I’m not sure about you, but I was feeling a bit left out of the club!
Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic many people have either been laid off (hopefully just temporarily) or have had to close their businesses to control the spread. I am one of the lucky ones in that my 40-hour work week has remained, with only some minor changes to my schedule. However, it did mean that while everyone else was discovering the joys of breadmaking, i.e. different starters and best methods, albeit when flour and yeast were available, I was stuck in front of my computer screen!
A little Pinterest research later I found a No-Knead Bread recipe that claimed it was “crazy easy”! And it was! Four ingredients, mix them up, leave them overnight to do their thing and then the next day make it into a ball, stick it in a dutch oven, cook it for 45 minutes and ta da – homemade artisan bread!
But one thing still peeved me. The flavour was great, the texture was wonderful, the making of the recipe had been a success, so what was the problem? Well have you tried toasting the middle slice of a round loaf without having to cut it in half first or without trying to toast both ends so that you end up burning the middle and setting the fire alarm off? No? Me neither!
So the next time I made the bread, when it came to shaping it into a ball I tried to make it an oblong instead and used my lasagna dish to cook it in. The result was better but the slices were still not toaster friendly.
And then I came across this No-Knead Bread hack. Instead of shaping into a ball, flatten it a little, then fold it in 3 and stick it in a [greased] traditional loaf pan.
So far it looks like it may have worked. 🙂 It looks like a normal loaf and should fit in my toaster no problem and will be easier to cut as it won’t be wider than my bread knife. This could turn out to be a complete success and it may be one thing I don’t have to buy at the grocery store anymore. (Sorry Pemberton Valley Supermarket). Of course, the proof (no bread pun intended) will be in the eating!
(Makes 1 loaf)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1.5 cups warm water
In a bowl, stir the flour, salt, yeast and water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 8-24 hours.
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface.
- Sprinkle a little more flour over the top of the dough and knead the dough just two or three times until the flour is incorporated and the dough is no longer bubble-gum sticky.
- Flatten into a Rectangle – Use your fingertips to gently flatten into a rough rectangle. If the dough is sticking to the counter, sprinkle a little flour underneath. Try not to use too much flour, though, or else you’ll have trouble getting the dough to stick to itself once you shape it.
- Place the shaped loaf into a greased bread pan and let it rise until it’s just starting to crest over the rim of the pan.
Turn on the oven to 450° to pre-heat about 20 minutes before baking.
Just before baking, rub a little flour into the surface of the loaf and cut a slash or two with a serrated knife.
Bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes, turning them once halfway through so they bake evenly. The loaf should be golden-red with a few toasted brown spots. Shake out of the pan and tap the bottom with your knuckle – if it sounds hollow, it’s done! If you’re not sure, check the internal temperature. Bread is done when the centre registers 190°.
Cool before slicing (and slathering with butter!).