Friday, February 21, 2014

Honey Mama’s No-Knead Artisan Style Bread

For a rich, crusty bread that is easy to make and yields impressive results given the level of effort it takes, the “no knead” artisan style bread recipe is a “must have” for if you love the taste of fresh bread but aren't a fan of the working the dough over.  All you need is a large mixing bowl, a spoon, and plastic wrap and about five minutes and your dough is finished.  A cast iron dutch oven is preferred but any covered baking dish will suffice. 


"Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all."
- Nelson Mandela


Honey Mama's No Knead Artisan Style Bread 

3 C All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour + additional for step 4. 
1 5/8 C Warm Water (100-110 F)
1/4 t Yeast 
2 tsp. Honey
1 1/4 tsp. Redmond Real Salt  
Cornmeal
Cold-Milled Ground Flax

  1. Combine water, honey or maple syrup, and yeast in a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. Add in flour and salt and stir until combined.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm area, 70 F is the
    “ideal” temperature and let sit for 14-20 hours.  I use a sharpie and note the time the dough should be ready the following day.  
  4. Lay out a clean dish towel, a clean flour sack type cloth is ideal.  Sprinkle the towel with flour and remove the dough from the bowl.  Pick up one side of the towel slightly and roll the dough over, repeat on the other side.  Do this a few times then using a spray bottle filled with water (or a cup of water and your fingers or a spoon to drizzle a small amount of water on the loaf).  Then sprinkle ground cornmeal and ground flax over the top of the loaf.  Let rise in a warm location for 2 hours.  
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 F WITH a dutch oven (lid on).  When the dough and oven are ready slide the dough into the pan.  Some people do seam side up (which is the opposite of standard bread making) but I usually do the seam side down which makes the transfer a little more delicate.  Cover the dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes; resist the urge to “check in” with your loaf. 
  6. Remove the dutch oven lid and return the bread to the oven for an additional 10-20 minutes.  The dough should sound hollow when you tap on the bottom.
  7. Cool, slice and enjoy.
    "To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread." 

"To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread."
 James A. Baldwin

Tips: If you do not have a cast iron dutch oven an enamel baking dish with lid, or similar will work.  I prefer Redmond Real Salt, but any old salt will do.

"Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread." 
- Pablo Neruda 

Word of Caution: If you are on a gluten-free diet and you decide to make this bread for your family you may find yourself in the kitchen holding the beautiful perfect loaf of bread in your hands like Gollum holds The Ring in Lord of the Rings, chanting "My precious!".  It is simply that good.


Coming Next Week: Grandma's Milk Bread Dinner Rolls, another gluten-filled delight! 


"Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter." 
James A. Garfield