out ok, and a few came out great. After a few months of making bread, I tend to go back to the same recipe 9 times out of 10.
Here is the original recipe: Easy Homemade Bread
After making this a few times, I made a few slight adaptations to the recipe. I add a little more salt, usuallyadd some fun ingredients, and had to decrease the cooking time.
Basic No-Knead Bread (copied and adapted from Frugal Living NW)
6 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 t. instant or active-dry yeast
3 t. salt
2 2/3 c. cool water
BONUS: 8 cloves chopped garlic
BONUS: 1/2 cup Parmesean Cheese
BONUS: 1 T of oregano
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
2. Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. If you want to add the garlic and parmesean cheese, add it now! Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.
3. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises; place dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. Cover with the edges or a second cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size. **I’ve left it for 4-5 hours and then baked it, and it turned out just fine!
4. After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven (we use a Martha Stewart Cast Iron Dutch Oven), in the oven as it heats. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove top towel from dough and slide your hand under the bottom towel; flip the dough over into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
5. Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10 more minutes, until the crust is a deep chestnut brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200 degrees. You can check this with a meat thermometer, if desired.
6. Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
This bread has a been a huge hit with everyone who has tried it. Even Miss M, who isn’t a huge fan of solid foods yet, approved.
Eating bread, like a boss.
Thanks Frugal Live NW!