Last night our extended family got together for a family night of epic proportions.
You see I have at least seventy in my extended family. Cousins, Aunty’s, Uncles, nephews, nieces, husbands, wives etc etc.
My mum’s brothers and sisters get together on the first friday of the month and sometimes their kids (that’s me) tag along.
One of my cousins Ali made three loaves of bread last night, that we’re amazing. Her recipe came from here.
So easy even her gorgeous daughter Jessica can do it!
Sometime very soon, I am going to have a go.
No Knead Bread
500 grams or 15 ounces bread flour (3 cups)
10 grams or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 to 4 grams or 1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
430 grams or 13 ounces water (1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
plenty of extra spelt flour or extra bread flour for coating work surface and during proofing
Combine all the ingredients except the extra flour or bran for dusting in a large bowl. Mix it with a wooden spoon still all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at warm room temperature for about 14 to 20 hours.
Heavily flour your work surface with spelt flour or bread flour. Pour and pull out the dough, which will spread into a blob onto your work surface. Let it rest there for ten to twenty minutes.
From here on [these final steps are verbatim from Steingarten’s recipe] handle the dough very gently so that the structure of internal bubbles is left undisturbed and the dough is not compressed. Now, slide your fingers, palms up, under the blob and stretch it into a rough square about 12 inches on a side. Dust it with a little spelt flour. Let the dough rest, loosely covered with the same piece of plastic wrap, for a half-hour. Even longer is better.
Rub the inside of the rising basket with ample quantities of spelt flour [Note from MR: you can use a banneton or a bowl lined with a heavily floured cloth napkin]. Now form the loaf: Bring one corner of the square of dough about 2/3 of the way to the opposite corner, gently pressing it down. Repeat with the next corner, clockwise; continue with the other two corners. Now, you’ll have a puffy square, looking perhaps like a Danish pastry. If a flap of dough sticks out in any direction, fold it halfway over the loaf. Amply dust the loaf with spelt flour.
Now, with both hands, gently lift this puffy package of dough, invert it, and lower into the center of the rising basket. Sprinkle the top of the dough, now really a round loaf, with a little spelt flour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, tucking it in here and there. Let it rise for 2 ½ hours.
Halfway through the rise, put the casserole into the oven, on the highest shelf that will accommodate it; lean the casserole cover against it; and turn the temperature to its highest setting, probably 500-550 degrees F/260-288 degrees C. In my oven, to avoid excessive direct heat from burning the bottom of the loaf, I first put a baking stone on the oven shelf and three layers of silicone insulators.
When another ninety-minutes have passed (for a total of 2 ½ hours’ rise), open the oven and pull out the oven shelf. Remove the plastic wrap from the rising basket and loosen the loaf all around from the basket. Bring it over to the casserole, and steadying the loaf with your other hand, invert the loaf into the center of the casserole. This may take some practice. Shake the casserole sideways if the loaf needs to be neatened. Cover the casserole, close the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
Uncover the casserole and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the loaf is a handsome, very dark brown. The loaf will be loose in the casserole and easy to remove, most easily by inverting it. Let the loaf cool, bottom down, on the rack for two hours, when it will be barely warm to the touch.
Honestly the bread was amazing.
Breaking Bread with the ones we love couldn’t be any sweeter.