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.
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.
That’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!
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.