[this is why I love writing this site – I can put anything on it!]
I’m no baker. I’m no chef. I like my food – anyone who knows me will tell you that.
I don’t like to complicate food. I don’t like to put a lot of effort into food.
Heck, even peeling an orange often pulls my culinary muscles.
I don’t really try to eat healthy. I eat what I like and if that has a few good ingredients in it all the better.
Generally, in my life, I try to do what makes sense.
I have a Soda Stream, because the syrup is better for you than most big-label drinks. Things like that.
I eat bread. I like bread. I’ve been known to go through an entire loaf all too easily.
Have you looked at what is in store-bought bread though?!
In (straight-up, sandwich) bread there should be 4 things. Flour, salt, yeast and water. Simple and not too unhealthy.
However, all of the added “extras” that are in off the shelf bread might just turn your stomach. Yes, they’re there to preserve the bread. Do you want those preservatives in your system though?
I’ve thought about making bread before. Growing up, Dad had a bread machine. He’d come up with a variety of tasty mixes.
I don’t have a machine and I really didn’t want to put that much effort into it.
After asking around a little and getting some advice from more experienced bakers (thank you, Brett) I got the encouragement I needed.
I looked up a recipe for “No Knead Bread: so easy a 4 year old can make it!”, went with that and maybe made it easier still. Possibly even with quite an edible outcome.
At least, I like it and I’ve been told by others that it’s good. It even resembles bread!
Here’s how I did it:
- 3 cups of Bread Flour
- 1tsp of Salt
- Quarter tsp of instant yeast
- One and a Half cups of warm water
* Stir everything together in a large bowl. It seems it would be somewhat sticky.
* Leave the bowl and dough overnight (or 8 – 10 hours) somewhere fairly warm and dry – covered.
* Visit your bowl to find your dough a little larger.
* Wet your hands (stops it sticking to you) and fold the dough a few times. I like to think of this as the “kneading” part. Just roll it around and fold it over and over for a minute or two.
* Let your pan sit (covered) for a couple of hours – at least 2 seems to work.
* Come back to find your dough actually growing in the pan.
* Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (honestly, who does that?) and throw the pan in got about 35 minutes.
* Take it out and brush the top with a little butter and throw it back in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes (thanks to Rose for that tip).
DONE! Tip it out, let it cool a little and eat it. Thick slices and lots of butter.
My first loaf wasn’t a fluke either – I made a couple more before I wrote this. I’ve even gone so far as to order bread bags and an actual bread knife for my future endeavors.
I’m thinking I won’t be making any fancy loaves yet, but with it being this easy, I don’t think I’ll be buying bread for a while.
Is it cost effective? Well, a bag of flour costs $3 or $4, the yeast is less than $2 (and you’ll get 15 loaves out of the yeast). So, I’d say that it works out less expensive, plus it’s healthier. Also – you made it!
Storage? I’m just using plastic-wrap. Brown paper bags work well, too.
Reheating? 30 seconds in the microwave works really well.
Give it a try – let me know how it works out for you.
Author: Andy Quayle
Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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