I have a bread maker, and for years and years now I’ve made my own bread. You know why? There was a fire in our Christchurch bakery. I was working in Auckland for a few days when I heard this. And the outcome was bread would be in short supply and be delivered from Dunedin.
I didn’t want anyone dictating to me when and how often I could get my bread. And from that point on, I’ve baked bread every weekend. Mostly one loaf each day of the weekend.
Easter this year I “branched out” and made some Hot Cross Buns. But the hard work mixing and kneading the bread was done in the bread maker.
I was pretty excited to show Chris a recipe I’d come across which would be perfect for his cast iron pot. He’d already let me know he’d made bread in it before.
I bought my own cast iron pot last weekend and I was itching to make my own loaf of bread. And I had to ask Chris if he still had the link I’d sent him via Twitter.
This is the link to the Crusty no-knead bread forum, recipe below.
This is super easy bread to prepare. There’s so few ingredients in the base recipe. I made mine with one of the suggested variations, and then added Chris’s “pro-tip” as well.
Recipe: Crusty no-knead bread reworded with additional notes identified with **
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (** I used organic unbleached white flour **)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast (** I used Edmonds Sure Bake – red cap **)
1 1/2 cups water
** pro-tip: add a few drops of Red Wine Vinegar to the water **
** Make sure the mixing bowl you use is the type Gladwrap will cling to **
- Put into the large mixing bowl flour, salt and yeast. Mix these ingredients with a whisk.
** If you’re adding any other herbs, dried fruit, cheese or whatnot you want to add those now **
- Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.
- Cover bowl with Gladwrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours.
** Think about when you want to eat this bread. You need 12-18 hours, time to cook and cool before you eat the bread **
- Heat the oven to 230 degrees, then place your cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.
- While the pot is heating tip the dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.
- Cover with Gladwrap while the pot is heating.
** My pot had 30 minutes heating by the time I’d fussed about with the dough trying to coax it into a ball. It was pretty soft and just refused to sit nicely for me**
- Remove hot pot from the oven and place the dough in it.
- Cover the pot and return it to the oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
Now go get your butter, jam or any other goodies ready so that you don’t have to waste unnecessary time when the bread is finally cool enough to devour.
Since my oven is on the fierce side I should have reduced the temperature 5 or so degrees. I’ll know better next time. The crust was a little too dark but that didn’t stop the 3 of us eating the whole lot for lunch.
I found the rosemary a little on the bitter side. I used two sprigs, next time I’ll probably only use 1.
There will definitely be a next time! Though Mark is not in favour of me making a sweet loaf.
I’d really like to try Apricot and Walnut. If anyone out there gives that combination a go please let me know what you thought of it.
Don’t you think the lighting (I’ve yet to master the art of proper, or even pretend, photography) makes the loaf look like it’s got a halo?