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Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Knead Bread

All sorrows are less with bread. - Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Yes!  It is true!  Which I think must now be about 4-5 years old. The recipe which originated from the NY Times, and sent home cooks and food bloggers across the galaxy into their kitchens and testing the authenticity of the claim - No-Knead!  And true to its claim, it is indeed a no-fuss, no-knead bread.  Manna from heaven.  Bread heaven that is.  

This in fact, is a bread that you can really, honestly, seriously, make at home.  With your own hands, a bowl, and a wooden spoon.  Some flour, yeast, water and salt.  And we did.  We finally made brilliant use of our cast iron pot, and made this glorious dough creation!  The long over due, no knead bread.  Who doesn’t love the smell of bread wafting from the oven?!   

While our version of this no-knead-bread did not make it to a golden colour and only had that slight crisp top (too much anticipation enveloped around everyone that we just had to get it off the oven when we knew it looked and resembled an actual bread!), it was bread brunch heaven for us!  School holiday, mum off work, everyone just idling away the time, moving in slow motion and voila!  Bread!  In a flash, we managed to gobble almost the whole thing, with a slice left for dad to taste when he comes home from work.  Wow!  We did it!  We made bread!  And more bread making to come!  Say goodbye to that white loaf from the supermarket and say hello to freshly baked bread, everyday!

This No-Knead Bread is adapted from the NY Times but mum first found from Steamy Kitchen.  Her post was definitely more enticing. Enough to encourage anyone, to actually get up and make your own bread!  

3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tsp salt (the NY Times version has 1/4 tsp more)
1 and 1/2 cups warm water

Combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 12-20 hours in a warm room 
(Since it's winter while we are trying this on, a warm room at our current home is as elusive as trying to find a parking spot at the mall during Christmas shopping season.  But we managed to keep the dough warm inside the kitchen cupboards wrapped over with a thick tea towel).

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 and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton tea towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C).  Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats (Yes, the empty pot!). When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven.  Turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

There's definitely some rocket science in there. No knead?  And a preheated pot?  But we're not interested.!  Right? All I know is we made BREAD! So all those who have been afraid.  Fear no more!  Give this a try! You have to!  You need to!   Although it is no-knead!

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