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Monday, October 18, 2010

You knead to..

try this bread recipe. It's called no knead bread and it's been around for some time now. I have always wanted to try it, so I did. Everyone thinks bread is difficult to make and requires a lot of nurturing and special equipment. This might be if you wanted a nice sliced square loaf but if all you need is a rustic European type of bread then it's a whole different ballgame. You can be quite rough with it and have a more daring approach without expecting your venture to turn out like a rock. This recipe has only 4 ingredients but the most important one is completely free, it's called time. This bread takes almost 16 hours to make, wait!! don't scoff and mouse on over to the top right corner. To actually make the dough takes about 3 minutes and the rest of the time it rests until the last few hours before it hits the oven. I added fresh rosemary to the dough but the possibilities are endless, you could try adding olives or cheese with chile's, maybe some dried fruits and brown sugar and cinnamon, fresh herbs. The house smelled amazing and it was gone that night along with some great cheese and wine, perfect......

The base recipe is courtesy of The Amateur Gourmet,

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (Trader Joes, 3 pack for 99cents and this will make about 75 loaves)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1.5 cups of water

Mix all the dry stuff into a large size bowl, it's going to rise and then add the water,semi warm and mix roughly with your hands. Cover and leave for at least 12 hours or more if you can. After that turn out the dough onto a well floured work surface and roughly turn into itself to form a ball, cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Spread a clean towel with cornmeal and sit the dough on top. More corn for the top of the dough and another towel to cover. Leave for another two hours. Mean while 30 minutes before the two hour mark, turn on the oven to 450 and put in your dutch oven/Pyrex/ceramic dish and lid and let it get hot in the last 30  minutes. I used the inside part of a crock pot which for me is ceramic. At 2 hours pull out the dish and plop the dough in, lid goes back on and in the oven for 30 minutes. Take of the lid and bake for another 20 - 30 minutes until nice and golden. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes and listen to it crackling and popping as it cools, then eat with some good cheese, butter or olive oil.

After the first mix. The dough will be really sticky and seem like it's hard to manage,remember this bread is very rustic, don't worry!

 12 hours later, if the wrap looks like its going to explode, just prick a small hole in it to release the gas

 Ready for the towel

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