Tuesday, January 10, 2012

crusty bread, son!

This is the easiest bread recipe I can offer you. Easier than the highly popular no-knead dutch oven recipes, and anyone can do it, even if you never, ever baked bread from scratch before. You don't need anything but a mixing bowl, flour, water, salt and active dry yeast and some sort of round bakeware to let it rise and bake in. It is an overnight, no-knead rise, so it's not insta-bread, but for about 5 minutes of effort before work you can have amazing fresh crusty bread every night for dinner. This is an adaption from the No-Knead recipe features in the NYtimes a while back.

Easy Crusty Bread

1. Pour a cup and a half of hot (not boiling) water into a mixing bowl and add a teaspoon of active dry yeast. Let it set for 5 minutes and if when you return the cloudy water is cloudy and there is an active foam bubbling on the top, your yeast is activated and you are ready for step 2.

2. Mix in 3 cups of flour (do not use all wheat flour, it won't rise. If you want wheat bread use half wheat and half white) a cup at a time into the yeasty warm water. Add a teaspoon of salt and mix it in as well while you turn the water into a sticky, even paste free of clumps.

3. now cover it with a cloth and leave it alone at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

4. When you return after your day at work, or after a night of sleep, check the bread dough. It should be bubbly and expanded in size. It is ready!

5. Sprinkle flour on your table and take out the whole doughy mass. Fold it over itself a few times and make it into a ball. You'll need flour on your hands to stop it from sticking. Now gently place the ball in your bowl again and let it rise back up for another hour or two.

6. Twenty minutes before you bake, turn the oven to 450 degrees and put your baking apparatus in at the same time you start the pre-heating. It could be a cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, Pyrex cake pan -whatever, but it has to heat up with the oven.

7. When it is heated to 450, take it out and place your ball of dough in it. It doesn't matter if it loses it's shape, it'll bake even.


8. Bake at 450 till the bread is browned, about 30-45 minutes. Keep an eye on it.

9. When it is done, take it out and let it cool before slicing, at least half an hour. Enjoy!

23 Comments:

Blogger Casie Duberstein said...

This sounds just like the no-knead bread I've made and found online.

January 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

If you actually manage to keep some around for more than a few days and it gets a little stale, you can cube it up and make this awesome, eggy, breakfast (or whenever) dish. A good crusty bread is essential to the recipe.

January 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

it is that same idea, simplified from a version found in the NY times without timing it with lids or special containers.

I enver said it was my exclusive invented recipe!

January 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM  
OpenID barntalkblog said...

I have no talents with bread, knead or no-knead. Thankfully I have my trusty bread-maker!

-Autumn

January 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

I've done this or a similar recipe--the first time it was pretty good; the second and third times I never got a second rise out of it. I thought it might be b/c the house is too cold in the winter. I know your house tends to the chilly side, too...but I suppose you leave your rising dough near the woodstove?

*sigh* Now I just know I'm gonna have to try it again. Fourth time's a charm, you think?

January 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I'm always up for a new recipe for bread! Thanks!

January 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

PS I also meant to say that's a pretty little loaf--love those big bubbles!

January 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Helois said...

looks yummy gonna have to try this tonight. thanks for posting the recipe.

January 10, 2012 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

I have never tired no-knead bread before. Plan to give this a try. Sounds so easy! Thanks for posting.

January 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger The Village Queen said...

do you grease the pan? Sounds good...

January 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Water Lily said...

I have a similar recipe that's really easy to remember. 6-3-3-13. 6c. water, 3tbsp yeast, 3tbsp salt and 13c flour. Just follow the same directions as Jenna's. The beauty of this is that you can bake one loaf at a time and put the remainder into the fridge in a covered container (not sealed too tightly) to rest. When you're ready to bake a new loaf, just take some out and put it into the loaf pan (or onto a stone) to rise a bit before baking. This recipe makes four loaves for me. So that's a fresh loaf, four days in a row. It tends to "sour" a bit over time and if you reuse the container without washing it out it becomes somewhat like sourdough bread. Yummy. And as Jenna says..... so easy.

January 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM  
OpenID meatbagz said...

i use a similar recipe and it is AWESOME! there is nothing better than freshly baked bread!!

-kate

January 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Yay, very easy bread! I can't wait to try it.

Also! I'm not sure if pyrex would be suitable . . . if you heat pyrex up and then add moist room-temperature dough, the pyrex may shatter.

January 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

Looks great! I am going to make it tonight for a yummy treat tomorrow.

Jenna- did you get the email I sent you yesterday about the Annie's seed packet?

January 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I will try it - i use a breadmaker but it doesnt always come out that great and there is nothing better than crusty bread and butter!

January 10, 2012 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Jenna~ Try the recipes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Best cook book I have ever owned. You basically mix up a big batch of dough, let it rest for 2 hours, and toss in the fridge for up to two weeks depending on the recipe. When you want to bake a loaf you just pull out a grapefruit sized ball of dough, shape it into a ball and let sit on the counter for 40 minutes then slit and bake. Super simple and super yummy! The authors of the book have a blog, so you could get the specifics of the recipe online. Happy baking!

January 10, 2012 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Recently started doing more no-knead (although honestly, I like to knead!). I was brought up to believe the more pounding the better...it amazed me the first time my bread turned out with next to no handling! Thanks for the recipeā€”in agreement, it is a pretty little loaf!

January 10, 2012 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Pit Stop Farm said...

I agree with some of the comments that this is basically the same no-knead recipe from Jim Lahey (Sullivan Street Bakery) with the exception of not removing the lid. Regardless, I'm sure this is an excellent recipe. I previously owned a bread maker that turned out consistent, although boring bread. Since I've found the popular no-knead recipe I make bread at least a few times a week. Crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy inside....such a delight when it's still warm and covered with butter. Thank you for the post Jenna - I hope it inspires more people to stop buying flavorless grocery store bread and fill their homes with the smell of fresh baked bread instead.

January 11, 2012 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Rose said...

Jenna - thanks for sharing this recipe. I made it yesterday and it is delicious warm from the oven, as well as toasted. And so easy!

January 12, 2012 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger August Johnson said...

Thanks for this recipie, I made it yesterday and it's great! I've seen these no-knead breads before but this is the first time I tried one. Even less work than the basic breads I make!

January 13, 2012 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Margie said...

Just made the bread in a cast iron skillet. I used the smaller one, next time will use the larger one. (I think the smaller one is 8 inches across the top and the larger one 10 inches.) Also, will add more salt--at least another teaspoon. Couldn't believe the yeast would activate without sugar, but it did.
Bread is so easy to make, and it's so good. Ate two pieces with butter and plum jelly. Yum! Thanks so much for posting, Jenna.

January 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger luckybunny said...

I made this with bread flour and I have to admit I didn't have high hopes when I started, but it turned out to be awesome, crusty bread with lots of little air pockets throughout - my favorite kind. We loved it and we'll be making it a lot. It's so easy I can make it camping too without much fuss! Thanks for sharing.

January 24, 2012 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Bruno enjoyed the loaf you made for the wool workshop so much I'm under orders to make some tonight :D

January 31, 2012 at 5:05 PM  

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