A few months ago I was at Jen’s place for dinner and ate the most delicious, fresh, crusty and soft slice of bread (followed by another…. and another). I was incredibly impressed to learn that it was home-made!
I am a great lover of bread……. in fact if I were on death row my last supper request would almost certainly involve some fresh crusty bread slathered in butter (followed by a baked pumpkin savoury tart, home-made ice-cream, crispy royal gala apples and a wheel of brie!). Due to my vast bread eating experience I think I am a pretty good judge and Jen’s bread was awesome!
Of course I insisted she teach me how to make it myself. I always imagined home-made bread to be an incredibly difficult challenge, and having tasted many not-so-perfect home-made loaves I never thought to bother trying myself. Amazingly Jen’s method is the easiest ever and pretty much fool proof. She basically follows the method outlined on the website Steamy Kitchen http://www.steamykitchen.com/168-no-knead-bread-revisited.html with a few little tweaks to her taste.
I have now also perfected the white crusty loaf using this method with a couple of my own variations. Basically I mix 3 cups of bakers flour, 1/4 teaspoon of dry yeast and 1 1/2 cups of water together. I cover that and leave it on the bench to rise overnight. In the morning I turn it onto a floured surface and fold in the sides then wrap loosley in a floured tea towel. About an hour later I pre-heat the oven and a casserole dish on 230 degrees. I then bake covered for 30 minutes (others will bake uncovered for another 10mins or so to get an extra crunchy crust!). It is so simple, honestly the greatest challenge is to resist eating the entire loaf fresh from the oven…..
I am now attempting to widen my skills to multigrain, wholemeal and other variations. Anyone have any tips? My first attempt at multigrain was a disaster!