No Knead Peasant Bread
(proof yeast, mix ingredients, 1st rise, punch, 2nd rise, bake - that's it!!) Yay!
I saw this bread that both food blogger friends Mary & Ann had made...I needed to give it a try. Let me say - this was a super easy recipe to follow and you end up with a truly tasty bread!! so YUMMY! Enjoy ~ Diane
2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 new plastic shower cap *
First, Preheat your oven to 170 then turn the oven OFF. You want to create your "rising" temperature "bread-box".
Next comes "proofing your yeast" making sure its good and 'active' -
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the water, then add the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture creates a foam on the surface of mix. The warm water and sugar activate the yeast and the foam is created by the yeast ''waking up' so to speak - if you do not see foam or any bubbly action, your yeast may be old and inactive. Make sure to always have fresh yeast on hand. As well, if your water temp is too cold - this will not activate the yeast (I use a quick read thermometer to ensure my water is between 105-110 for active dry yeast)
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Pour in the active yeast mixture and stir to mix well - when mixed the dough will get sticky but, still form a semi ball shape (like an elastic ball of dough) Once mixed, spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, cover the bowl with a moist towel or *use a new shower cap and place over the bowl, works great for rising breads!! Let rise in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. The dough should rise to almost the top lip of the bowl and be wet and bubbly.
Take bowl out of the oven and 'Punch" the dough down using two forks. Poke the dough all over the place and then scrape up from the sides of the bowl, set aside.
(Preheat the oven to 425 F.)
Using the softened butter, generously butter two small Pyrex (or other oven-safe) mixing bowls (about 1 to 1.5 qt in size), take punched down dough and cut the dough in half and put half in each bowl. Spray the top of the loaves with cooking spray, re-cover with a dry towel or the *shower cap from the first rise, and set the bowls on top of the oven for the second rise - I set my bowls near the back of oven where it seems warmer as the oven heats up. Let rise for at least 20 minutes or until the dough has risen to just below the rim of the bowls. (no longer then 40 mins)
Remove the towel or shower cap and set the bowls in the oven. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 and bake for 15 minutes longer or until nicely browned on top.
When out of oven, immediately turn the bowls over onto a baking rack to remove the bread from the bowls. If the bottom "bowl side" of the bread is too white, set the bread back into the oven - bowl side up - for approx. 5 minutes to brown.
Recipe Adapted by: Diane Baker from Sumptuous Spoonfuls - Original Recipe by: Alexandra Cooks
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Freshly Baked Bread...
When toasted - this bread has a nice buttery crust all over and has a sweet fresh taste to it. It's a lighter (less dense) bread then typical "sandwich bread" and next time I think I will free form this into focaccia bread and add rosemary and sun dried tomatoes with garlic, just to test it out...