baking bread

no knead bread

17th February 2019

No knead bread gives a gorgeous, crusty loaf, with very little hands-on time. The use of a dutch oven (cast iron pot with a lid) creates a moist environment for the bread as it bakes, I use an old Le Creuset pot for this, however, I have read that an enamel, Pyrex or ceramic pot works just as well. The wet dough and long fermentation are the keys to success. The rough seam, when placed in the hot pot, creates unexpected beautiful results, so there is no need to slash or score the bread.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast.

Pour in the water.

Then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place.

With oiled hands, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball.

Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up.

After the second rise, take the preheated dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb.

no knead bread

Preparation – 15 hours

Serves 8

ingredients

3 cups/390g unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp/2g dry yeast

1¼ cups/275g warm water

preparation

1.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast, pour in the water, then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

2.  Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place. The slow fermentation is the key to flavour.

for the second rise

3.  With oiled hands or a bowl scraper, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball. I like to gently lift up the dough as I fold it over so that the dough is being stretched.

4.  Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

5.  About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up. It may be cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic.

6.  Once your dough has finished its second rise, take the dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

7.  Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

8.  Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

9.  Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb. It has a lovely crackling sound as it cools!

Enjoy!

suggestions

  • Cover the proofing basket in a heaped tablespoon of seeds (black and white sesame, flaxseeds & poppy seeds) before putting the bread inside.
  • If you think that your dough will be sitting out for a longer 24h period, then reduce the amount of yeast to a ¼ teaspoon. 

variations

  • Replace 100g of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
  • Replace the wheat flour with spelt flour. You may need to increase the amount of water because wheat absorbs more moisture.

red quinoa seeded spelt bread

4th January 2015

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red quinoa seeded spelt bread

Makes 1 medium round loaf/sandwich loaf.

Feel free to play with different flours.  I recommend using half white and the rest a combination of whole-spelt and/or whole-wheat, sometimes with half a cup of rye, barley or kamut flour.  I make this bread weekly, sliced thinly and toasted eaten with hummus, drizzled with olive oil or spread with avocado. I bake it in a bread loaf, other times as a free-form round loaf.  I love the dramatic addition of the of red quinoa which gives it a silky texture and nutty flavour.

quinoa 

¼ cup red quinoa

½ cup water

bread 

¾ cup water

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

¼ cup linseed/flax (If you are not adding linseed it is very important to lessen the water by ¼ cup, as the linseed soak up a lot of the moisture.)

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp molasses/maple syrup

1¼ tsp salt

1½ cups white spelt flour

1½ cups whole-spelt flour

1 tsp dried yeast

sunflower seeds, caraway and black sesame for the outside

preparation 

1.  Cook the quinoa, covered until the water had evaporated – set aside and allow to cool.  (I like to slightly undercook it by simmering gently with the lid off until the water has evaporated and then allowing it to sit covered until cool.)

2.  Prepare the dough, in the bowl of a standing mixer, add water, seeds, nuts, oil and sweetener.  On top of this add the flour, salt and yeast.  Do not mix. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix on low for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

3.  Add the cooked quinoa and mix until well combined.  If it looks too wet add 2 Tbsp more flour but keep in mind it should be sticky.

4.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a tea towel  – allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

5.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and with oiled hands knead the dough by pushing it down and over itself for a few minutes.

6.  If you are baking this in a loaf pan, then stretch the dough to a rectangle 20 x 25cm.  Roll tightly as if you were rolling a swiss roll, close the seam well by pressing the edges together.  Otherwise, for a free-form round loaf shape the dough into a ball.

7.  Brush with oil/ghee, lightly sprinkle with caraway, black sesame and sunflower seeds – cover lightly with a tea towel and allow to rise near a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

8.  Half an hour before the bread has risen, place a rack or baking stone in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 210C/410F.

9.  When the bread and oven are ready, bake for 35 -40 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool on a rack.

If you are unsure whether the loaf has cooked through, turn the oven off and let it sit in the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Once cooled, slice and enjoy with your favourite spread.

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