I admit that before I became interested in a more self-reliant lifestyle, I really had no interest in making bread. I could just drive down the road and pick some up at the local grocery store for $2.oo. However, since prices are rising and budgets must be stretched, I have begun to expand on my abilities. Bread baking, as simple as many think it is, was my biggest challenge. Each time that I attempted, I would fail miserably.
I placed a lot of stress on myself to make bread because after all, if I am a preparing for a long-term emergency and needing to care for my family; how can I care for them if I can’t make a stinking loaf of bread? My failures were mainly due to not understanding the chemistry aspect of making bread. I had tried all types of bread making, alas with no results to be proud of. So, I went back and started again with different recipes.
I started with the most basic, no-knead recipe because everyone says that a 4 year old can do it, so I should too, right? With reluctance, I made the dough and set it aside. And then, something happened – the dough had risen and I could see and smell the yeast working. This recipe was like finding a pot of gold after a long journey. The bread came out perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. I finally had my eureka moment as far as bread baking was concerned. So for all the bread baking challenged, this one’s for you!
No Knead Bread Recipe
Makes 1 loaf of bread
- 3 c. unbleached or whole wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp. yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 c. warm water (110 degrees F)
- Mix all ingredients together until the ingredients have been incorporated (The dough will be very soft and sticky).
- Cover with plastic or put dough in a covered tupperware container and let sit for 18 hours. My microwave serves as the resting spot for this step.
- After 18 hours, take dough and set it on a floured surface. Dampen hands with a little water (this keeps the dough from sticking to you), and shape dough.
- Allow dough to sit another 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
- Bake in a covered dutch oven or baking dish in a preheated over at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Remove cover; and reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely.
The greatest aspect of this recipe is that it is so user-friendly and versatile. This basic dough recipe can be shaped to make french bread, fried, grilled or even have additional ingredients such as seeds or berries to be added to the dough for a different variation. After I found this recipe, my interest in bread making has become my new hobby. I am now working with sour dough starters and finding more bread recipes to master. So… more recipes to come!