We eat bread.
We do not eat bread at every meal, or even every day of the week. We eat bread because life is too short to deny yourself the warm crusty goodness of fresh baked bread...and from what I have learned about denial, it always comes back to bite you in the ass later anyway.
Bread is one of the oldest foods. It has kept generations of families from starving to death. It is simple. It makes me feel GOOD and that is very important. I want to eat healthy, make good choices for my family and I want to enjoy every little piece of the process that goes into feeding my children.
I make a big batch of bread every 7-14 days depending on how things are going. Sometimes I make bread for the shop. But mostly, I make it for us. I mix two really great recipes & methods together to do what we do. One is the famous No-Knead Bread Recipe and the other comes from the book Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day. I highly recommend this book. It is full of great bread recipes and methods. By using recipes and methods for both I get a simple bread that is easy for my little ones to chew and the adults still get the yummy crust we crave.
Here is what I use:
12.7 Qt plastic bin with lid
6 Cups cold water
3 Tablespoons active dry yeast
3 Tablespoons salt
13 Cups of flour
cast iron dutch oven
(recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day)
Here is what I do:
First, I pour 6 Cups of cold water into the bin, then I add the yeast and salt and give it a little stir.
Then I add 13 Cups of flour and stir it a bit, just to coat all the flour.
Next I plop the lid on top, but I do not close it up tight. Let the dough rise overnight.
The next morning I preheat my oven to 450degrees. I put the dutch oven in while the oven preheats.
Next I pull off about a grapefruit size mess of dough and work some flour into it. Sprinkle the top with flour, then work the flour in by folding it under over and over again. Cut some slits in the top. I let the dough rest while the oven preheats.
Bake for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes I take the lid off and let it bake for another 12-15 minutes. This varies depending on the size of the dough I use.
I slide the bread out using a long wooden spoon and place the warm bread on a cooling rack to rest for about an hour before cutting into it.
Store the dough in the refrigerator. I have left mine in there chilling for up to 2 weeks.
This recipe makes about 8 loaves of bread. The loaf size is perfect for a family of 4-5 to enjoy with dinner or with eggs at breakfast. We use it for sandwiches, french toast, as a little dessert when we spread some apple butter over it. It's super easy. And it's super delicious.