Saturday, May 11, 2013

Crusty No-Knead- Bread! Artisan Bread

I had never ever made homemade bread until I came across this recipe.  I figured I'd try it and if I was lucky it may give me a reason to make bread.  Wow better than I expected!  Delicious.  Easy peasy and I don't say that unless it is.  Enjoy!

 It has been a long time goal of mine to make bread.  Good, crusty and light.That's what I was looking for and this is what I totally received. Delicious!

  From my previous encounters with a bread machine I totally gave up and because I thought it would be too difficult I put bread making aside and figured it just wasn't going to happen.  I have lots of patience but figuring my end result would be awful I put this bread making on my back burner to speak.  Well thanks to the Kitchen Whisperer I know now I CAN make a wonderful loaf of bread! 

We've already had several slices with butter while warm.  My only suggestion is wait if possible(use a serrated bread knife to cut) until the bread is 3/4 cooled before you slice.  I was inpatient wanting to taste as well as see how the inside texture turned out.  Success!!!!!   

***Note:  Don't be frightened by the length of the recipe it is NOT involved just wordy.  Try it!  I am sure you'll love it as we did.

Note:  I have made this bread using dried cranberries also.  I did add 1/4 cup of sugar and a 1/2 cranberries to the recipe with the above ingredients and below is a photo of the results.

*** 1/2 cup cranberries were added to the dough and I worked them in as best as I could.

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 1/2-3/4 cups water (room temp) I made mine slightly warm from the tap
  • Lidded cast iron dutch oven or clay dutch oven/pot – see note if you do not have one of these!
  • Any add-ins you want (nuts, dried fruits, cheese, spices etc…)
In a large bowl add the flour, yeast and salt** If you are making a fruit bread you can use 1/4 cup of sugar if you would like but it is not necessary.
  1.  You need to make sure the bowl is at least 2 times the size as this will easily double in volume.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add in the warm water and mix with a wooden spoon – do NOT use a stand mixer.
  4. Mix it until it’s combined and forms a ‘shaggy’ dough. Just make sure that all the flour is incorporated. It will not be a smooth dough – that’s how it’s supposed to be.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place overnight for at least 12 hours but no more than 24.
  6. When you’re ready to bake, put the rack in the middle and preheat to 450F.
  7. When the oven reaches temp, put your dutch oven pot (cast iron or heavy ceramic {check to see that your ceramic can handle 450F temp first!}) in the oven WITH THE LID on.
  8. Let it heat up for 30 minutes.
  9. While that’s heating up, use a dough scraper and scrape your dough onto a heavily floured surface (or you can flour parchment paper and put it on there). *See note
  10. Shape into a ball, tucking the sides under. It will be sticky but that’s good.
  11. Cover lightly with plastic until the 30 minutes is up.
  12. Remove the pot from the oven and plop the ball down in. Or if you transferred it to a floured parchment paper, you can place the whole thing inside (try to remove the excess flour).
  13. Replace the lid and bake for 30 minutes. No peaking!
  14. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.
  15. Remove from the oven and using tongs remove the bread and cool on cooling rack.
If you’re not comfortable with shaping the dough, when you remove the pot from the oven after 30 minutes you can carefully just pour the dough into the pot. It won’t be a perfectly round bread loaf but that’s okay – it’s just rustic. If you do pour it in, just jostle the pan around to kind of even out the dough before putting the lid on. But practice with shaping the dough. You can’t screw it up.
Don’t have a dutch oven or clay pot? Never fear! Grab your cast iron pan instead!
1. Take a 12 round cast iron pan (with preferably a 2-3 side wall) and place that into your 450F degree oven (just like the directions on the site). This pan will go on the middle rack.
2. WHILE you are heating that up, place a metal pan on the lowest shelf/rung in the oven at the same time. I just use an old cake pan that has seen better days.
3. When you remove the VERY HOT skillet from the oven and put your dough in it (have the dough resting on parchment paper so the bottom doesn’t get that ‘black’ color from the pan).
4. AND as soon as you put it in the oven put about 3 cups of ice cubes in the hot baking pan. DO THIS FAST as you want to trap the steam in the oven!
5. This will create steam (just like a dutch oven).
6. After 30-35 minutes check the bread. It should be done but if it’s not cook for 10-15 min more. If at 30 minutes it’s getting dark but not done (will sound hollow when tapped), just tent some foil over top for about 10 minutes.
7. Cool as normal.

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