Eve’s “No Need to Knead” Bread Recipe

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Kneading.  It’s the one techniques that holds the most mystique in the bread making process.  People agonize whether they’re doing it right, for long enough or with too little/too much firmness.  (Parallels with certain bedroom activities may be made at your own leisure, but not gone into further here…)

If you don’t have a mixer, or are befuddled by the hands-on technique, or maybe you plain just can’t knead full-stop (for whatever reason that may be), you’ll be glad to know that Eve discovered a recipe for bread that involves ZERO kneading effort at all – but still manages to produce a very fine loaf indeed.

It’s a good, solid, nourishing loaf that puts airy-fairy, crappy supermarket bread to shame.

Ingredients:

400g Strong White Bread Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Instant Dried Yeast
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt (Don’t skimp on salt quantities, this loaf needs it.)
300ml Tepid Water

Equipment:

Baking Parchment
A stout Casserole Dish

1) Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon until you get a wet-ish doughy looking mass, cover the bowl with cling film and leave for 12-18 hours at room temperature

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2) After 12 or so hours time (or up to 18, the dough is quite forgiving) get your oven on and warming up to as high as it will go (somewhere around 230C/450F is ideal)

3) Place a decent, solid casserole dish and lid in to the oven to warm:  Pyrex, cast-iron or whatever is ideal…as long as it can take the temperature.  The oven should take about 30 minutes to come up to baking heat

4) Now flour your work-surface with a fair dusting of flour – this dough can be quite damp.  Tip the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface.  Work the dough by gently pulling the edges out and folding them back over onto the dough ball.  You only need to do this a couple of few times.

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5) Now turn the dough over and form into a ball by putting the backs of your hands flat on the work surface and bringing them together smartly under the dough ball a few times until you get a rough ball shape.  Leave this to rest on the workstop until the oven and casserole dish are hot – you can cover the dough ball lightly with cling film if you like, but we don’t bother – as it’s a bugger when it sticks to the dough

6) Take the, by now hot, casserole dish out of the oven and remove the lid.  Put a square of baking parchment in the bottom and place your dough ball on top of that.  Flick a little cold tap water from your fingertips onto the top of the dough ball (or use a clean water spray/atomiser sort of thing, if you’ve got it) and quickly put the lid back on.  Water makes steam and steam makes crust…

7) Put the casserole dish back into the oven and set your timer to bake your bread for 30 mins.  Leave it alone to cook.  Don’t be tempted to peek.  Just let it do it’s thing.

8) After 30 mins, remove the lid of the casserole dish and put the uncovered loaf back into the oven for another 15 mins so that it will brown nicely.

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9) When the 15 mins have passed, remove the loaf from the casserole dish and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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10) Enjoy warm with butter and jam, or with a load of cheese – God bless our waistlines…

Orange Glow Oaty bread

As is the tradition these days, I’m handing over to Eve to give you another of her bread recipes.  I took the liberty of calling the recipe Orange Glow Oaty Bread a) because it’s my blog  and b) because I’m old enough to remember the Ready Brek adverts of the early eighties!

Ingredients

650ml warm water

30g warmed, soft butter
2tbsp sugar
150g Ready Brek or instant oats
850g white bread flour
2 x (7g) sachets of quick yeast
3 tsp salt
Olive oil, about 20ml in total (10ml for the dough and 10ml for oiling the work surface to prevent sticking)

Method

Add all ingredients to the mixer bowl in the order above, without mixing yet – and also keeping back the oil for a later stage, ensuring that the yeast and the salt are kept apart on different sides of the bowl.

Because all of the ingredients are layered in the bowl – with the water at the bottom and the yeast not getting wet and activated yet – I have found that you can leave it to sit for a couple of hours or so, allowing you to put children to bed/feed the baby/walk the dog, etc.

It also allows time for the warm water to soak into the oats.

Note: If you do decide to leave it to soak for a bit you might need to add a touch more water when at the kneading stage later on…

Using the dough hook, mix on speed 1 for about 3 minutes, stopping every now and then to scrape the dough off the dough hook.

If it looks dry add more water, if a bit wet add more flour.

When the dough, is smooth and elastic and starts to sticks to the dough hook, it should be about right.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, and pour a bit of olive oil (a further 10ml) over the dough whilst scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl with a rubber spatula.  If you can, try and coat the entire dough ball in oil, which will prevent it drying out.

Cover the mixer bowl with a plastic disposable shower cap and put it somewhere warm for at least an hour until the dough doubles in size.  The dough may be a bit slower than normal to rise as the Ready Brek is lower in gluten than the white bread flour, so it slows down the rising process a little.

My dough takes about an hour in the boiler cupboard.  Your mileage will vary…

Oil the work surface and your hands then tip the dough out of the bowl and divide into two.

Flatten each lump of dough into a rectangle and roll it up into a Swiss roll shape – being sure to tuck the ends of the dough underneath.

Place each rolled loaf into a oiled bread tin, inside an upside down carrier bag and put it in a warm place for the second prove.

It took my dough about 35 mins to rise the second time. So, pop the oven on to 200C (fan oven) about 20 minutes into the second prove.

When fully risen, remove from the bags, slash the top of the loaves lengthways and place in to the oven gently, cook for 30 minutes or until the top has a nice nut brown colour and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

When cooked, remove from the tins and allow to cool down on a wire rack.

Enjoy the lovely moist texture and subtle oaty flavour of the loaf.

Bread from a brew day!

One of the depressing things about an all-grain brew day is having to throw away a large quantity of spent grain – sometimes around 6 or 7 kilos.  I can get rid of about half of it to our chickens, who tend to go a bit mad for it…but what to do with the rest?

A great way to use some of it up is to make bread with it.  My wife makes the recipe outlined in this previous post, swapping some of the white flour out for wholemeal, and also incorporating about 100 grams of the spent malt.  It really does make a beautiful bread.  See the pictures below:

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Making a basic bread dough in a mixer; Kenwood, Kitchen Aid or otherwise

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Due to pregnancy and the ensuing stretchy ligaments that make dough kneading a pain, Eve e-bayed herself a decent second-hand Kenwood K-Mix (I also think she just fancied one too!) but couldn’t for the life of her find any exact instructions on how to make a bread dough in it.

After multiple experiments, much cursing and several slightly flattened loaves, we came up with a method that works for us.  The ingredients are based upon Paul Hollywood’s Basic Bread recipe, but the method is all ours!

(We both recommend the Paul Hollywood bread books as the recipes and methods just work…)

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • A knob of softened butter
  • 1 sachet dried, fast action, yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 250 -300ml coolish, not cold, water
  • a little olive oil

Method

  1. Put the flour into the mixer’s bowl with the softened butter.  Put the yeast at one side of the bowl and put the salt at the other, just in case the concentration of salt should kill the yeast.  Set the mixer to the “min” setting and leave to combine the ingredients for a thirty seconds or so
  2. Slowly add the water, a little at a time, as the mixer runs on the “min” setting.  The dough will start to come together slowly.  Keep adding water a little at a time until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl.  If the dough looks too dry add a little water a teaspoon at a time; if it looks too wet shake a little flour in
  3. Once the mixture comes away cleanly from the bowl, you can go up to a notch in speed, the dough will now audibly “slap” against the sides of the bowl, you should also see it visibly stretching.  I like to vary the speed between “min” and setting 1 – which seems to help get things moving along nicely.  Occasionally stop the mixer and pull the dough from the hook, this helps to ensure a good knead and you also get to test how elastic the dough is becoming
  4. Once you can pinch a small piece of dough between thumb and forefinger and pull it for more than an inch or two without it ripping, you’re pretty much in business.  Tip the dough out of the bowl, oil the bowl by rubbing about a penny-sized dollop of olive oil around the interior before putting the dough back in
  5. Find somewhere at room temperature to prove the dough, and cover the mixer bowl with cling film
  6. After the dough has doubled in size (anywhere from an hour to three hours) tip out onto a lightly oiled work surface and with the lightest of touches fold the dough lengthways three, four or five times – until you end up with a loaf tin-sized cylinder of dough. This is a gentle way of “knocking the dough back” so that it can prove for a second time
  7. Oil a loaf tin (including the outside shoulders of the tin) and gently place your folded dough into it, then get a large plastic bag and form a balloon that the loaf tin can fit into – ensuring that the rising loaf cannot possibly touch the plastic bag
  8. Leave for another hour or two until the loaf proves again and rises above the level of the tin
  9. Make sure that your oven is pre-heated to about 200c, with an old baking tin in the bottom.  Now gently place the loaf into the oven and pour a small glass of tap water into the old tin at the bottom of the oven – the steam helps the crust to get crusty!
  10. After 25 minutes take the loaf out of the oven, turn it out of the tin and tap the bottom – if it sounds hollow it’s done and should be cooled on a wire rack.  If not, put it back in the tin and into the oven for another five minutes…repeat as neccessary
  11. After about half-an-hour of cooling the new loaf can be sliced and enjoyed with a spread of butter!

UPDATE:  If you liked that, you may also like this:

https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/08/05/cheats-sourdough-hybrid-bread-in-a-kenwoood-or-kitchen-aid-mixer/

No mixer, or can’t knead bread?  Try the “No need to knead” bread recipe!

https://yeastismybitch.com/2014/03/03/eves-no-need-to-knead-bread-recipe/