I’ve actually wanted to get into bread making for a long time. I’m a total sucker for delightful breads of the sort that you have to pay entirely too much for at the grocery store. I mean, they’re mostly flour, right? So, $4 a loaf? I figure it’s the “frou-frou tax.” So, in order to get into bread making, I realized the best method of doing so was to find a bread recipe with a fairly minimal amount of effort involved.
So I came across this recipe for artisan bread which required no kneading at all and I’m all like, “Wooo lazy bread!” I ended up halving the recipe as I didn’t want a huge ingredient commitment in case it came out all crappy.
So, you need a packet o’ yeast, some coarse salt (I used sea salt), white flour, and your faucet.
First, pour a cup and a half of warm water from the tap into a pot. Or rather, into a measuring cup, then into a pot. The recipe says “100 F”, but I honestly have no clue how to tell how warm water is just by touching it, so I just went with the “Hey, this feels warm!” method. Dump in your yeast packet, along with 3/4 tablespoons of salt. Then, dump in 3 1/4 cups of flour. Mix until mixed. Should look something like this:
Next, you put a non-airtight lid over your dough and let it sit for at least two hours. It’s easier to work with if it’s nice and cold, so after this, shove that bad boy in the fridge for at least three hours (or overnight works as well).
So you can make a big ole loaf with this, or two smaller loaves. I opted for a smaller loaf (since the rest of the dough can hang out in your fridge for a couple of weeks, which is super useful), and thusly hacked it in two with a knife.
You’ll want to pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F at this point. Take your ball of dough, and stretch the top parts to the bottom so the top is a nice smooth surface. Place it on a pan, and let it rise for about a half hour or so. Then, slice the top, dust with flour, and it’ll in theory look something like this:
If you have a baking stone, there’s some slightly different instructions in the recipe I linked to earlier in this post. I, however, being a lame person, do not own a baking stone. I do own a metal baking disk though, as pictured above! Bread’s supposed to be better when baked on baking stones, so I might keep my eye out for a cheap one. Though, I also suffer from an ailment known as “hating having too many single-use items in the kitchen”, so we’ll see if I ever get around to buying a baking stone.
Next, bake for 30-35 minutes. And, I’d like to emphasize that “450 degrees” part of the recipe. I have poor reading skills apparently, and set it to 350 degrees instead. So, when I checked the bread at 30 minutes, it was less than cooked. So I cranked the oven up to 450 and made a vague note in my head to check it in another 7 minutes or so. And, about 2 minutes after that, I decided to take a shower. About 2/3 of the way into my shower, I suddenly remembered that I’d been baking bread. Bread that ultimately came out looking like this:
Yeaaah. A wee bit crispy there. Course, I still ate most of it. Went great with this super colorful cheese, in fact!
Also, the second loaf (which I made about a week later) came out much better, as I set it to the proper 450 degrees. I did take a picture, but a.) it’s still on my phone, and, as mentioned before, b.) I am lazy, so use your imagination! Or even better, make your own bread! Cause homemade bread is freaking amazing.