A classic no knead bread

Bread, the once staple in a “diet” now has so many turning to gluten free products.

My family is not much different.  About 20 years ago in becoming in tune to how certain foods affect my body, I reduced and almost eliminated bread from my diet.   I suppose if I cared to or was really attached to labels, I could go through testing and may possibly joins the thousands (perhaps millions) in being “officially” gluten intolerant.

Welcome frankengrains.

I have tried and enjoy homemade Irish Soda Bread and bread made in my bread maker.  THIS recipe has become my most recent favorite.  Not only mine but my family will adjust their schedule to be home for when it comes out of the oven; just to get that very first piece.  It is very similar to a soda bread but much lighter.

In getting ready for a camping holiday we are in bread making mode.  Three loaves will be baked, wrapped well and frozen.  One of the best memories my kids have of our camping trips is this bread toasted over a fire pit.

The things I love  most about this bread:

*cut it up with scissors and tossed as croutons in a salad.  The softness absorbs the flavor of the salad dressing and since your using a healthy homemade salad dressing you WANT to get every drop.

*count ’em, 4 or 5 ingredients!  Check your loaf at home from the store.  How many ingredients?  Can you say them all?

*who can resist getting their hands all gooped up for a minute.   Throw some love into the batter as you mixed it with your hands.  PLEASE don’t let the lengthy directions stop you from trying.  It really is so simple my kids can whip this up in 5 minutes.

The recipe comes from the Food Network and it’s official name is “Michael Smith’s No Knead Bread“.

COUNTRY BREAD

normal loaf

*2 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
*1 cup whole wheat flour
*1/2 cup of any multi grain mix
*1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast
*1 1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 5/8 cups of warm water

1 larger loaf

*3 cups all purpose or bread flour
*1 cup whole wheat flour
*1/2 cup of any multi grain mix
*1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
*1 1/2 teaspoons salt
*2 1/4 cups of warm water

CITY BREAD

1 normal loaf

*3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
*1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast
*1 1/4 teaspoons salt
*1 5/8 cups of warm water

1 larger loaf

*4 cups all purpose or bread flour
*1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast
*1 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/4 cups of warm water

Now there are two ways to bake this.  I have done both.  Heads up on both methods……use a BIG bowl  as there is lots of rising that happens.

Traditional baking

1.  wisk the dry ingredients together thoroughly.  Add the water and stir until wet dough forms.  STIR, I use my hands. Continue stirring until the dough incorporates  all the loose flour in the bowl, about 60 seconds in total.
2.  cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for 18 hours.  It will double in size, bubble and long gluten strands will form.
3.  knock the dough down and form into a baking pan.  (I LIKE TO USE MY CAST IRON PANS)  Rest the dough a second time.  In 2 – 3 hours it will rise again and double in size once more.  Bake 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 425 degrees F.

Baking in a covered pot

1.  SAME AS IN TRADITIONAL BAKING
2.  Cover the bowl with a towel and rest in a warm place for 12 – 18 hours.  It will double in size, bubble and form long gluten strands.  Lightly flour your hands and the work surface then remove the dough from the bowl.  Quickly form it into a ball.  Thoroughly flour a cotton towel and rest the dough on it.  Cover it with another floured tea towel.
3.  you may also rest the dough on a non-stick “Silpat” mat and cover it with just one towel.  Rest the dough a second time.  In 2  3 hours it will rise again and double in size once more.  A half hour or so before the dough is ready preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  You may use cast iron, steel, enamel or ceramic.
4.  when the dough has finally risen slide your hand under the towel and quickly invert the delicate dough into the hot pan.  Shake the pan a bit to settle it then place the lid on the pan and start baking.
5.  bake for 30 min with the lid then remove it and bake for 15 minutes longer.

We always have fun in the kitchen.  Here I teach a NCAA athlete and 5thyear College Student how to make the bread. 

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