Friday, July 3, 2009

Amazingly Easy Artisan Bread

I got to know of this no-knead bread from Laureen - Eat and Be Happy.

I always equate hard work to great taste. You know instant noodle can only taste like instant noodle, right? So I was sooo sooo sooo skeptical about this new bread making technique. I even told J, if this technique works, I am dash out to buy all their books!

Being a suspicious cautious I first trialed with 1/3 of the portion. Here's the recipe I used if you are just as cautious as moi.

Artisan Bread in 5 minute

lukewarm water 1 cup
granulated yeast ½ tsp
coarse kosher or sea salt 1 tsp
unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour (e.g. Gold Medal) 2 ¼ cup

  1. Mix the yeast and water together in a large bowl. Mix in the flours and salt, using wooden spoon, until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Do not knead.

  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours. The dough should have a flat top and bubbling with holes.

  3. Cover the dough loosely with a cling wrap and store in refrigerator (not the freezer) for up to 14 days.

  4. To bake Pull off however much of the dough you need depending on the size of the pan you use (I used up all the dough, and used a flat baking tray). Flour the work surface generously and shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly greased loaf pan and let it rise at room temperature for about an hour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 225C with an empty baking pan on the bottom shelf. Pour about 2 cups of hot water into the baking pan just before you put the bread in. Bake the loaf for about 20 minutes or till golden brown and firm. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool completely before slicing.
I made them into 2 boules. The first one has more flour, resulting in smaller holes in the bread:

The 2nd one has much less flour, giving bigger holes:

What I like about this bread is that it is so basic, containing nothing more than flour, water, salt and yeast. No emulsifer + tens of other chemicals as the commerical bread do!
It has crispy golden-brown crust while the inside is soft, moist and spongey. It beats any store-bought gourmet bread! The best part, just need 5 min, and you will be handsomely rewarded with the best bread ever!


Art of Eating said...

This seems to be a good & easy one. Worth a try ! No kneading more of proofing ah.

I'm abit confused here ... You mean Pour about 2 cups of hot water into the empty preheated baking pan just before putting the bread in ? and bake the loaf for about 20 minutes ?

Cookie said...

Hi YY,
Sorry for the confusion... Will try my best to explain:

You need 1 shelve in the middle of the oven - this is for you to bake the bread on.

The confusing part is here: The other empty baking pan on the bottom of the oven which you put in at the beginning preheating. This pan is for you to pour the 2cup water into, for the purpose of creating steam.

The steam is important for creating a crispy crust. The commercial oven has the steam function but for home baker, this method is a cheaper option. Some baker just spray water on the walls of the oven to create steam, but in the long run, the metal plate in the oven will warp, causing damage.

Hope this clarifies, if not pls let me know, and I will post the video/photo for you to see.


Art of Eating said...

Thanks Cookies for your kind explaination.

Now at least i understand. Hmmm very interesting.

Halimah said...

I've seen this floating around. I think its time to make this soon :) Hubby loves fresh baked bread :D

Cookie said...

Hi Halimah,
Hope you will give it a go... you won't regret.

I will be looking out for your bake soon!