No Fail Bread

It’s Easter and the interwebz is flooded by easter-y recipes. Well chocolate for the most part. And glutoneous mixing of crème eggs in every thing you could possibly think of. Which is all fine. Easter and Christmas are partly there for that – indulgence. Maybe the bloggers, chefs and cooks feel it is out of place to post an Easter recipe in May (that is, when Easter doesn’t fall in May) (I wouldn’t see a problem with that!) but how about the other things that you need to have on the Easter table? You know, something to serve alongside your appetizer, wipe clean the soup bowl, mop up the yummy must-not-let-go-to-waste lamb sauce or round up (if you find it in you!) with a slice of some amazing cheese… remember what we call that… that thing…. that thingamajig…. yah THAT!

Bread!!! Mouthwatering, humblingly homely straight out of your oven bread! Sure, you can pop to the bakery, if you have a good one near you. But after living in places where there is/was no good bread in sight (yours trully does not eat toast slices that come in plastic packaging and have more Es than this blog post), I gladly made my own. I still do. I can tell you I am more lazy to go to the bakery than to make my own! Mostly because I love to have it fresh and hot from the oven with the good salted butter melting right on it…. If any bakery ever sees a reduction in their sales, they should sell only HOT bread… people won’t be able to reach their home with a full loaf and would have to go back… again…. and again…. and again…. Why? Because I want you to point me towards the person who is able to stop him/herself from eating a full fresh loaf of bread. It takes practice to control one’s willpower.

This recipe is my never fails recipe. Ever. I mean ever ever. Like ever. This is the same recipe I used for my Olive Bread. Enough time had elapsed so I can post this again 🙂 Can you tell I love this bread? You can add all kinds of things inside. I wanted to add some Herbes de Provence but I was so eager to start on it that I forgot… oh well…. I am just going to have to sprinkle some on top of my butter 🙂

The recipe is from Laura Calder on the Food Network. I call her the French lady 🙂 and she’s only Canadian doing French food 🙂 If you watch the show, you will have to agree, that she IS French 🙂 I found the same recipe on the Cooking Channel’s website, where the ingredients are listed in metric measurements as well, so I used those. I usually use the Food Network post and I prefer that one, but I have no cups you see… I would usually use David Lebovitz’s suggestion for how much flour goes in 1 cup. I haven’t had problems with his ratio, but I decided to give this one a go. The Cooking Channel’s suggestion comes out to be less flour per 1 cup than David’s. It turned out great, so no complaints 🙂

I hope you make this. You start it off the night before and believe me, before you finish breakfast the next day, you and that giant throng of people around you, will have a bread, cooling on the rack ready for lunch or dinner. You need to do minimal work, since it is a no knead bread and no one will notice you went missing for 2 minutes from the breakfast table!

Laura calls this the Miracle Boule. It is short of a miracle how good it always turns out and it never fails 🙂

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (375 gr) (I used 75 gr quinoa flour and 300 gr white flour)

1/4 tsp dry active yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water (250 – 375 ml) (this time I added 225 ml, less than 1 cup)

Preparation:

1. Sift the flours and mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Start adding the warm water bit by bit and incorporate with your hand. Do not add all the water all at once. Liquid, when baking, especially breads is a suggestion. So, add as much as you need to bring the dough together.

leaving it overnight

3. Cover with a plastic wrap directly on the surface, then place a tea towel over the bowl and let it rise overnight, for 12h in a warm area.

I know, I feared it had overrisen as well, but it’s fine….

4. The next morning, it should have doubled and have bubbles on its surface. Punch it down lightly and fold it once or twice on a floured work surface. You will see it will come together again and lose its bubbles. Let it rest while you do the following step…

see, it’s fine – leaving it for 2h

5. Place a towel either on the counter or on a baking sheet, depending if you want to move it out of the way or not, and sprinkle with lots of flour or as much as you deem it enough to not stick to the dough.

6. Place the ball of dough on the floured tea towel and cover up with the towel. Let it rise again for 2h.

7. Warm the oven to 230C/450F. Place a baking dish that is at least as tall as one and a half width of your palm in the oven together with its lid (must use one that has a lid or find a lid you can put on top). The dish and the lid need to be hot when you place the dough inside.

8. When the oven has heated up, take out the baking dish, place the dough inside, jiggle the dish a bit so the dough finds its shape (be careful, hot hot hot!), cover with the hot lid and bake for 30 minutes.

9. After 30 minutes, uncover and bake for another 15 mins. Now you are just finishing it off and browning the top. If it is not brown enough, bake a bit longer.

I think I got this colour because of the quinoa flour….. 🙂

10. In the end, it should sound hollow when you tap its bottom.

the crust is my favourite part 🙂

Enjoy! Try to pace yourself because this is incredibly delicious! This is the first time that I am making bread with quinoa flour and no other flavour addition. When it was hot out of the oven, I had a feeling I tasted a mild tang of sourdough, but now when it’s cooled, that flavour is gone and what remains is this sweetness… Maybe not enough salt? (didn’t really measure the salt…) I am not complaining, I love it!

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