Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homemade Bread Made Easy

The smell and taste of homemade bread is heartwarming, but the thought of all that kneading can be daunting.  A few years ago I was given the book, "My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No Knead Method" by Jim Lahey and an Emile Henry Flame Top Red Stewpot.

I've only tried the Basic No-Knead Bread recipe, so far.  While the recipe itself is very easy, it does take time and planning.  I start the dough a day before I bake the bread so it has time to ferment and develop lots of flavor.  The dough is very sticky and only requires mixing the ingredients with a spoon - no kneading.  The next day, you transfer the fermenting dough to a cheesecloth sprinkled with your choice of grain.  I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal.
Allow more time for the dough to rise, then heat the stewpot and lid in a very hot oven.  After about 30 minutes, remove the pot from the oven, drop the dough in the pot, cover with the lid and put it back in the oven.  Remove the lid after about 30 minutes and continue to bake until browned.  Then, you have bread for the week (if you can make it last that long).
I allow the bread to cool completely upside down.  Then, I put it into a large zip-closure bag (without completely sealing it) and leave it on the counter for slicing.  It is best eaten in a few days, but that's usually not a problem.

I like making a sandwich of slices of this bread, avocado, swiss cheese and fresh cilantro for lunch.  It's very fresh, healthy and yummy!

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