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I’ve been baking bread for a long time.  I have even taught classes on bread baking.  Recently I read in the New York Times about Jim Lahey’s no knead pizza dough and subsequently his no knead bread recipe.  I figured I would give it a try not expecting too much.  Little did I know I was about to make my best loaves of bread to date.

Getting ready

Getting ready

Lola has begun to really enjoy helping me in the kitchen.  I pulled out an apron for her the other day and she kept pointing to hers and then to mine with a huge smile – like we were part of a secret club.

Measuring

Measuring

So with our aprons in place and our four ingredients we were ready to get started.  We put it all together and mixed a couple of times and that is it!  This is a perfect kid recipe because the measurements can be a bit off and you don’t have to mix much.

Ahh this is fun!

Ahh this is fun!

This doesn't look right...but it is just wait and see!

This doesn't look right...but it is just wait and see!

There is no need to knead the dough.  I leave it on my counter for 24 hours covered near the oven and then we shape it and bake it.  I have been using a ceramic casserole dish  with a top to bake the bread and the results are amazing.

This picture is of a loaf made from half of the recipe.  While I could eat a whole loaf myself, I try not to most days.  If I make half of the recipe it is the perfect amount for us for a couple of days.

Are you sure you didn't buy that somewhere?

Are you sure you didn't buy that somewhere?

Yummy bread Mama

Yummy bread Mama

The crust of the bread is like a french baguette and the inside is like a perfect sponge.  I have never made better bread and have also never had to work so little to make it.

Here are a few tips to make your loaves even better than my first few were:

  • When the dough is fermenting for 24 hours cover it with saran wrap.  I have tried this with a tea towel and saran wrap.  I wanted the towel to work but a crust formed on the top of the dough and it does not with the saran wrap.
  • After the ferment you take the dough out of the bowl, knead it a couple of times, shape it and then let it rise for 2 more hours.  The recipe tells you to flour a tea towel and put the dough on it and then flour the top and cover it with another towel.  It is important to use a generous amount of flour on this step.  If you do not, when the dough rises it will stick to your towels and you will have a big mess.  This flouring also helps your finished product look really professional (see photo above).
  • The casserole dish/dutch oven plays a key role in the making of excellent crust.  Always remember to heat your dish and lid in the oven as it preheats.  You want the vessel hot when you put the dough in it so that it starts cooking right away.  You also never want to put a cold vessel into a really hot oven – it will crack.  I am speaking from experience here!
  • I have been making this recipe with a mix of half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.  I like the taste – not too heavy and not too white.

That’s it.  I hope you have as much fun as we are making bread!

Please check back soon.  I will be posting about some crafts, my new Etsy site,  my adventures with and without Lola and other random things.  Thanks for dropping in!

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