Saturday, 6 April 2013

Fresh bread, hot out of the oven

Because here in the forest, that's how we roll.

bread

Served with lashings of butter

Recipe
This bread is THE easiest bread you will ever make, because you don't have to knead it. It takes about 15 minutes of preparation time, just rises very slowly - rises twice for 6-8 hours each time. So yes, you need to plan ahead a bit, but ultimately, it’s almost no work at all, no kneading, but it takes a while. Worth it though!

Mix together thoroughly
- 1 & 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 scant tablespoon salt (good celtic or himalayan salt)
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast (yes, that's all)
- 1 cup all purpose flour - unbleached, organic white flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
(for the flour I've experimented with using spelt, rye, etc... some work better than others but they all seem to work, try what you like.)

Cover loosely & let sit 6 - 8 hours. Mixture should
be risen and possibly bubbly. It may have risen & fallen and be
sitting on top of a bed of liquid. This is called a "poolish". If you wish & you're able to, you can go on to the next step as soon as the poolish becomes bubbly, but it's all right to let it work till it gets to the "sitting on liquid" stage.

Add & mix well with spatula:
- 2 cups flour (For the basic recipe, I use half whole wheat & half unbleached white flour; you can experiment as you wish)
At this point you can add any ingredients you'd like:
herbs, seeds, nuts, olives, cheese, sun dried tomatoes, dried fruit and spices, chocolate chips, etc - be creative

Cover & let work till risen (6-8 hours or over night). At this point
the dough should be doubled in size and you should be able to see
large bubbles just below the surface.

You can bake the bread now, or delay baking by doing the following:
Sprinkle top & edges with 2 TBS flour & fold sides in to centre all the around the bowl. Fold the dough over a few times. Set aside for another 3 hours or so.
(If you don't have time to bake the bread at this point, you can
repeat this step. The flavour will develop further if you do, but
will still be good if you don't. I usually don't)

baking:
pre-heat oven to 260C. Bake the dough in a covered pot/ tin for 30 minutes. Then uncovered for 8-10 minutes at 230C. I usually line the tin with baking paper; works really well, and just cover with aluminium foil. 
(note that times may vary depending on the size of the bread - I often use this recipe to make rolls, but this time is about right for a "standard" loaf.

This is traditional baking at its best - the minimal yeast and slow rise time make for a better bread, without the need for chemical bread improvers or loads of yeast. super super easy, and super super yummy.

1 comment:

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