Nothing better than homemade bread!
Especially when it’s this easy to put together. It came out with a nice crispy crust and soft flavorful center. This recipe is also versatile. Turn this into a french bread by using all-purpose flour…or make it a whole wheat loaf. You can also replace the water with a vegan buttermilk (1 cup water + 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar). I can’t wait to play around a little more with this recipe. You can add herbs, spices or other ingredients like sliced onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, etc. making for an even more flavorful loaf. I’ve been on a caraway kick lately so I’ll be trying a loaf with some caraway seeds soon. This artisan loaf is great for sandwiches, toast & bread bowls…could even be used for a pizza crust.
This is the first of two breads I have planned…I will be posting a long rise version soon which is acclaimed by many to be the best. Here it is: No Knead Artisan Bread: Long Rise
A little about this recipe as taken from Mother Earth News…
‘The Master Recipe: ‘The artisan free-form loaf called the French boule is the basic model for all the no-knead recipes. The round shape (boule in French means “ball”) is the easiest to master. You’ll learn how wet the dough needs to be (wet, but not so wet that the finished loaf won’t retain its form) and how to shape a loaf without kneading. And you’ll discover a truly revolutionary approach to baking: Take some dough from the fridge, shape it, leave it to rest, then let it bake while you’re preparing the rest of the meal.’
The original recipe says it makes four one pound loaves. You can refrigerate the extra dough and pull some out when your ready to make another loaf. Shape it into a boule, or you can shape it into logs or braids. I cut this recipe in half for myself using it for one loaf. I have included my measurements below along with my choice of flours. I think using the whole wheat flours made it a bit denser. I’m looking forward to playing around with these two recipes until I get the variations perfected.
Be sure to check out the Mother Earth News link, it is full of ideas and information for this recipe and more.
NO-KNEAD ARTISAN BREAD: SHORT RISE
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
I used this halved recipe for loaves shown:
- 1/ 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons himalayan salt
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
In a very large mixing bowl combine the water, yeast and salt. If adding herbs, now is a good time…use a teaspoon or so of your favorite herbs or double if using fresh. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. Takes only a minute if that. You don’t need to knead, just mix…you’re not looking to make it come together into a dough ball. It will come together as it rises. You just want everything mixed well, no streaks of flour left…then your done.
Cover container loosely, I used a towel to cover. Let it rise and then fall a bit…may take anywhere from two to four hours depending on temperatures. I gave it three hours and moved on to the next step. At this point you can store any portion of your dough in the fridge or make your bread.
Dust your hands and flat surface with flour, or cornmeal, so it won’t stick. Take your dough, about the size of a grapefruit if only using a portion, and place it on the floured flat surface, gently pull the sides of the dough toward the bottom, rotating the dough until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface. You could just as easily do this in the palm of your hands without using a flat surface but I like the bottom to have some cornmeal/flour on it, this is a good time to get that in. Also, don’t worry if the bottom is a little bunched, it will flatten out upon the second rising.
Place your dough ball onto a flat surface lined with parchment paper (if not using parchment paper, place on flat surface dusted with cornmeal or flour), and let it rest for at least 40 minutes. No need to cover it. If the dough has been refrigerated, it helps to let it rest a little more, until it’s no longer chilled.
Twenty minutes before you’re ready to bake, put a cast iron skillet, pizza stone or large oven safe pot/skillet in the middle rack of your oven, this will be your baking utensil. Also place a rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan in the the bottom rack (this is for one cup of water that will be added later). Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dust some flour on top of your loaf, and slash the top about 1/4 inch deep cross, tick tack toe or scallop pattern (this helps the bread expand when baking while also giving it a rustic look).
After twenty minutes of preheating, it’s time to bake. Gently place your dough along with the parchment paper (if using) onto your preferred baking dish (I used a pizza stone). I have also used a large pot in the past. Once that’s done, quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the cookie sheet/roasting pan and close the oven door to keep the steam inside. Bake for about 30 – 40 min, until you get a nice brown crust. Remove and let cool.
The first loaves shown are made with my halved recipe, split in half to make two loaves, and uses all purpose and spelt flour mix. The second loaf shown is the same halved recipe making one loaf using whole wheat and spelt flour mix.
I love to toast my bread and top with almond butter and apple slices, pears or figs. When using hummus, I’ll add some fresh herbs, spices, cucumber or zucchini slices as well. You could also toast a few slices and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil instead of butters.
How ever you like it…enjoy!