I've had a few of you asking about the bread I make (hi Kath!)
A few years ago, armed with my trusty Nigella book, I managed to teach myself to make bread. One of the first steps I took to simplify life a little. To know exactly what was in our bread. To save myself the $6 per day I was spending on a loaf of bread.
Most afternoons would see me kneading a new loaf for the next days bread. I didn't mind the kneading. Occasionally I would buy a loaf, but most of our bread was homemade.
But during my last pregnancy I wondered how I would manage to keep up the bread making with an extra little person in the house. The no knead method seemed like a perfect solution, as I wasn't too keen on going down the breadmaker machine path.
So I ordered this book and very quickly began turning out daily loaves or bread rolls usings its quick method. Very similar to before but with no kneading. Admittedly kneaded bread comes out just a little softer. But sometimes ten minutes free for kneading is hard to come by. So generally, un-kneaded it is.
As for finding the time to make bread I find that prioritizing preparing food does make it easier. The cleaning or washing up can always be done later, but when it comes to food it needs to be put first on the list of jobs to do. I try and mix mine before I go and pick up the kids from school. Sometimes I can get away with bread making every second day.
I have adjusted the original recipe to suit our tastes.
EDIT : I have adjusted the recipe slightly over time. Feel free to adjust your flour and water amounts to make a firm but wet dough. I find different brands and types of flours require different amounts.
No Knead Bread
3 cups water, lukewarm
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sea salt
6 1/2 cups plain white flour (or 5 cups white and 1 1/2 cups wholemeal)
flour - I do love using organic, but it quite a lot more expensive. Kialla is an excellent organic brand. (Try to stay away from the Woolworths Select organic flour. I've had a few loaves "flop" with that flour. It's obviously more of a cake flour.) But I generally use Lauke Wallaby baking flour. It's easy to find bulk flour in most supermarkets or health food stores, or even online.
1. Pour water into bowl. Add yeast and salt. Stir with whisk.
Add flour. I'm making the healthier version here. White and wholemeal.
Stir to combine. If it's hard to mix you may need to get your hands in to mix it up. If it is too dry to mix add a little more lukewarm water.
Leave the dough to rise in the bowl. This usually takes about two hours. It will roughly double in size and then flatten at the top of the dough. Of course, it is usually faster in hot weather, but rises slower in Winter.
When dough has doubled, add a few handfuls of flour to make the dough easier to handle. Shape into bread rolls, or two free form loaves or 1 large loaf. Sprinkle with flour and slash the tops with a bread knife if you are making the free form loaves.
Sometimes I make a double batch of dough. This can be stored in the fridge after the first rise. I have successfully left mine out at room temperature for a day or two. With both these methods you end up with a tangier, slightly sourdough taste to the finished bread. I prefer it that way.
While the bread is rising again (which takes about twenty minutes with rolls , a bit longer with freeform or a loaf tin) ) preheat the oven at 230 degrees celcius. I don't time my bread, but I think rolls are ready after about a half hour. Tap on the bread and see if it sounds hollow. I find I can cook the rolls a more pale colour , but the bigger the loaf, the darker the crust needs to be. I tend to cook the loaf tin until the crust is very dark brown. Turn onto a wire rack to prevent a soggy crust.
And there you have it. Our everyday bread in this house. Best served warm with butter. But fine for next day sandwiches. Makes great toast or breadcrumbs when stale.
Have you tried the no knead method?