If you are afraid to bake your own bread, try this bread. It’s fabulous and it will be gone quickly. It’s no fail. It’s no knead. And, you can put your own spin to it. I did by adding in chopped rosemary. The no knead bread has a crusty crust and soft inside. It’s memorable. I’ve made this bread a lot and have come up with some tips I think will be helpful.
My baking tips:
- Invest in a pizza peel and baking stone. You can use a seasoned cast iron skillet if you don’t have a baking stone.
- Use lots of corn meal.
- Brush each loaf with egg white before baking to get a nice golden tone. Add a little sugar to the dough. I’m not sure why, but it seems to make a difference in flavor, and I got used to that from a french bread recipe I used to make.
- Don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour to form the bread.
- Vary the types of loaves you make. The book shows a boule (a round loaf) in the master recipe, but you can shape baguettes or rolls. Don’t forget t the cup of water on a tray in the oven for steam.
- Spray the oven with a water bottle after you put bread in oven. This creates steam. And, don’t forget to put the cup of water in a baking dish in oven to keep that steam going. This is the secret to the crustiness.
- Use different types of flour. White whole wheat is an excellent choice.
- Add olives, or finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary is our favorite). Top the bread with cinnamon sugar before baking for a great breakfast treat. The dough will stay in the fridge for up to two weeks. I have taken the dough from the master recipe and rolled flat to make a simple flat bread.
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (1-1/2 packets)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
- 6-1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour, measured with the scoop-and-sweep method
- 2 tablespoons sugar (my addition, not in original recipe)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary (optional)
- Cornmeal for pizza peel
- Mix in large bowl with a wooden spoon. Allow to sit for at least 2 hours.
- Shape into loaves. Allow to rise for 40 minutes minimum.
- Using plenty of flour, make slices into bread using a serrated knife.
- This is when I brush away the flour and use egg white so bread bakes a golden brown.
- Bake in hot oven in shelf in middle, 450 degrees on baking stone for 25 minutes.
- Place bread in oven. Shut door. Open door and put one cup of water onto a tray that has been placed on any other shelf. Follow up with spraying sides of oven with water bottle.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting.
There are two great books on Five Minute Bread by Jeff Hertzbert and Zoe Francois, and I highly recommend them. Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and Healthy Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
Now tell me, are you ready to bake some bread?