Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fool proof, 5 minute, almost-no-knead bread

One thing I take great pride in, is the type of bread I feed my family. For a long time I only purchased artisan sourdough breads, but sadly our budget doesn’t stretch to $6 loaves of bread anymore. Ever since I learned about the Chorleywood bread process, I try to avoid factory made bread. Which really only leaves one option: make it myself.

Now for years I have wanted to make bread, but the lengthy timeline and kneading required really put me off. Recently a friend put me onto this recipe for no-knead bread, and it was revelation. This bread requires few ingredients, only 5 minutes TOTAL tending to it, and has flexibility with it’s timelines. I have refined the recipe a bit to make it work perfectly every time. It is that easy that anybody could have fresh made bread daily.

I recommend that you check out the original link, as she has photos, videos and lots of info (let’s face it, you are not going to get that here!).

This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread, or 1 loaf and 6 rolls, or 1 loaf and 2 pizza bases. It is so versatile, and saves even more time by allowing you to make the dough days before you need it.

Okay so my version….

Ingredients

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1.5 tbs of dried yeast*
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 6.5 cups bakers flour**

Method

  1. Measure all the ingredients into a large container with a lid. I use a decor cake container, and it’s perfect. The original recipe advises you punch a hole in the lid, but I find if there is a lot of gas the decor just pops it’s lid and it saves me ruining the container.
  2. Mix all the ingredients with a spoon, until they come together. It will look messy. At this stage I spend about 2 minutes giving it a very light knead. All I really do is bring all the ingredients into a neat ball, making it look more ‘mixed’. Have a butter knife handy to scrape the dough off your hands. Pop the lid on and put on the bench for 2 hours
  3. After the two hours you have options. If you need to leave the house you can put the container in the fridge until you need it. It will last up to 3 days. Otherwise, you can move straight onto the next step.
  4. The dough is very wet at this stage, so sprinkle some flour over the top, and over your hands. Pull the dough so you can cut it in half, then cut it with a sharp knife. Shape it into a log shape. I often do this by rolling it a little (like you would play dough), then just smoothing the ends. You really don’t need to fuss over it. Place it on a baking tray, lined with baking paper and leave for another 45mins
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut along the top of the loaf. They only need to be 2-4mm deep (Check out the picture below if you are not sure what I mean).
  6. Now here is where my method gets really quirky. Pop the bread into an oven at 180c for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes increase the temperature to 200c for 10 minutes, This is VERY unconventional, but I find it gives a perfect cooked inside, and a crust that the kids can still chew. Following the original instructions gave me a very doughy interior, and to get it cooked properly made the crust too hard. My method will give you perfect results every time.
  7. Wait for that bad boy to cool, and have the butter handy! Enjoy.

*Use an American tablespoon, which is only 15g. This is important

**You could use plain flour, but I find bakers flour gives a much better result. I buy a massive 25kg bag, and store it in the freezer. It makes it even more economical, and means I always have flour on hand.

I wrap the loaves in thick cotton tea towels while it is still a bit warm. Keeping it wrapped like this gives it an extra day or two before it goes hard. Just check it doesn’t sweat too much. You could also store it in a brown paper bag, but you will need to eat it quickly.

It truly is an easy, tasty, healthy bread to make. Trust me, if I can cook all my family’s bread with this recipe, so can you.

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It’s not the prettiest loaf, but it was super yummy (and it was there!)

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The cut bread, wrapped in the tea towel I store it in. The crumb in this bread varies a lot. This one is not my best loaf, but has a nice dry, light crumb.

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Filed under Recipes

A quick update

It’s been awhile since I lasted posted, so I thought I would give everyone a quick update, before I bomb you with posts all April. I’ve decided to take up a 30-day blog challenge, with the key goal of posting every day. There are so many things I want to post, so hopefully this is the inspiration to stop thinking about it and actually do it.

So, how are you feeling?

The funny thing about being so open about my post natal depression, is that everyone asks me this question is such a new way. It’s amazing how much tone and inflection can change a question! Anyway, to answer, I’m really good. A couple of months ago I had a crazy-bad set back, which saw me become almost as sick as I was at the start. In response to this my doc added a new medication, which has been fantastic for me. It’s totally changed my life around. I still feel a bit weird swallowing pills, when I’ve dedicated my life to natural medicine, but hey, sometimes a girl just needs to make these decisions. I was really resisting this drug, as its known to make people gain weight, but it has been so good for me. Any weight gain has been offset by my finally feeling like I can live healthily again.

I’m quitting sugar: take two

So you remember the resolve to quit sugar? Well that went really, really well. Until it didn’t. Christmas threw me a massive curve ball, by seeing my in-laws fridge stocked with 3 types of cheesecake and a few other assorted baked goods. My mother-in-law makes great cheesecake. I felt awful every time I ate sugar for about two months after quitting, but like all good addicts I kept at it (insert sheepish face here). I was never quite able to quit it again. Well the time is nigh, the motivation is at peak levels and tomorrow I go cold turkey again. While I have PMS. Please forgive me if I start¬†yelling obscenities at others; it’s the (lack of) sugar talking. Seriously though, I am really excited. You will probably hear a lot about this.

My babies are getting big. 

I now have a 3 year old and an 18 month old. How did that happen? I am still unwilling to advise anyone to have children close together (seriously, don’t do it!), but it is getting easier. I look forward to updating you on some of the cool things we are doing lately. A big addition to our family has been 6 laying hens. The girls adore them, and I adore producing another food in our own yard.

That’s it for now….

It’s time for me to sign off, and get some sleep. But stay tuned, and hopefully you will see a lot more posts soon.

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Filed under Post natal depression, Sugar free