Crusty Goodness

I’ve been meaning to mention a little microbiology experiment that I did this past weekend that I think by all accounts was a smashing success.
The other week, we went over to friends’ house for dinner and she served a delicious, crusty bread that she’d made.  She said it was super easy and that I should try it.  Now, I’m not bad in the kitchen or grill and recently got into making pretzels – so I’d even had some recent experience with yeast beasties. (Sidenote: in grad school, I used to grow 100L batches of yeast to isolate proteins from.  Really.)
Anyway, this past weekend, I decided to give the recipe a try and see what happened.   Now, when Ana said it was easy, she wasn’t kidding.  This is a no-knead recipe, so everything (flour, water, salt, yeast – that’s it) goes together in a big-bowl and is left to rise.  The big dough ball is refrigerated and then you pull a “loaf-sized” piece off and bake it.    Your entire hands-on time investment is about 10 minutes.  The rest is just moving the dough from one place to another.
Here’s what we got.

It was super-good. Crusty and tasty.  The recipe is good, because it makes enough dough for three loaves.  You just leave the dough in the refrigerator and bake a loaf when you want one.  The refrigerated dough is good for about a week and over time will take on a little sour-doughy tang.
Last night, I made our third (and final) loaf from this batch of dough, so I know what I’ll be doing again this weekend.  

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13 thoughts on “Crusty Goodness

  1. Another convert! I'm so glad you guys liked the results, especially for the time invested. Now you have to try substituting Guinness for water (also delicious, as I keep mentioning every time we talk bread). And I found a nice alternative to the plain white bread recipe Whole Wheat No Knead Bread! I am tempted to test it out this weekend. I have been meaning to substitute orange juice for water to make more of a sweet bread. I think it may be perfect with this wheat version.

  2. Just a forewarning: whole wheat isn't going to rise as much as the white will simply because the bran is sharp and cuts the gluten strands as it rises. If you also add acid (orange juice) you may get a very, very dense loaf.

  3. Just a forewarning: whole wheat isn't going to rise as much as the white will simply because the bran is sharp and cuts the gluten strands as it rises. If you also add acid (orange juice) you may get a very, very dense loaf.

  4. Thank you for the link; it looks easy AND fabulous! My kind of recipe!

    My Mother, God Love her, tried to teach me to make her bread when I was much younger but I was far too “busy” to be bothered … and now I regret it. I will give this a try – thank you so much! Cheers! MJ

    PS – she’s 80, and still makes her own bread & buns. Out of this world, especially with a little “Saskatoon” berry jam = close your eyes, you’re in heaven!

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