Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Amazing bread. Or at least really decent bread. Now with a small amount of knead.

There are various recipes out there for no knead bread. I have tried several, and like them, although I think not kneading bread dough affects the texture. So I have modified one of them, so that it's still super simple, but adds 3 or  minutes of kneading at the most.

Also. Cinnamon bread. Awesome and you can do it.

First the recipe. This one uses 2 1.5 quart pyrex bowls or the equivalent to bake the bread.

Easy Bread

2 tsp salt
4 cups or 1 pound 2 ounces flour.
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp yeast, or 1 packet

Preheat oven for one minute. Turn it on, then turn it off a minute later. Just warm enough to help the bread rise. Prep your bowls -- coat the inside of each 1.5 quart pyrex bowl with butter. Be generous, because it tastes good, and the bread will fall out of the bowl.

Mix salt, flour, sugar, and yeast. Add the water. Stir it together, dump it out onto a floured counter or board, and knead it until it's smooth. Or a couple minutes. Don't add a lot of flour, but use enough flour to keep it from sticking to every surface.

Divide the dough in 2, plop in the prepped bowls, and put it in the warm oven with a damp dishcloth over the top. Let it rise til about doubled, or at least an hour, preferably an one and a half to two hours (or if you forget like me, three or four hours).

Punch the dough down - just pick it up and handle it a little to make it deflate somewhat. Drop them back in the bowl, add a dab of butter on top, and let rise for half an hour
(it should be at the top of the 1.5 quart bowl). Preheat oven to 425.  Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for another 25 minutes. Tip out onto cooling rack and try to wait 10 minutes to cut into it.

Now the notes.

I use about 6-8 ounces whole wheat flour and the rest unbleached or bread flour. Apparently you are not supposed to have the salt mix directly with the yeast. I dunno, but I try not to dump the yeast right on the salt.  Lukewarm water is easy. Make it body temperature...if you stick your fingertip into it and can't feel the water (try it before you scoff), it's the right temp. I use regular sugar or sugar in the raw, doesn't matter.

Kitchen scales are your friends. I love mine, it's bright red and I got it at Costco for 20 bucks, I think. It's so much easier to put the mixing bowl on the scale, zero it out, and dump the flour into the bowl. So easy. And way less messy. (Also really helps me track my eating, which I am tracking with my FitBit. Amazing how few Kettle Potato Chips are in a serving. Good thing Mark is the one who likes those, not me.)

This recipe makes two cantaloupe-sized loaves of bread, and according to a recipe calorie calculator, if divided into 10 servings, it's 165 calories per serving.

And, when hot out of the oven, a smear of butter and a sprinkling of Sugar in the Raw on a slice of this bread makes a great dessert...The Sugar in the Raw has bigger grains than regular granulated sugar, so it's crunchy.

PS. My own personal PSA: Don't use margarine. Don't use highly processed foods at all. The amount of butter in this recipe is tiny. It amounts to a tablespoon for both loaves, if you butter the bowl and put about a teaspoon on top of the loaf before baking.

Tomorrow...super easy cinnamon bread. Same basic recipe, with some simple tweaks!

1 comment:

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