Tag: Bread

Rustic Bread: Great bread with almost no work!

Rustic Bread: Great bread with almost no work!

I am grateful to Bob Scrofani for pointing out this simple bread recipe published on YouTube as Rustic Bread by “Flavors of Spain in the Southwest.” This is an experience report on how I did it and how you can, too.

The recipe is embedded in the video and in the comments, and it assumes you have a kitchen scale. There are hundreds of reasons to have one around, but I give the U.S. measure equivalents as well. The recipe uses all-purpose flour, and I use King Arthur for this. The cup/weight equivalent may vary for other flours.

This recipe takes very little work, but a bit of time, include 4 episodes of folding, 20 minutes apart. and a slow 12 hour rise.

  • 1000 g all purpose flour (7 ¾ cups)
  • 20 g salt (1 Tb plus ¼ tsp)
  • 1/8 tsp yeast (they suggest 1 g, but yeast particles vary a lot between vendors)
  • 780 ml water (26 oz) at 80˚
  • A plastic storage container (with lid) that holds at least 12 cups.

You will also need either a 4 qt cast iron Dutch oven or an equivalent casserole dish. We used a 2.5 quart Corningware casserole dish, and it was plenty big enough. Our storage container held 21 cups, and the dough never rose more than halfway inside the container.

  1. Weigh out the flour in the storage container, and add the salt, yeast and water. Mix with your gloved hand. You can try a wooden spoon, but it doesn’t pick up the flour along the bottom as well. Mix until all the dough is cohesive. Cover for 20 minutes.

2. After 20 minutes, you can begin folding the dough over itself inside the container until it is together in the middle. Try to stretch it each time you pick up a corner. You can do this best with a moistened hand. Cover for another 20 minutes.

stretch

3. Repeat folding after 20 minutes

4. Repeat folding the 4th time after another 20 minutes.

5. Cover and allow to proof/rise for 12 hours. If you can’t bake it at that time, refrigerate the dough, covered until you can.

6. When you are ready to begin baking, put the casserole or Dutch oven into a 475˚ F oven to heat.

7. Turn out the dough on flour board and divide it into two. Fold and stretch each one into a ball, and put each ball in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let it rise for an hour.

8.  Remove one dough ball and flour it. Take out the baking dish and cover. Lay one dough ball into the disk, cover it and put immediately into the oven.

9. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes.

in casserole10. Remove the bread to a cooling rack. Make sure it is done by tapping on the bottom. You should hear a hollow sound. Be sure to let the dough cool at least 30 minutes.

11. Reheat the baking dish and cover in the oven and bake the second loaf the same way.

Even after all this baking and cooling, it is possible that the bread may be slightly damp.   I suggest you slice it half an hour ahead of dinner to make sure the slices dry out.

sliced

If you have left-over bread, you can make it into very good toast. In fact, you can slice the whole loaf, freezing the slices and take out a few for toast any time you want.

toast

 

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Easy crusty white bread without kneading

Easy crusty white bread without kneading

This King Arthur recipe is a lot of fun and just about no work. We didn’t create it but we did make it twice and take some pictures to show you how easy it is. Basically, you mix the ingredients and let them rise in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Shorter will develop a little less flavor. Longer and it tastes like sourdough. There’s no real work involved.

We were worried about finding a container that would hold the rising flour and still fit in our fridge. You want one of about 5 quart capacity, and we found a Rubbermaid 21-cup storage container that more than fit the bill.

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 lb (32 oz) of flour
  • 1 Tb salt
  • 1 ½ Tb (1 packet) instant yeast

weighingFor this quantity of flour, you really need to weigh it out on a kitchen scale, because the volume varies a lot with how you scoop out the flour. KA says it is 6 ½ to 7 ½ cups of flour. May be, but weighing it is so much easier. Then you just dump it into a mixer bowl with the other ingredients and stir it up. KA says the flour-liquid ratio is important for this to work. You should end up with a thick, sticky batter, not a dough.

Mix all the ingredients in a mixer bowl or by hand and scrape the batter into the refrigerator container.5 days later

Let it rise, covered, at room temperature for two hours.

2 hr rise

Then put it in the refrigerator for several days.  We tried 5 days one time and 6 days the next. The dough will rise and then fall in the fridge. Don’t worry. This is normal.

When you are ready to make the bread, put an empty metal pan on the lowest shelf and a baking stone on the upper shelf, and preheat the oven to 450° F while you form a loaf.

18nozTo make a loaf, sprinkle the dough with flour so you can pick it up and weigh out 18-19 oz of dough for a loaf. KA suggests as little as 14 oz, but that really makes a small loaf.

 

 

Plop the dough onto a floured board and form it into a ball or cylinder.

Transfer it to a piece of baking parchment, and let it rise for an hour. It will probably spread out, but this is normal.

rolled outrisen

We never knew you could put baking parchment directly on the baking stone, but this works well and avoids messy flour and cornmeal on the bread.

At the last minute, cut a couple of slashed in the loaf with a sharp knife or a razor blade. You can see these slashed in the final baked product.

Then, open the oven and slide the dough onto the baking stone with a baking peel or a flat baking sheet. Pour a cup of hot water into the metal pan to form steam, and quickly close the oven.

oven water

Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the bread and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it.

loaf

The result is hot delicious crusty bread for dinner.

KA credits the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day for the inspiration for this recipe.