Little Experiments

We’ve been pretty good about getting into the kitchen while I’ve been off track, especially when we don’t have house guests & it’s just the two of us. One of the best discoveries I’ve made so far is breaking my “baking bread takes too long & is too much work” rule to try Speedy No-Knead Bread. Oh, wow. It is incredibly easy & amazingly delicious. I’ve done tiny little experiments with the dough (adding almost an entire head of garlic – surprisingly not overwhelming, adding honey, etc.) & it’s been perfect each time. If you are looking for a bread recipe to try, or even if you aren’t, try this.

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Oil as needed.

1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.

3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

My small notes: Try adding things to the bread. I’ve had a good success rate so far. Also, don’t be afraid to use a slightly smaller baking vessel. Mine is 4 quarts, I think, and it works perfectly.

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