Does anyone else feel the urge to eat nothing but carbs when the weather gets cooler? I have found myself craving breads, pastas, waffles, and all things comfort related. Also, I have found the strong desire to get into my pajamas and under a warm blanket as soon as I hit the door to my house as it is pitch black outside, only to realize it is 5:30pm. So right now, all I want to get fat with carbs and get cozy AF. Which I think is the definition of modern day hibernation, right?Hibernation has got to be a legit thing. I have heard that winter brings a time to slow down, rest, and take a dang break as a way to heal ourselves from the business of the summer months. Because life is all about balance. So I’m going to blame nature this time of year because I guess I am supposed to eat all the things warm and cozy, rest more, and relax to get ready for the spring/summer (way) ahead. So let’s embrace that - and make bread!
This is fairly lazy bread, so don’t worry, you are still abiding by nature’s plan to rest with this recipe. Seriously, it is the easiest, most tasty bread I have ever made and I have been using this recipe for years. To me, there is pretty much nothing better than warm, fresh out of the oven, homemade bread with a nice thick piece of butter and a little salt. It also makes great croutons for soups and salads. I am also in the midst of making several loaves right now to stock up for Thanksgiving since I also put a loaf on the table and use a loaf for my stuffing. Bread. All. Day.
I have to thank my dear friend, Morgan, for first introducing me to this recipe. Since then, I have read Artisan Bread in Five-Minutes a Day and have created my own version of the two. It is simple with only 4 ingredients, you don’t need a stand mixer (though you can use on if you have it), you don’t have to knead anything, you just have to really mix it and forget it. It really couldn’t be easier. Now, it does take time - that I will tell you, but if you need to catch up on binge watching some shows, I think this is a way to feel semi productive for your day.
No-Knead Homemade Bread
Bring this loaf with you next Thursday and impress the hell out of your Turkey Day table. Then use it on Friday for french toast or croutons for a soup!
Makes 2 loaves
- 1 ½ tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 ½ tablespoon of yeast
- 6 ½ cups of all purpose flour
- 3 cups lukewarm water - not hot!
In a large bowl (something that can hold about 5 quarts), whisk together the flour, salt and yeast. Make a well in the middle and add the lukewarm (not hot because you can kill your yeast!) water. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook. Either way, mix until there are no dry spots left. If it gets tough to mix with the spoon, wet your hands and dig in, continuing to combine the mixture. Do not knead - there is no need.
Let it rise! Set the bowl aside and cover loosely with a towel or a piece of plastic wrap and let it sit for at least two hours and up to five or six (I have even done this step over night). At this point, you can use the dough right away to make your bread or stash it in the fridge to use at another time. I usually make mine right away. The book says the dough is easier to handle after it is in the fridge for a few hours. Your call.
When you are ready to bake, sprinkle a counter top with a little flour and place your dough there. Sprinkle the dough with flour so it is easier to handle and divide the dough in two and make two loaves, and gently shape the dough into a ball - again, this is not kneading the dough, just shaping and it should take about 30-60 seconds to do. It should have a smooth texture and be in the shape of a loaf at this point.
Let it rest again - for about 40 minutes.
About 20 minutes before you want to start baking, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place a large, heavy pot with a lid (cast iron, enamel, ceramic - I use my dutch oven), in the oven while it is preheating.
When the dough is ready, gently place it in the preheated pot/oven and cover. Bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, uncover the pot, and let it bake for another 15 minutes until it is golden brown.
Let cool on a rack and enjoy.
Tip: The best way to store fresh homemade bread once it is cut is to store it cut side down on a flat, nonporous surface, like a plate or clean cutting board. Using plastic wrap, bags, or foil can trap humidity and cause the crust to soften.
Doesn't that sounds good?? And I highly recommend the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day - because it makes you feel like you can do this all time! I know that is unrealistic, but the idea sounds fab.
Cheers to you and yours,