Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Daily Bread

This basic bread is so easy. I don't actually make it "daily" but I certainly could. It's that low maintenance.
This is a spinoff of the uber-popular no-knead bread that Mark Bittman wrote about in the NY Times. This recipe, originally from Sullivan Street Bakery, was an internet sensation. I later found a bunch of modified versions of it, and I have even modified it more on my own. It's gotten easier with each incarnation.

Here's what I do. Before I leave for work in the morning, I mix 2 cups of unbleached white bread flour or all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of dry yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a large bowl. I add a scant cup of lukewarm water and mix with my hand until it becomes a cohesive misshapen ball of dough. This takes maybe 2 minutes, tops. Just mix with your hands until all the loose flour is worked in. Then, drizzle a bit of oil on this dough blob, coat the blob with the oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm (about 70 degrees) place.

Go to work and do your best to act like a grownup.

When you get home, you will see the blob has at least doubled in size! It will have lots of bubbles in it. Take a baking sheet and sprinkle it liberally with flour. Turn the dough out of the bowl and onto the sheet. The dough will de-gas and shrink as you coax it out of the bowl--this is okay. It needs to rise again and that will happen next. With a very gentle touch, coax the dough into an approximate loaf shape, making sure it gets coated in flour. Cover with plastic and let it rise for another 1 1/2 hours or so.

This is when you can make soup. Well, at least that's what I did today!

Put the bread into a 400 degree preheated oven and bake it for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is nice and brown and crispy looking.


Anonymous said...

This sounds great! I mastered yeast rolls last year just in time for T-giving, so I think this will become my new thing to master. I'd love to have a good loaf of bread that I can definitely make without much fuss. Thanks!

JB said...

thanks for this!

Alex said...

You are my inspiration

Christy Tennant said...

I've been meaning to try this every since I discovered your blog, Janine. Finally trying it today! Just put the blob in the closet where my furnace is... unfortunately, my apt is not 70 when it's this cold out, but that closet is always warm. It's my first time every trying to bake bread. Thanks for the easy instructions!