Archive for the ‘Bread’ category

Irish soda bread

April 23, 2011

A very tasty quick bread that can be made in not much more than an hour. Makes great toast, too.

1-1/2 c each all purpose and whole wheat flour
1/4 c sugar
1 TB baking powder
1 tsp each baking soda and salt
2 c buttermilk
1 egg

Mix all the dry ingredients together using a whisk, being sure they are well combined. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together and stir into the dry mixture until well but not completely combined. Turn out onto a floured surface. You’ll have a shaggy, wet, sticky mess that is nothing like the dough for a traditional kneaded yeast bread. Using floured hands, form as best you can into an 8 inch round and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Using a wet serrated knife, cut a deep cross in the top (very traditional!). Bake at 325f for about an hour, until an instant-read thermometer reads 205-210f in the center of the loaf. Cool on a rack.

No-knead bread

April 23, 2011

Several recipes for no-knead bread have been published, and I experimented with them until I came up with something that works for me. Don’t expect this to save you work – with a mixer or food processor to do the work, the kneading is the least of your worries! But, this recipe does give a lovely, rustic bread that is chewy with great flavor.

3 c bread or all-purpose flour (replace 3/4c with whole wheat if desired)
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1-1/3 c cool water

Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl and then stir in the water to get a sticky, shaggy dough. This will be wetter than other bread doughs. Add a little more water if needed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. Or, leave in the fridge overnight, taking it out first thing in the morning. The end result should be dough that has about doubled in size with lots of bubbles on the surface.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Using your dough scraper, pull the edges up and over toward the center to get a roughly round, flattish shape. Invert the dough onto a well-floured linen or cotton towel or a baking cloth. Cover with another towel and let sit until about doubled in size.

Meanwhile, put a covered, heavy 4-5 quart pot (cast iron, le Creuset, etc) in the oven and preheat to 475f for at least 30 minutes (See warning below). Remove the pot from the oven, remove the cover, and invert the dough into it (seam side up). Immediately replace the cover and return the pot to the oven. Reduce heat to 450.

Bake for 30 min. Remove theĀ  cover and bake another 10-20 min until the bread is a nice brown color. Remove from the pot and cool on a rack.

Warning: Most electric ovens turn on the broiling element as well as the baking element during preheating. Oven-proof handles on your pot may not be broiler-proof. If you are worried, preheat the over first and then put the pot in it for at least 30 minutes.

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