Intimidated by baking your own bread? Aube Giroux of the Kitchen Vignettes blog shows you an easy, yet delicious, method for making bakery-quality bread at home.
- 3 cups flour + a little extra for dusting (I usually use 2 cups white unbleached flour and 1 cup of spelt or whole wheat)
- 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp cornmeal or semolina flour
- In a large mixing bowl, roughly mix all the ingredients together. The dough will be slightly wetter and stickier than regular bread dough. Cover the bowl with a lid or with plastic wrap and let it sit between 12 to 24 hours. (I find the results are best between 18 to 24 hours, the warmer your kitchen the faster the dough is ready). Your will know your dough is ready when it looks bubbly on top.
- Pick up the dough and roughly fold it over onto itself a few times. Put it back in the bowl. Cover and let sit for another 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, lightly coat a work surface with flour and quickly shape the dough roughly into a ball. Generously coat a clean cotton kitchen towel with flour. Line a bowl with this towel, floured-side facing up. Place the ball of dough, seam side down, into the bowl and sprinkle the top with flour. Cover it with another towel and let is rise for 2 hours. The dough should double in size and it and when you poke it with your finger, it should not spring back quickly.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 F for about 20 minutes before the bread is ready to go in, placing an empty lidded dutch oven or cast iron pot inside. After 20 minutes, it will be piping hot. Remove it from the oven and quickly lift the lid, sprinkling the semolina or cornmeal at the bottom to prevent the bread from sticking. Quickly and gently transfer your ball of dough in into the pot and swiftly put the cover back on. Don't worry if the ball doesn't keep its shape or looks messy when you place it into the pot, it will still turn out fine.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 450F. After 30 minutes, remove the lid. Continue baking for another 15 to 25 minutes at 450F. It is ready when the loaf is nicely browned on top. Very importantly, allow the bread to cool for an hour before slicing it (otherwise without the cooling period, the bread can sometimes be a little gummy). Enjoy!
Tips/TechniquesAdapted from Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread recipe