I'm a bread junkie. There, I admit it.
If you gave me a choice between a hunk of chocolate or a thick slice of homemade bread, I'm going for the bread. In fact, you'd have to slap my hand away before I snatched the entire loaf out from under you. After reading this post and then heading to Barnes and Noble to peek at that book, I've had bread on the brain ever since...namely, homemade bread. I dug out my most favorite bread recipe and made two loaves for last night's dinner. We had baked potato soup with kielbasa and nothing goes better with comfort food like that than nice, warm bread. Mmmmmm.
This is a no knead recipe, although I find myself kneading anyway just because I like to. You can tweak the recipe and add things like cinnamon and raisins, caramelized onions, black olives, or even fresh herbs.
If anyone wants the recipe, let me know and I'll post it here. Trust me, you want it. It's vegan if that makes a difference.
Okay, here's the recipe. Just as a quick note I want to add that I use all purpose flour for the first three cups and whole wheat flour for the second three. You can use any flour combo you'd like, but I think the wheat/white combo makes the best bread.
No Knead Bread
2 packs of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups flour
1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
3 cups flour
Pour warm water into a small ceramic bowl and add the yeast, but do not stir. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer (fitted with the dough hook), pour hot water over the sugar and salt, then stir with a wooden spoon to completely dissolve. Combine 3 cups flour with the water mixture. Pour the oil on top of the dough mixture then add the yeast mixture on top of that, but do not stir. Top with the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well. At this point, the dough should be pliant and moist, but not gooey. This recipe is a no-knead recipe, but I knead the dough for a few minutes anyway. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover the bowl with a damp towel. Set aside to rise for at least 45 minutes. (I've left it for almost two hours.)
On a lightly floured cutting board or countertop, divide the dough in half. At this point, I knead each half again, but it’s not necessary. Place each half into a greased loaf pan. Cover the dough with a moist towel and set aside to rise again for another 45 minutes (or longer).
After the dough has risen the second time, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for exactly 23 minutes. If you can keep everyone from digging in right away, allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then enjoy.