Remember my blog about our visit to Winchester and the old mill? We bought wholemeal flour at the mill and I wanted to bake bread with it. So I looked up a recipe for making bread.
Lets start by saying that this recipe is not mine. Bread is made for centuries with flour, salt, water and yeast. Nothing special but this is a no-knead recipe. And it is special. It was printed in the New York times some time ago and a lot of people copied it because it is the most forgiving bread recipe in the world. You cannot go wrong with it. Just follow the instructions. It takes 2 days to complete but look at the picture below. That is worth the wait.
Ingredients you need:
- 3 cups all purpose flour (I used wholemeal flour and that works too)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon rapid yeast (*)
- 1 1/2 cups water
This is how you make it:
- (*) If you use active yeast instead of rapid/quick yeast, add the active yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water (not hot), stir and leave it for 10 minutes.
- Mix in a large bowl the flour, salt and yeast.
- Add the water (1 1/4 cup in case you used active yeast) and mix until a mixture forms. It will be super sticky so it will stick to anything it comes in contact with. Thats why I mixed it with a spoon and not with my hands!
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours. Overnight works great. Do NOT put it in the refrigerator but put it in a warm place. Especially when you use active yeast it is important to have it stored in a warm place so the mixture can rise.
- Heat oven to 230 degrees and when it has reached this heat, place your cast iron pot with the lid in the oven. Heat the pot for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape it into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.
- Remove the hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. You do NOT need to oil the pot. I use a Creuset pan and I did not have any problems with the bread sticking to the pot. Dust a little bit of flour on the top. This will look nice at the end.
- Cover with the lid and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
I don’t have a picture after the 12 hour rest but it did double in size so make sure you use a large bowl.
This is the end result. Doesn’t that look gorgeous. When you put the dough into the pan, it looks like a mess and when you take of the lid, you have a masterpiece. Wow.