Since then, I've longed to make bread from scratch, but felt too intimidated and resorted to frozen bread dough from the grocery store.
Then, I read about no-knead bread, which was left to rise overnight. I wanted to try it, except, the bread was supposed to be baked in a Dutch oven and I didn't have one. Nor did I want to buy one. So, I gave up that idea.
And then, I read about a no-knead peasant bread that didn't need to rise overnight and which didn't need baking in a Dutch oven on another blog called Alexandra's Kitchen. I got all excited about trying it and bought some new yeast. I bought active dry yeast, which came in a package of 3 individual packets.
Here is the recipe I followed:
1 lb. 2 oz (4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups lukewarm water (I followed the tip to mix 1/2 C boiling water and 1 1/2 C cold water)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 packet active-dry yeast
room temperature butter, about 2 tablespoons
I chose to weigh my flour, rather than measure it, because I store my flour in the freezer and it tends to get compacted. After I weighed it, I left it in a bowl to come to room temperature and stirred in the salt.
Then, I mixed 1/2 C boiling water with 1 1/2 C cold water to obtain my 2 cups of lukewarm water, stirred in the 2 tsp. sugar and sprinkled the packet of active dry yeast on top:
|Lukewarm water with sugar and yeast
|Blurry Photo of Foamy Yeast
|Clearer Photo of Foamy Yeast
Then, I added the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stirred it all up:
|Just Mixed Bread Dough
|Risen Bread Dough - 1st Rising
Then, I buttered the dishes in which to bake my bread. The original recipe called for two small (1 L or 1.5 L) bowls. My two smaller oven-proof bowls were sent up north with my daughter for her use. So, I used a 1.9 L casserole dish (flat bottom) and a loaf pan, instead. The original recipe stated to use all the dough if using a larger bowl, but I wasn't sure how well the bread would bake (it would be just my luck to have a perfectly baked outside and raw dough in the middle!), so, decided to divide the dough and take the consequences of it not rising as much in the larger bowl.
|Buttered Baking Pans
Then, I punched down the risen dough, scraping the sides with two forks as instructed:
|Punched Down Dough After 1st Rising
|Dough In Pans For 2nd Rising
I let them rise for about 40 minutes, until the dough in the loaf pan was just above the rim and the dough in the casserole dish was about an inch below the rim. Then, baked them in a pre-heated oven at 425F for 15 minutes; then lowered the temperature to 375F and baked for another 15 minutes:
|Just Out of the Oven
|Freshly Baked Bread
|Bread Baking Success!
It smelled so good! We couldn't wait the recommended 10 minutes for it to cool! We had to cut into it while it was still hot from the oven! Spread with some butter, which melted because the bread was still hot, it was wonderful! Crispy crust and chewy inside. Daughter and I finished half of the round loaf!
|After Cutting the 1st Slice
I will be making this bread again in the future. I might experiment with adding some herbs to the bread or making bread rolls. I think I'll be buying a lot more flour and yeast, in the future! I am so happy to have found this recipe! Thank you to the original poster of the recipe, the detailed instructions, photos and videos.
The only item I had to buy to make this bread was the yeast, which cost $2.39 for the 3 packets. I used one packet, so the cost of yeast for this batch of bread was $.80. The flour was bought on sale, $1.99/5 lb. so, the 1 lb. 2 oz. of flour used came to $.45. The cost of the sugar and salt is negligible; perhaps $.05? Add another $.12 for the 2 tbsp. butter ($2/lb; $.50 for 1/4 lb. or one stick; 8 tbsp. per stick) to grease the pans and the cost of ingredients come to under $1.50. Plus the cost of baking. My oven is gas and I don't know how much it costs to preheat and bake for 1 hour. If I estimate $1 to $2, the cost of baking the 2 loaves of bread will be $2.50 to $3.50. Not bad, I think, for 2 loaves of homemade bread. Especially when you know what went into making it.
Have you made no-knead bread? Do you think you might try this recipe?