“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”
You NEED to try this Super Simple Bread Recipe
You are going to love making this bread!
I know you’re skeptical, your disbelief is emanating through the screen but hear me out. Most bread IS in fact rather fussy and difficult and requires a lot of crazy specifics like temperatures, weighed ingredients and technique that can take years to perfect but not this one! No kidding.
I haven’t bought a single loaf of bread since figuring this method out. NOT ONE!
Making this 18-hour no-knead bread was in fact, a remedy to the frustration I was feeling while learning to make sourdough bread, including creating wild yeast! I’m getting pretty good at it, but unlike this recipe, sourdough IS a lot of work and can be quite frustrating at times. I have an entire journal almost completely full of notes I’ve been keeping on the subject. I won’t likely try to convince you to work on that particular skill here on Be Still & Eat as it flies in the face of all the things I promise you’ll find on these pages… like keeping it simple.
But THIS bread is soooooooo simple and foolproof and DELICIOUS and you don’t need a single specialty item, ingredient or even skill set!
Bread flour is available in every grocery store, as is instant yeast. You’ve already got measuring cups, spoons and salt. And since you’re reading this and thus have access to the internet, I’m gonna go ahead and assume you also have access to water.
That crazy looking thing is a Danish dough whisk which while handy it’s not necessary. I happen to have a weakness for obscure kitchen items like this but a spoon, spatula, whisk or your hands will do the job very nicely indeed.
And finally a dutch oven, you know that super heavy cast iron pot in flame orange that you inherited from your great grandmother when you left for uni? Yeah, that one… if you’ve got a cast iron pan with a lid that’ll work too. The key is that you need something that can withstand high temperatures and has a tight-fitting lid. This creates the steam necessary to give you that nice crispy crust.
The only thing I will say on the matter is that your dutch oven MAY go from looking like this…
… to this, and yes I do clean it, rather vigorously I might add!
I’m going to take you through the steps to PROVE to you how simple it is;
1. Measure bread flour into a medium bowl (I’ll go into detail about flour options open to you in the recipe section)
2. Add instant yeast
3. Add salt
4. Add water (whatever temp happens to come out of the tap… no kidding)
5. Mix well. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for approximately 18 hours. (I put it into the microwave with a note on the door reminding people to replace if removed. The deal is you’re trying to keep it a relatively constant temp for the 18 hours.)
6. At about the 18-hour mark generously flour a length of parchment paper and plop your (VERY WET) dough onto the parchment. I dampen my hands to help release the dough without too much tearing.
Now you’re going to flour the top of the dough and your (now dry) hands to shape the dough and create a bit of tension on the surface. You accomplish this by cupping your hands around the lower edges of the dough and gently pulling it toward you, tucking, shifting and spinning it a bit as you go.
You’ll notice the top is starting to look sort of tight. Once you’ve created a bit of tension, fold the parchment over and tuck it underneath creating a little envelope. You can now wrap it in a tea towel and pop it back into the microwave. Set your timer for 90 mins.
7. At the 90 min mark, preheat your oven with dutch oven in it to 450°. Set timer for 30 mins.
8. Once the 30 mins has expired, take your now twice risen dough out of the microwave unwrap the tea towel, open the parchment and trimming much of it away leaving only enough to hold during transfer in and out of super hot dutch oven.
This bit is optional but recommended – score the top of the loaf. I use a very sharp pair of scissors and give it a little slice, but get creative if you want! I also like to salt the top with this really gorgeous Black Icelandic Salt. Regular old salt works too, but make sure it’s coarse or you won’t see it.
9. Carefully (I don’t mean to get all “Mummy” on you but seriously) take the dutch oven and its lid out of the oven and plop the boule and its parchment right into the dutch oven. Cover tightly and stick it in your pre-heated oven. Set your timer for another 30 mins.
10. At the 30 min mark, you’ll want to remove the lid and cook it for another 10 mins or so to get a really nice golden finish.
11. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. It is STRONGLY suggested that you don’t cut into it NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING for at least an hour. If you can’t control yourself, you run the very likely risk of creating a gummy texture to the crumb.
And now you can call yourself an artisanal bread maker!
Enjoy & Namaste!
- 1½ cups white bread flour
- 1 cup whole wheat bread flour
- ½ cup dark rye flour
- **This is where you can mess around a bit with flour choices, for example, I've tried 1 cup white bread flour, 1 cup ww bread flour, ½ cup dark rye & ½ cup
spelt. I've listed the above as it's my favouritecombination. I've also added parmigiana cheese chunks and fresh herbs. Get creative!**
- ¼ tsp instant dry yeast (I buy the stuff in the small jar and keep it in the fridge - very reliable)
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups tap water
- OPTIONAL - coarse salt to finish before baking
- Combine flours, yeast,
- Mix well
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside somewhere it will remain a relatively constant temperature - I choose the microwave and put a sign on the door reminding people to return it should it be removed which has proven successful.
- After about 18 hours you will have a very puffy and very wet dough.
- Generously flour a length of parchment paper and using dampened hands remove from dough to the parchment. Wash and dry hands then flour the top of the dough and your hands.
- Begin shaping the loaf into a boule shape by cupping your hands around the lower part of the dough where it meets the parchment, gently tuck and spin. You will be creating a bit of tension on the top of the dough.
- Loosely wrap the parchment around the dough and further wrap loosely in a tea towel. Pop it back into
microwave. Set timer for 90 mins
- When 90 mins
expiresput dutchoven and its lid into a cold oven and preheat to 450°. Set timer for 30 mins.
- When 30 mins
hasexpired, removed dough and carefully unwrap trimming away much of the parchment leaving only enough to use as hand holds to transfer in and out of dutchoven.
- Pop into
preheateddutch oven and cover tightly. Back into oven covered for 30 mins
- Remove lid after 30 mins and bake for a further 10 mins until gorgeous golden brown
to coolCOMPLETELY on a cooling rack