Two or three times per week we enjoy the taste of fresh home-made bread. The crust, the flavours, the aromas! And how about the singing of the bread when it’s just out of the oven? Baking your own bread is such a pleasure.
Our recipe is based on a recipe published by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery, New York. It was published in the New York Times in 2006 and can also be found in his excellent book My Bread. The process is time consuming (it’s 24 hours from start to finish) but not labour intensive. It’s simple and straightforward with a great result. We truly love it.
The recipe is based on slow-rise fermentation. With only 1 gram of instant yeast in combination with 19+3 hours of rest the yeast will do a wonderful job. The dough will be perfect. And kneading, as you would expect, is not required.
In 1764 Elizabeth Moxon describes a no kneading bread recipe as shown in this nice instructive video.
Her recipe: To half a peck of flour, put a full jill of new yeast, and a little salt, make it with new milk (warmer than from the cow) first put the flour and barm together, then pour in the milk, make it a little stiffer than a seed-cake, dust it and your hands well with flour, pull it in little pieces, and mould it with flour very quick; put it in the dishes, and cover them with a warm cloth (if the weather requires it) and let them rise till they are half up, then set them in the oven, (not in the dishes, but turn them with tops down upon the peel;) when baked rasp them.
Interesting that she rasps the bread: she is not interested in the crust!
My Bread is such a wonderful book. The first chapters describe the background, the process and the basic recipe. In the next chapters you will find recipes for special bread, such as Fresh Corn Bread and Banana Leaf Rolls plus inspired recipes for Pizza Fungi and Focaccia.
My Bread is available via your local bookshop and the usual channels for something between 20 and 30 euro or US dollar.
What You Need
- 200 grams of Whole Grain Flour
- 230 grams of Plain White Flour
- 1 gram Instant Yeast
- 25 grams Blue Poppy Seed
- 30 grams Brown Linseed
- 4 grams Salt (this is less than usual, most recipes for bread would say 8 gram)
- 350 grams Water
- Additional Flower
What You Do
Simplest is to buy My Bread or look at the recipe and movie as provided by the New York Times.
Mix flour, yeast, seeds and salt. Add water and create one mixture. Let rest in a covered bowl for 19 hours. Remove from bowl, fold 4 times, dust with additional flour and let rest on a towel dusted with flour and bran for 3 hours. Check that the pot (and the handles!) can be used in a really hot oven. Transfer the pot to the oven and heat your oven to 235˚ Celsius or 450˚ Fahrenheit. Put the dough, seam side up, in the pot, close it and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 15 minutes or until it is nicely browned. Let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing it. Listen to your bread signing!