Monday, January 14, 2013

No Knead White/Wheat Bread

We don't really buy bread often.  There's only 2 of us at home and we just can't eat the loaf of bread quickly enough (and I HATE throwing food away).

 I got a craving the other day for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day... i'm also lazy and didn't feel like leaving the house to go to the grocery store.  So I made bread from scratch!  (that's a normal thing to do... right?!)

This was totally worth it!  This recipe isn't quick to make but the flavor is great and the crust on the bread is fantastic.

No Knead White/Wheat Bread:
(adapted King Arthur Flour)

3 cups lukewarm water
4 cups white flour
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 packet instant yeast


*The flour/liquid ratio is important in this recipe. If you measure flour by sprinkling it into your measuring cup, then gently sweeping off the excess, use 7 1/2 cups. If you measure flour by dipping your cup into the canister, then sweeping off the excess, use 6 1/2 cups. Most accurate of all, and guaranteed to give you the best results, if you measure flour by weight, use 32 ounces.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Mix everything together to make a rough, sticky dough. I used a stand mixer.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or for up to about 7 days if you prefer a tangier bread.

When you're ready to make bread, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour; this will make it easier to grab a hunk. Grease your hands, and pull off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough.  It'll be about the size of a softball, or a large grapefruit.

Plop the sticky dough onto a floured work surface and round it into a ball. Place the dough onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist as it rests before baking.

Let the dough rise for about 45 to 60 minutes. It won't appear to rise upwards that much; rather, it'll seem to settle and expand. Preheat the oven to 450°F while the dough rests. Place a shallow metal or cast iron pan (not glass or Pyrex) on the lowest oven rack, and have 1 cup of hot water ready to go.

When you're ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the bread 2 or 3 times, making a cut about 1/2" deep. The bread may deflate a bit.

Place the bread in the oven, and carefully pour the 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath.

Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until it's a deep, golden brown.  Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

Yield: 3 or 4 loaves, depending on size.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea it was that easy to make bread. I think I know what I'm doing on my next free afternoon. This would be so good with some homemade soup or stew... I'm hungry now.