Saturday, September 13, 2008

seed bread


It might be a mild exaggeration to say that no-knead bread changed my life, but it definitely changed the way I look at baking. Until I became a mom and decided to really dive into being domestic, I never put any thought into baking bread or really baking anything at all. But ever since I made that first flawless loaf of perfect, crusty no-knead, I really feel awakened to the idea of making my own bread. I can't help it! It's SO EASY, you literally cannot screw it up.

We're heading out tomorrow to the Oregon coast to go camping for a couple of days, and I'm so excited! I decided to bake us a loaf of fresh, healthy bread, so we'll have something hearty to snack on. The recipe is completely straightforward and totally easy.


All I did was prep bread dough according to the famous no-knead recipe posted in the NY Times, but I added a few handfuls of different types of seeds- black sesame, poppy, sunflower, and flax.

To make:

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting (I used 2 cups all-purpose flour, and 1 cup of whole wheat flour.)
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water ( Dude, wtf- just say 1.5 cups or something. This hurt my brain so bad the first time I read it. I was like "5/8 of a cup? HOW MUCH IS THAT?" have I ever mentioned I am a high school dropout? And that numbers make my brain lock up like a bike wheel with stick in the spokes? Yeah. ), and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. 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 towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. 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.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.


And that's it. My favorite baking recipe of all time, because it requires so very little effort to get such very good results. My bread is soft, chewy, and crispy on the outside, and full of crunchy, delicious seeds. I can't wait to take it camping with me.

Speaking of camping, we hit the farmer's market this morning in preparation and we picked up a pint of padrons, some delicious sweet corn, and a handful of beautiful heirloom tomatoes. I'm excited about the meals we have planned, and I'm going to blog about them all when I get back! Woo hoo!


The Fabulous One said...

I am crying for I have no pot that is oven safe to 450. I literally just bought a new cookware set, but alas it is only safe to 350! I took it out of the box, went "Ooh aah!" and came on here to find this! I was so excited for bread, and then... epic disappointment. I shall now go cry and sit in the corner eating rye bread slathered in butter to help repair the rift in my soul. (Can you tell I'm really upset about this?)

Aran said...

i am trying to be on a gluten free diet but this bread looks just like what i crave in the mornings. beautiful!

Aim said...

That looks delicious! I'll have to try that :)

Summer (designismine) said...

the fabulous one: I don't have an oven-safe pot either, but I have made this bread many times using a casserole dish and it has still come out perfect!

buericana said...

I've tried the no-knead bread from the NY Times. I'm definitely going to try your twist on it!

Michelle said...

Looks great! Need to plan way ahead, but easy. I am confused though, what seam?

The Fabulous One said...

Thanks for the advice, Summer. I'm going to try keep trying to find a solution to my bread baking woes. I've got my eye on an auction on eBay for a Martha Stewart 5 quart cast iron pot. In aqua, which would actually match one of my favorite baking dishes. I'm going nuts thinking about all the wonderful things that could come from owning such a beautiful piece of culinary craftsmanship as that. Cross your fingers...

Manger La Ville said...

This sounds like my kinda bread - no knead. I think this deserves a try. Thanks for the recipe...looks great

mina said...

i actually left it to rise almost 24 hours since i put it near the heater in our bedroom and promptly forgot about it. tossed in some flaxseeds and sesame seeds and it turned out really nicely even though the stickiness was worrying me... so thanks! (: