Friday, April 5, 2013

Bread Alone

I have never quite agreed with the line "man cannot live by bread alone." Certainly woman can, if it is good bread.

My aunt handed me a magazine a couple of weeks ago and said there was a bread recipe she thought I should test. It took me a little while to get around to it, but I am certain I'll be stirring this up again. Keith's reaction was, "I could eat this until I got sick." That's actually a compliment, people.

No-Knead Wholegrain Bread
adapted from MaryJanesFarm, Dec-Jan 2013

6 cups flour, plus a little extra for kneading (I did 2 cups of white and 4 of whole wheat)
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1/4 cup quinoa
2 teaspoons yeast (the original recipe called for just 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast but I often have trouble with dough rising so I ramp up the yeast, and I wasn't sure if "rapid rise" was the same as "instant")
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
cornmeal as needed

1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the cornmeal.

2. Add 3-4 cups of water and stir until blended. (The amount needed will vary, depending on the type of flour used. Start with 3 cups, and add more as needed.) Dough should be shaggy and sticky.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 12-18 hours at room temperature, 65-70˚F.

4. Preheat oven to 500˚F. Place covered pot in oven as it heats. (You could use a cast iron dutch oven; I used a 5-quart soup pot with a metal lid.)

5. While oven and pot are heating, lightly flour a work surface and scrape dough on the floured area. Sprinkle a bit of additional flour on to the dough (just enough so that it won't stick to your fingers) and fold the dough over itself a couple of times. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest until oven is done heating.

6. Once the oven is heated, remove the pot and sprinkle cornmeal in the bottom. Place the dough in the pot and set the lid on top. Bake for 35 minutes with the lid on. Remove lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes. When the bread is done, remove it from the pot and cool on a rack. (And remember, your pot is going to be very, very hot so use a spatula or something to get the bread out instead of trying to get your fingers under it. Just a friendly reminder from someone who thinks of these things after the fact.)

I am over-the-moon pleased with this bread. I think next time I make it I will divide the dough and do two loaves in a smaller pot because the dough will spread to fit your pot. This recipe made a massive loaf, about 14 inches across and 5 inches high in the middle. Want to see it one more time?

The photos alone may ruin an Atkins diet or two.

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