no-knead bread

IMG_8679If you only knew how much I wanted to simply title this post Bread, well…

But that’s what this is! Just bread. And it has to be some of the easiest I’ve ever made, and the tastiest too.

IMG_8514It takes about 15 minutes to make the dough.

IMG_8508Then you just have to set it someplace warm and safe and forget about it for 2 hours.

IMG_8535Finally, you shape the dough into a loaf (I do this directly on the parchment because it saves clean up.)

IMG_8648Thirty minutes later you’ll have a beautiful, rustic loaf to set on the dinner table. It’s crusty with a delightfully spongy interior and pairs extremely well with soft butter.

IMG_8543IMG_8584IMG_8609When I went gluten-free about a year and a half ago, I knew I would miss bread the most. Real bread. The simple combination of flour and water, yeast and salt.

I knew I would miss the process of making bread, too- something I had come to love and be quite good at. Mixing, kneading, shaping, baking. I find the rhythm enjoyable, and sometimes therapeutic.

IMG_8754IMG_8821That’s why, in recent weeks, I’ve been excited to discover that my body accepts a little organic flour pretty well. I’m not going to go crazy and totally start eating a bunch of gluten again, but it has been so nice to be able to bake and enjoy some of my favorites. And it’s also nice to be able to share some of the recipes here that will appeal to some of you who don’t give gluten or regular flour a second thought!

IMG_8688IMG_8693IMG_8772no-knead bread | print recipe
recipe adapted from share my kitchen

500 grams organic all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
350 mL lukewarm water
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and yeast. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the water and honey.

Pour the water mixture over the flour mixture and give it a couple of stirs with a fork. Add the sour cream and salt, and stir until a dough forms. It will be quite sticky- this is good.

With a rubber spatula, make a sweeping motion around the edge of the bowl, bring the dough up from the bottom and folding it onto the top (almost as if you were folding egg whites into a batter). The purpose of this is to kind of replicate kneading without getting your hands involved, so you want to make sure to be thorough and really stretch and work with the dough, strengthening the gluten strands, for at least 2 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic, set in a warm place, and come back 2 hours later.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and position a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with some flour.

With floured hands, punch the dough down and gather it into a rough ball as best you can. Again, it will be sticky and soft. Just get it out of the bowl and onto the baking sheet. Stretch it into a long loaf, then fold the sides in as if you were folding a letter. Roll the loaf over so the the seam is facing down.

(If you’d like, you can make three diagonal cuts down the loaf to release steam, but I usually don’t. Sometimes the top will split open during baking, but I kind of like the rustic look.)

Fill a small cup with ice cubes. Set the baking sheet in the oven, throw the ice cubes on the oven floor, and shut the door. (The ice cubes create steam which improves the bread’s crust). Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes. For the best texture, allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.

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2 thoughts on “no-knead bread

  1. My son was both gluten and casein free when he was younger. The concept is that it helps ease autism challenges, which it does to an extent. I baked my fingers off at home during that time. I like your recipe. It’s what I always look for – simple, anyone can do it, and it looks like it turns out delicious!

  2. Pingback: what i cooked | february | the thoughtful plate

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