For a while now I’ve been making my own bread. A lot of people remark at how difficult it is and how dedicated I am to cooking…but that’s not necessarily true. This bread recipe is super easy, requires no kneading, and can be altered to change the flavours. So far I’ve cooked a few wholemeal molasses loaves as well as a caramelised onion, spinach and parmesan loaf – all of which have turned out amazing! I accidentally discovered the secret to getting this bread so light and fluffy on the weekend, and that was because I left my dough to rise the second time around longer than usual…the result?! Fluffy, light and airy bread with a delicious crunchy crust. At a glance it might seem that this bread-making process is complicated and time consuming, but once you’re organised it’s easy and can fit into a daily or weekly routine. This isn’t one of those “Oh I have 10 minutes spare time, I’ll whip up a loaf of bread” recipe – you need to plan ahead – but trust me, totally worth the effort! (original recipe from: http://www.frugallivingnw.com/frugal-homemaking/amazing-no-knead-bread-step-by-step-recipe/)
6 cups plain flour (I use half white/half wholemeal)
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 2/3 cup water
2-3 tablespoons molasses (optional)
Put all dry ingredients in bowl (and molasses if using it) and slowly add water to combine. The mix should be quite wet, so if the dough is too dry add a little more water (be careful – a little goes a long way).
Cover bowl with cling wrap and leave on kitchen bench for 12-18 hours to rise.
Once risen, pour dough onto lightly floured bench-top and tuck edges underneath so you create a smooth ball on top with gnarly bits underneath. Place back into bowl to rest for a further 2 hours (dough should almost fill bowl again once risen second time around).
Preheat oven to maximum temperature; half an hour before cooking time place a cast iron pot with lid into oven to pre-heat. Once pot is hot, tip bowl of dough into pot smooth side down so the gnarly bits are now on the top of the loaf. Put lid on pot and return to oven to cook for 1 hour. After 1 hour of cooking time remove the lid and return to oven for a further 10 minutes.
Wait until bread is cooled completely before cutting. Bread is best if left until the day after cooking to cut and eat. I keep my bread in the cast iron pot with the lid on, as this keeps the bread from going soggy or drying out. Delicious with sweet or savoury toppings…or my favourite – toasted with butter…YUM!
Why not add some dried fruit to your molasses dough base to make a delicious fruit loaf?
Add 1 cup of chopped black olives and a couple of stems of chopped rosemary for a yummy savoury loaf.
Add 1/2 cup caramelised onions, 1/2 cup wilted spinach & 1/4 cup parmesan cheese for another savoury version.