(Photo by Mark Luinenburg)
Baking bread was never my thing. I convinced myself it was too complicated until one day my neighbor Sarah from across the street brought me an Artisan loaf of bread she had just baked. Oh my word, it was amazing. This would be my first experience tasting no-knead bread but far from my last.
Since then I’ve been making beautiful, crusty, rustic no-knead bread for the last two years. To make the dough, all I do is mix a flour, yeast, salt, and water in a bowl with a spoon. It usually takes me about two minutes – no kneading required. Had I known how easy it was to make bread I would had never bought those expensive $5 Artisan loaves.
My method of preparing no-knead bread produces one loaf. But my friends Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, authors of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, developed a method of making a large batch of no-knead bread so you can pull a small section of dough off from the initial dough and bake it. This way you can make enough dough for four loaves in a few minutes and have bread all week long.
I had the pleasure of asking them a few questions about no-knead bread earlier in the week. I hope it motivates you to try this revolutionary process of making bread at home.
1. Some people may find baking bread time consuming and labor intense without having ever baked a loaf. Is baking bread hard or time consuming?
This is exactly why we wrote the book. I have been teaching baking classes for years and people would always tell me how they never bake bread because they are afraid of the yeast, or they just didn’t have time. Jeff and I wanted to take all of the intimidation out of bread baking and create a method that would be fast and easy enough to do every day.
2. How cost effective is to bake your own bread at home?
The ingredients for our stuff cost about 40 to 60 cents for a one-pound loaf. The ingredients are so basic, just flour, water, salt and yeast. We recommend some equipment for baking a great loaf of bread, but you can get started with nothing more than a loaf pan and a hot oven.
3. What tips do you have for baking with kids?
Start them young and by the time they are 10, they are baking the bread themselves. When my boys were really little I would give them a piece of dough and they would form it into Pokemon characters or monsters. Now that they are 10 and 12 years old they make pizzas all by themselves, with a little help getting them in the oven. They have even baked them for babysitters. Now I just need to work on the cleanup!
Great advice guys, thank you!
Here is the Master Bread recipe from their book. Enjoy!
Reprinted with permission from authors Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François