Correct NO KNEAD bread recipe

I love baking bread, its one of the things that takes me back to the tastes and smells of my childhood, to Caddy’s bakery where Tommy Digby wove his magic, baking breads, pastries, cakes, all came from the depths of his huge oven, part gas, part wood fired, from him always singing hymns as he worked and pure skill. I learned that Tommy only accepted the best ingredients, his flour was milled in the Wimmera where it was grown, the butter came from cows that grazed on rich grassland around Port Fairy. The jams, lemon butters and other fillings were made by local ladies who kept up a constant supply as the seasons turned. Tommies large supplies of dried fruits came from Mildura where he knew they grew great fruit. Apples and apricots for the pies came from Portland where there were large orchards and reliable growers.

Apple slice… between two slices of crispy short pastry with pink icing scattered with cinnamon,

Jam Roll… a delicious sponge cake slathered with absolutely delectable Raspberry Jam.

Vanilla Slice… a rich creamy thick custard wedged between two layers of puff

Rainbow Cake… three layers of cake, chocolate, plain, Raspberry with mock cream and chocolate icing

Neapolitan Slice… my fave, two sheets of melt in the mouth flaky pastry with a sponge layer, raspberry jam, mock cream and iced.

Tommy made great slabs of pastry, puff and short, every day and who would ever bother making their own when his was so good.

 

Sitting in a small cozy Italian restaurant last night with two of my grandchildren, their mother and father, the conversation turned to ‘what if’… the electronic data of the world was to be destroyed by a solar flare. My granddaughter said that would be the end of school and her social life as she knew it, no lap top, no tablet, no phone. Quite clearly the end of the world. Made me start to think of my life when all that did not exist, where the phone was not a dial up, but you had to be connected by an operator. Where radio was the only entertainment, apart from the movies on Friday or Saturday night, where the technologies we take for granted now, didn’t exist. Tommy Digby did, the family Butcher shop did, my Dad was the slaughterman and killed the animals with care. Wool was spun and jumpers knitted, vegetables grown, fruit in season bottled and preserved. Shoes were polished by mixing some beeswax with ash from kitchen wood fired stove. School was about writing in exercise books, carefully covered at the beginning of the year, exams were all written by hand. There was no electronic help. I joined the National Bank, ledgers were all hand written and the only assistance was an adding machine.

s-l300

It can be done. The ties of the electronic age need to be loosened and blinkers removed to see that a world can exist without dependence on electronics.

 

This bring me round to baking bread. Just a little history. Baking bread was slightly hysterically steered into the sour dough area (simply an active bread starter called a leavener, no different to yeast in action, but different in taste) then we were directed into the ‘no knead’ area, where a miniscule amount of yeast is used and a long waiting period to encourage wild yeasts. The result is a sour tasting, soft textured bread that for me was often too moist, crusty outer and a wettish centre. I suspect that it has been undercooked. Usually the accepted cooking time is 30 minutes in a preheated lidded dutch oven and then a further 10 minutes with the lid off. This is not enough cooking, I suggest that it needs 45 minutes, lid on and 15 minutes with the lid off. Yes, the loaf will be a dark shade, but the inside will be properly cooked and not wet.

My latest version.

4 cups of good bread flour.

2 teaspoons sugar (flat not rounded)

2 teaspoons yeast

600 mil of water, warmed to blood temperature

1 dessertspoon sale.

Mix the sugar, water and yeast, allow to activate

Mix flour and salt in a large bowl (that you can use cling film on)

Mix the active water/yeast with the flour and mix to a sort of shaggy dough, cover with tea towel.

After 20 minutes, wet your hand and drag the dough from one side to the other, sort of folding. Do this from the 4 corners.

This should be done a total of 3 times with 20 minutes between.

Cover with cling film and leave for 5 – 6 hours.

Remove dough to a floured surface and mould into a dome, this now needs to rise for 90 minutes.

After 15 minutes, turn your oven on to 220 Celsius and place your bread cloch or cast iron pot (lids and all) and allow heat to get to 220. Will take 30 minutes.

Remove to a safe place and tip the dough into the well flowered cloch or pot, put a couple of slashes into the top, replace lid return to oven and cook for 45 minutes, remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

The bread will be well browned, completely cooked and delicious. Still no kneading.

 

 

I love baking bread, its one of the things that takes me back to the tastes and smells of my childhood, to Caddy’s bakery where Tommy Digby wove his magic, baking breads, pastries, cakes, all came from the depths of his huge oven, part gas, part wood fired, from him always singing hymns as he worked and pure skill. I learned that Tommy only accepted the best ingredients, his flour was milled in the Wimmera where it was grown, the butter came from cows that grazed on rich grassland around Port Fairy. The jams, lemon butters and other fillings were made by local ladies who kept up a constant supply as the seasons turned. Tommies large supplies of dried fruits came from Mildura where he knew they grew great fruit. Apples and apricots for the pies came from Portland where there were large orchards and reliable growers.

 

Apple slice… between two slices of crispy short pastry with pink icing scattered with cinnamon,

Jam Roll… a delicious sponge cake slathered with absolutely delectable Raspberry Jam.

Vanilla Slice… a rich creamy thick custard wedged between two layers of puff

Rainbow Cake… three layers of cake, chocolate, plain, Raspberry with mock cream and chocolate icing

Neapolitan Slice… my fave, two sheets of melt in the mouth flaky pastry with a sponge layer, raspberry jam, mock cream and iced.

Tommy made great slabs of pastry, puff and short, every day and who would ever bother making their own when his was so good.

 

Sitting in a small cozy Italian restaurant last night with two of my grandchildren, their mother and father, the conversation turned to ‘what if’… the electronic data of the world was to be destroyed by a solar flare. My granddaughter said that would be the end of school and her social life as she knew it, no lap top, no tablet, no phone. Quite clearly the end of the world. Made me start to think of my life when all that did not exist, where the phone was not a dial up, but you had to be connected by an operator. Where radio was the only entertainment, apart from the movies on Friday or Saturday night, where the technologies we take for granted now, didn’t exist. Tommy Digby did, the family Butcher shop did, my Dad was the slaughterman and killed the animals with care. Wool was spun and jumpers knitted, vegetables grown, fruit in season bottled and preserved. Shoes were polished by mixing some beeswax with ash from kitchen wood fired stove. School was about writing in exercise books, carefully covered at the beginning of the year, exams were all written by hand. There was no electronic help. I joined the National Bank, ledgers were all hand written and the only assistance was an adding machine.

 

It can be done. The ties of the electronic age need to be loosened and blinkers removed to see that a world can exist without dependence on electronics.

 

This bring me round to baking bread. Just a little history. Baking bread was slightly hysterically steered into the sour dough area (simply an active bread starter called a leavener, no different to yeast in action, but different in taste) then we were directed into the ‘no knead’ area, where a miniscule amount of yeast is used and a long waiting period to encourage wild yeasts. The result is a sour tasting, soft textured bread that for me was often too moist, crusty outer and a wettish centre. I suspect that it has been undercooked. Usually the accepted cooking time is 30 minutes in a preheated lidded dutch oven and then a further 10 minutes with the lid off. This is not enough cooking, I suggest that it needs 45 minutes, lid on and 15 minutes with the lid off. Yes, the loaf will be a dark shade, but the inside will be properly cooked and not wet.

My latest version.

4 cups of good bread flour.

2 teaspoons sugar (flat not rounded)

2 teaspoons yeast

600 mil of water, warmed to blood temperature

1 dessertspoon sale.

Mix the sugar, water and yeast, allow to activate

Mix flour and salt in a large bowl (that you can use cling film on)

Mix the active water/yeast with the flour and mix to a sort of shaggy dough, cover with tea towel.

After 20 minutes, wet your hand and drag the dough from one side to the other, sort of folding. Do this from the 4 corners.

This should be done a total of 3 times with 20 minutes between.

Cover with cling film and leave for 5 – 6 hours.

Remove dough to a floured surface and mould into a dome, this now needs to rise for 90 minutes.

After 15 minutes, turn your oven on to 220 Celsius and place your bread cloch or cast iron pot (lids and all) and allow heat to get to 220. Will take 30 minutes.

Remove to a safe place and tip the dough into the well flowered cloch or pot, put a couple of slashes into the top, replace lid return to oven and cook for 45 minutes, remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

The bread will be well browned, completely cooked and delicious. Still no kneading.

 

 

IMG_0846

~ by peterwatson on June 18, 2019.

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