Thursday, August 11, 2011

No need to knead

Freshly Baked Country Loaf!

There are few things better than the smell of freshly baked bread...except maybe butter melting on top of a slice of freshly baked bread : ) While I love homemade bread, I've never really been a huge fan of bread makers. The loaf shape is weird, the hole in the middle from the paddle, the fact that the machine takes up so much essential real estate in the cupboard. To each his own,  I am just not a huge fan. I also am not a huge fan of slaving away for hours mixing, rising, kneading, rising etc. I mean, it's not that I mind the actual task, it's just that after all that time and work you are left with one loaf of bread, which then gets devoured within a matter of hours. Ever seen a homemade loaf of bread go moldy? Yeah. Probably about as many times as you've seen a kid beg to brush his teeth. It just doesn't happen! It gets scarfed back way too fast : ) 

So there was never a happier day then when my most amazing sister-in-love Gen, informed me about Chef Micheal's no knead City and Country bread. It has just a few ingredients, no oil (I hate when there is a ton of butter or oil in the bread) takes literally two minutes to mix up and THE BEST PART: you don't have to knead it! It's the best thing since....sliced bread? :) Sorry, I couldn't resist haha.

Lots of times I find "eating healthy" and preparing healthy meals from scratch fairly time consuming, so I am constantly on the look out for amazing, healthy and QUICK things to prepare. This loaf is very cost effective since it has very few ingredients and takes no time at all. It also freezes great, so I usually make a few loaves at a time, or freeze dough for another loaf after it rises. I make it before I go to bed, let it rise overnight and then bake it first thing in the morning. Here's the recipe:

For a loaf of Country Bread:
3 C all purpose flour or bread flour (bread flour has a nicer rise to it)
1 C whole wheat flour or bread flour
1/2 C of any multi-grain mix (anything to add up to 1/2 C, red river, oats, flax, cornmeal, hemp hearts etc)
1/2 tsp of active dry yeast (quick rise hasn't worked as well for me)
1 1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/4 C warm water

I always use 2 C whole wheat, 2 C white and we love it. I find when I do this though sometimes I need a bit more water (closer to 2 1/2 C), so just add a bit at a time until it is all incorporated and moist.
For a loaf of City Bread:

4 C all purpose or white bread flour
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/4 C warm water

In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients, evenly distributing the salt and yeast throughout the flour. Pour in the warm water and stir until moist dough forms. Continue stirring until the dough incorporates all the loose flour in the bowl, 1 or 2 mins total.

Cover bowl and let rise in a warm place for 18 hours (even 10 hours is great) The dough will double in size and bubble, and long elastic gluten strands will form without laborious kneading.  Knock the dough down and toss with a splash of oil, evenly coating the dough ball. 


Very important: grease AND flour the bread pan. You just might be eating it out of the pan otherwise! Form into a 9x5inch (2L) loaf pan and, without covering, rest it a second time. Time to make one of these ; )

ps. I discovered that Coconut Milk froths beautifully for lattes!

In 2 or 3 hours it will double in size once more.  Preheat your oven to 375 and bake for around 30 mins. Check to see if it is done, if it sounds "hollow" it is usually done. I have found there is no exact set time, I just check on it.

 I love that you can still make this bread when there is virtually nothing in the house-no eggs, milk or oil needed! It's definitely saved us on a few occasions. 
So there is your no knead bread! Now you can enjoy healthy, homemade bread that isn't laborious to make!

Smiled when I added the picture. Fitting- bread and bread of Life : )

Now go slather on a little butter and honey and have a piece before it's too late!!

Sarah xo

PS. the computer is going to the dr.'s I will be taking little a hiatus : )


  1. this font is unbelievably hard to read. but the bread sounds delicious! i have a similar recipe that uses lots of oats... it's SO good!

  2. I was wondering if people might think that. Thanks for the comment, changed it!