Tuesday, 19 March 2013

BAKING BREAD~ The Real Deal


I was lucky enough to grow up in a house that ate great food.

As a child we always had good bread in the house.

I would sometimes look on in envy at the kids with the 'square bread' sandwiches as we called the loaves that were available at the Supermarket but really when I tasted it, it is very like cardboard and I wasn't so envious after all.

Adelaide has a strong migrant population and good bread was easy to come by even in the 70's and 80's - well before Artisan bread became a 'thing'.

Over the years I have taken more and more interest in the Art of Bread.

It is an Art.

Not just a science but an ART.

No two loaves of bread are ever the same.

Every baker has different skills, different hands, different reasons to be baking, different ovens, different recipes......the list goes on.

I admire baking so very much.

I have never though been able to bake bread successfully before now, and I think this has increased my admiration for those that can, time after time, bake delicious loaves of goodness.

This week after trying (over many years) to make Sourdough starter no less than 20 times and failing dismally every time, I googled NY Times No-Knead after talking to my friend Michelle,  of the joys of 'Scarpetta'.

So.......

Here we are.

Four days.

Four loaves.

Each and every one a total and utter success.

And I am forever changed.

the feeling of baking a really really good loaf is exhilarating.

I want EVERYONE to join in.

Make a loaf.

Even just ONCE!

Learn to get back to eating REAL bread.

No Numbers.

IMAGINE!

Just the best ingredients you can afford.

See how great it feels to make something so magnificent out of 4 basic ingredients.

Flour.

Water.

Yeast.

Salt.

The most basic sustenance.

But the most soothing & comforting of foods.

And with good butter like my Butter making buddy Naomi's slathered all over it.....sheesh.

It doesn't get better.

For those of you that want to play along I have started a hashtag on Instagram where everyone can post pics of their breadmaking.
Tag your loaf pics with #ggbreadrevolution
I have put a GALLERY of the pics over on the Right Hand side in the sidebar. Look what people have already made!
EXCITING!

Here is the link to the original NY TIMES no knead bread recipe.

Below is my interpretation.

GG's No Need to buy BREAD ever again recipe:
This is really just my retelling of the above linked to recipe for which I will forever be eternally grateful.
After years of WISHING I could master sourdough and failing and hearing every now & then about this bread recipe, I finally did it.
And my kids LOVED it.
We all did.
I have memorised the recipe and have worked out the timing so that when today's loaf is doing it's final prove I am making the fresh dough for tomorrow's loaf.
Here it is:
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 3 cups Organic White Flour (buy the best flour you can afford- it definitely will give you a better result)
  • 1 5/8ths cup water- (this measurement from the original recipe is confusing everyone-it is JUST over 1 1/2 cups!)
  • 1/4 (yes ONLY a QUARTER) teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
METHOD:
Place all ingredients into a large bowl.

using the fingers of one hand spread apart sift the ingredients through your fingers till they are amalgamated. Messy and stringy but amalgamated.

THAT IS IT!!! ALL the work you have to do is now DONE!!!

Cover with cling wrap and leave for 14- 18 hrs. 

(this is when the magic happens- the yeast activates and brings the dough to life, the activity over these hours is doing ALL the work that you AREN'T- I mean AWESOME or AWESOME?!!!)

Flour the bench, remove the dough (it will be quite wet- this is fine) and fold in the sides onto the top (it will look weird, DON'T PANIC).

Turn over onto the floured bench, cover lightly with cling wrap & leave it to sit for 15 minutes.

Dust a cotton tea-towel well with flour.

Shape dough into a ball and place onto floured tea-towel.

Dust dough surface with flour and cover with another tea-towel.

Let prove for 2 hours (this is when I make tomorrows new dough).

When 1 1/2 hours have elapsed pop a cast iron pot (without the lid) into the oven and turn it up to 245C.

After half an hour remove pot (carefully!!) from oven and transfer the dough into the pot so that the messy underneath is actually facing up- it will create a lovely top to your loaf.

Pop the lid on the pot and place back into hot oven  for 30 minutes.

Now remove the lid for the last 15.

Remove bread from pot onto a wire rack.

And now listen carefully.......

Can you hear it talking to you?

The cracking?

It's actually clapping at your aceness and the fact that YOU made REAL bread.

You really really DID!!!

Go YOU!!!!

It's alive!

And DELICIOUS.

and I bet it won't be the last time you bake bread.

xxxx
#ggbreadrevolution
I HAD to post this song didn't I?!
Indulge me........






20 comments :

  1. Kate Henderson20 March 2013 00:30

    Nice looking bread! You can also make no knead sourdough, it is pretty much done the same way, just add some starter!

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  2. I will definintely give it a go. I have tried bread lots of times too without much success. This looks like a winner.

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  3. I LOVE this bread. Hubby makes it here, and we use organic spelt, or a combination of spelt and bread flour. Best. Bread. Ever.

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  4. I don't like taking pleasure in others failures but I am SO glad to hear I'm not the only one who has failed at sour dough! I too have tried many a time to make a starter, which took a few goes to get right only to have the bread turn out....lets just say not great :(
    Like I said on IG, as soon as I can eat bread again I'm going to give this a go. I miss bread...

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  5. I was given this no knead recipe by a friend last year after tasting his amazing efforts. I could not believe it when I recreated a similar result in my kitchen. I didn't use any fancy flour, just normal plain flour. I was so thrilled with the end product that I took snaps and sent them to my children who all took pride in what I had made. As I live an hour from a shop that sells decent bread, I feel that now I can have my bit of luxury without leaving home.

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  6. Your bread posts on IG lately have made me so happy!

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  7. MotherDownUnder24 March 2013 23:42

    I am one of the private accounts who has been posting to your Instagram feed...silly me...I always forget that I am private!
    Anyway, I am a long time fan of this recipe!
    I don't make it often enough...I am always so pleased with it and amazed at how easy it is when I do make it...and then I wonder why I don't make it all the time!
    Have you tried making it with other flours? Like wholemeal or spelt?


    This is a great project!
    Like you said there is NOTHING better than good bread!

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  8. Ciara Brehony25 March 2013 00:56

    When I just had two children, I made all our bread. A mix of brown soda or yeasted white. My motto was from the slow food movement: If you don't have time in your life to bake bread, then something is wrong. Then I had two more children, and oh my.... :-D
    So, now I am officially on the other side of babyhood, the youngest now being six, and all, I feel ready to get back to bread making again, because we all miss it!
    Thank you, Ruth, you are just the inspiration I need, I'll be posting my results. Once I have this house move out of the way.... xxx

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  9. I am totally inspired. Off to make my first batch now. Love your revolution :) It's born from the staff of life.

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  10. 5/8ths of a cup of water equals approximately 156ml or 156 grams :-)

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  11. Two of my favourite presents from my mum are Elizabeth David – "English Bread and Yeast Cookery" and "Crust" by Richard Bertinet.

    We lived in Africa till I was 7yo and home made bread is a fond childhood memory.

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  12. Thank you - we have just started our first loaf... a few hours in to the process and already excited about the possibilities (the enthusiasm of a five year old can be infectious!). You are a star xo

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  13. you inspired me to finally do this - i bought a chausseur pot, got out the NY times recipe + this blog post and did it. amazing!! every weekend !!

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  14. I really, really want to do this but I'm gluten-free. Any ideas on how to modify the recipe?

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  15. I must have done something wrong.... The flavour is good, but it didn't seem to rise or prove correctly. It is denser than damper.... :( Might give it one more go - might not....

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  16. Wow, I can't wait to have a try at this. Actually read about your clever recipe/method on Iron Chef Shellie's blog. Awesome!

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  17. I cannot wait to get stuck into this bread! Now that I'm home, it's top of my list. I saw your IG pic a while ago and died a thousand deaths xx

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  18. Must be done with Ma Baker playing. Must.

    Thank you for this, super-easy recipe! I've made bread before. But I'm excited to try something so uncomplicated.

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  19. Thank you so much for this recipe! I am have just mixed up my third loaf! Each time I have added sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds and chia seeds to the mix and it has worked beautifully! Next week I'll be experimenting with rye flour. It's just amazing to be able to make such dense beautiful bread at home, thank you!

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  20. what size of cast iron pot do I need? and is there any way I can bake it without a cast iron pot?

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