I’m not usually one for bread making. My grandfather was a baker, so I’ve always been facinated by the process but quickly found myself discouraged by my previous experiments.
Hours of kneading and kneading, and kneading some more, and all that to be left with barely-edible, tough, dry, yeasty mounts that could hardly compare to what I know good bread feel, smell and taste like. So I decided to stick with bakery-bought loaves.
But this recipe has changed my mind. It’s so simple, requires no kneading whatsoever (my arms are really happy with this, thank you very much!) and look at the result! Easily one to run for the title of the crustiest, crunchiest, most moreish loaf there ever was! Not to mention the bubbled, soft centre…With some salted butter and Pimm’s jam (definitely a thing, let me know if you’d like me to share the recipe!), I was the happiest of girls (and may or may not have eaten half the loaf all by myself for breakfast on Sunday…).
And the good news is, it also happens to be the easiest bread recipe I’ve ever tried! No fancy equipment needed; just a couple of bowl, a wooden spoon and a Dutch oven!
Ingredients: 400g flour (3 cups); 1.5 tsp salt; 1 bag instant yeast (7g); about 250 mL lukewarm water
1. In a big bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
2. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together.
3. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rest for 10-24h.
4. On a floured sheet of baking paper, stretch your dough to form a 10”-sided square. Fold the opposite corners together then flip the dough over. You might want to reshape it a bit to make it a round as possible.
5. Pre-heat your oven (with the Dutch oven in!) as high as you can (about 200°C for me but I reckon a bit higher would have been better).
6. When your oven reaches the desired temperature, take the Dutch oven out (be careful not to burn yourself) and place your dough inside it. Put the lid back on, put the whole lot back in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.
7. Remove the lid and bake for another 10-20 minutes.
Do you make bread at home? Or is it one of your food nemesis, just like it was for me until yesterday?