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'.
Here we are.
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.
Just the best ingredients you can afford.
See how great it feels to make something so magnificent out of 4 basic ingredients.
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!
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
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?
It's actually clapping at your aceness and the fact that YOU made REAL bread.
You really really DID!!!
and I bet it won't be the last time you bake bread.