So Back to the story of this bread. I was looking at the recipe on Frugal Living NW This is a great blog by the way. Spend some time there you'll find a lot to interest you. The original recipe came from My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey
My husband likes hard crusty bread, I do not. But, he eats a lot more bread than I do so that is the kind of bread we have most around the house. I make Sourdough Walnut Cranberry Bread for him a couple times a month and he will eat it every morning for breakfast. I bake it in clay pots.
The photo above shows the dry ingredients all mixed together and then the water added. As I wanted to experiment a little with the flour, I changed the recipe to 3 cups Spelt and 3 Cups all-purpose flour and
This photo shows what it looks like all mixed together. It's very moist and sticky. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 12 to 18 hours. This is great to start in the afternoon and let rise in a warm dry place overnight. As it is so cold here right now I turned on the oven light and sat it in my oven. Notice the boxes behind my bowl? They are my industrial size boxes of foil and plastic wrap. As I use them almost daily I grew tired of digging them out of the cabinet so I covered them with scrapbooking paper to match my kitchen. Sooooo much cuter than the original boxes.
The extra moisture in my mixture did make a denser loaf. My husband gave it a 7 1/2 out of 10 and said he will definately eat it as sandwich bread. This is one of the easiest ways of making bread outside of the bread machine.
slightly adapted from Jim Lahey's, My Bread
6 cups bread flour (recommended) or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 t. instant or active-dry yeast
2 1/2 t. salt
2 2/3 c. cool water
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
- Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.
- Generously dust a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises; place dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. Cover with the edges or a second cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
- After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove top towel from dough and slide your hand under the bottom towel; flip the dough over into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
- Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes, until the crust is a deep chestnut brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200 degrees. You can check this with a meat thermometer, if desired.
- Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.