Saturday, 30 August 2008

Bread for cheats

It's been a little while since I've done a foody post, mostly because I've been baking rather boring (though tasty) things like scones and muffins recently. One new discovery is worth a mention however: no knead bread. I had read about it some time ago but was very suspicious and not really interested to have a go. Loads of people in the ravelry bread and yarn group have been raving about it though so curiosity got the better of me and I jumped on the band wagon.

The idea is that you can mix up a big batch of dough and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, ready to pull off a lump and bake on demand fresh every time. There is a book describing the technique and a whole series of variations upon the theme, and the authors have a blog on the subject here.

I tried their basic recipe for master dough, but found it quite salty so second time round I reduced the yeast and salt content. My master mix now contains 6.5 cups bread flour, 3 cups water, 1 rounded dsp dried yeast and 1 dsp salt. All that is needed is to mix these ingredients together to form quite a wet paste and that's it. You can see my tub of dough in the picture after an overnight rest in the fridge - it's quite bubbly and stretchy already. Because the dough is very wet and sticky it's quite difficult to handle, and this is the bit that requires some practice, but no kneading is required, just shape some dough into a round, prove for one hour and then bake. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the loaf, and it really only took a couple of minutes.

This morning I used some of the dough to make mini cinnamon whirls as suggested on the blog - I rolled out a piece of dough into a rectangle, sprinkled it with cinnamon and brown sugar then rolled it up into a long tube. I used kitchen scissors to cut the tube into whirls and baked them in a cupcake tray. umm, they've all gone already! I'd better make some more for the people coming over tomorrow.

And just to show you I haven't stopped knitting after all the ravelympics exciement, here's a preview of my latest project. Details to follow in a later post, but most of blogland seems to be knitting this one so maybe someone recognises the pattern? Yes I admit that I have been wearing it with one sleeve while I'm knitting the other one, it's cold in Dundee!


Manoute said...

It looks really yummy! I am glad you are making more for us tomorrow! :0)))
I guess, you will have the jacket finished by tomorrow...

Jeff Hertzberg said...

Hi, I'm Jeff Hertzberg, one of the co-authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I'm so glad our recipes are working well for you. Come visit us anytime at, where you can post questions into any "Comments" field, or click on "Bread Questions" on the left side of the homepage and choose among the options.

Jeff Hertzberg

Chicago tribune video:

Zoe Francois said...

Your cinnamon rolls look fantastic! I'm so pleased that you tried them.