Thursday, July 30, 2009

That Bread....a Baking Challenge!

Let me introduce to you.....the bread that changed my life! I've been positively evangelical about this bread since I've starting making it a couple of weeks ago.

I've always wanted to find a good bread recipe that lasted for a couple of days without becoming inedible, to make sandwiches, toast, etc. My friends....look no further!

I know a few of you have yeast fears. Let's settle those fears, shall we? I'm challenging each and everyone of you to make this bread this week!

You just won't believe how easy it is. The recipe will follow the photos. I make a loaf of this EVERY DAY now. It's what we use for sandwiches. A panini on this is fantastic. I love the frugality of making my own bread. You'd pay about $4 for a loaf of artisan bread like this, and you can make it for about 25 cents. It does require a 'dutch oven'. I use an old cast iron one, but I'm thinking that any covered pan that can withstand a temperature of 500 degrees should work. If you don't have anything like that, still try this. You might not get the chewy texture on the crust, but a more crunchy texture.

Here is the beautiful dough ball about getting ready to be put in the oven:

Here is the finished product. It's a recipe that I adapted from the Mother Earth News magazine for No Knead Bread. I don't follow it exactly as they do, and my results are fantastic. I now have about six ziploc bags made up with the 'bread mix' and all I have to do is add water and I'm done.

I TRULY hope this will put some of your bread making fears to rest. Please let me know if you try it!

Could you please let me know if you like step by step photo tutorials? I didn't want to be redundant about things. I know a lot of blogs use them. Do you like them?

The recipe:

3 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon of yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix the yeast and water in a large bowl and set aside. Mix the flour and salt together. Add to the water. Stir it around until it forms a shaggy ball. Cover it with plastic wrap tightly. (I used a towel the first time, it needs the plastic wrap). Let it sit for 10, preferably 18 hours, at room temperature.

Now comes the fun part....punch the dough down (it will be VERY wet) and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Take a few more handfuls of flour and mix it into the dough, making it just where you can get ahold of it and it feels sorta like a water balloon. It will be a very soft, loose dough. I like to rub flour all over it at this point and slash it a couple of times on the top. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour or so.

Heat your oven to 500. Put your dutch oven in the oven while it's preheating.

Don't let the following step freak you out. After the oven is preheated, you have to lift that bread with the parchment paper and put it in the pot. I've never successfully done it without the bread deflating. It doesn't seem to matter!

Lower the oven temp to 425.

Cover the pot, and bake for 30 minutes.

Uncover, and bake about another 20 minutes, or until your bread looks brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Try to let it cool for an hour before you cut it. Try hard.


  1. I have known about this recipe for months and still haven't tried it! My new dutch oven is a smaller one...I don't think it'll work. I still don't have a baking stone either, I think the original recipe had it on one of those to bake? Another blogger baked it just on a regular pan and it turned out I thought I'd do it, yet still haven't. Goodness. As much as I love fresh bread, you'd think I'd be all over this!! :) LOL I really am going to make it though. I'm ok with step by step photos or without. Great post!!

  2. Jennifer...I sure hope you do give it a try. I think your smaller dutch oven would work fine. I've made it in like a three quart one and there was plenty of room.

    Go for it!!!!

  3. Jayme, you just make it all look or sound so easy and it comes out looking, tasting beautiful. A part of me really envy's you but another part of me tell's me it's like everything in life, some do and can...some don't and won't...if that makes sense. Your blog has certainly made me do some inner reflecting as to the why's in my life and it's been really good for me. I totally love your whole life and all that you share with us on your blog. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous
    Thank you for such a heart felt comment. Please don't envy me...oh Lord...I only post the good parts :-) There's plenty of heartache, plenty of days when I'd rather stay in the bed with the covers drawn over my head (like today) but I press on. Baking today actually put me in a better mood. I guess I've always been the type of person that figured if it could be done, then I could do it. I've had more failures than successes, I've pulled my hair out plenty of times, stomped around the yard cursing all the flowers I've planted, and wished I lived in a at the end of the day, if I've lived to please myself, and no one else, I'm happy. It's when we (or I) try to do things to please others, or to make it all 'look good' on the outside that I find I get awfully crabby.

    I have no idea where I'm going with all I'll close. Just wanted to acknowledge your kind comment.

  5. Just wanted to clarify....I'm not saying be a selfish beotch! I'm saying...when you realize you've lived your life to make everyone else happy, or to create a facade for others...that's when it's bad. I'm all about helping others, making others happy and living a life of service. Ok....sorry.

  6. Okay, I am still scared. But my sweet hubby would think I have hung the moon if I would start making bread. Oh the domesticity! (is that a word?)

    I will give it a try Saturday and let you know how it goes. Yeast really does scare me though. I have had no luck with it in the past. Can't you fly down here and give me a lesson?

  7. Hey Mama Hen, it's a word now! And I love it. Good one.

    Annon. you sound like I use to, this woman we know as Jayme, the Lord put her in my life years ago and now I fear little about such things. I'm grateful for friends like her that aren't afraid to walk in areas that we fear, and she'll even fail with a smile so that we might learn and not be afraid anymore. Be afraid of nothing, just learn to laugh it off when and if you fail. It's how we learn. You wouldn't believe the things we have tried. The memories are the greatest part whether we succeeded or failed, (and laughed our butts off). Never give up!

    Jaym, keep on keeping u my sister :)

  8. Oh and of coarse I'm gonna try it, this family of 6 goes thru way to much bread, and the store prices are driving me crazy for a loaf of bread that doesn't weigh an ounce. I have no dutch oven that can handle that kind of heat but you know me, I'll find a way. I'll let ya know how it turns out. C U Sugar!

  9. Mama Hen....I will absolutely fly down there and give you a hand!!! Wouldn't that be SO fun? I am actually going to start having some 'domesticity' classes. Yes, that is such a good new word, sounds like something George Bush would say. Please darlin' now just try this bread. The sky will open and the sun will beam right on it, and your husband will look upon you with eyes you've never seen before as your children...clean, groomed and perfectly behaved will arise and call you blessed. :-)

    Raundalee....good grief girl, we have the stories don't we!? Fools step in where angels fear to tread.

  10. I am def not afraid of yeast, and am going to make this tonight!!! I could def use this for my panini sandwiches with my maker, and WHY didn't I think of this when we've been out of BREAD at the beginning of the week because I didn't have time to go to the grocery store until Wed.!!!!! The light bulb has gone off because of you dear.

  11. Hey Jayme - This bread looks so good and I can't wait to try it. It has been awhile since I made homemade bread. I have a 94 yr. old aunt and she makes homemade light rolls (yeast) and I just absolutely love to watch her make it. She makes up 5-10 lbs. of flour at a time and uses the big old white enamel pans trimmed in red to mix them up and makes up enough to cover up her large kitchen table. What I love is watching her put one hand in the flour container and then squeeze the dough with the other hand and use the floured hand to pinch the dough off. She makes some in individual rolls, put some in loaf pans and some in a tube pan. Now here is the good part...she give most all of it away. Everyone in the county she lives in knows of the famous Auntie Lit Bread. I will let you know how my try at making your recipe turns out. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    OT - I sent you an email. I am so happy to have won your giveaway of the beautiful apron. I can't wait to put it in a special place:>).

    Janice (BellaDella's Mom)

  12. Jayme, I knew this bread recipe sounded familiar to me. I have made it several times before. I don't have a cast iron dutch oven like you do to bake it in, wish I did. I used a pyrex oven safe round casserole dish. My recipe calls for cornmeal or wheat bran on a non-terry towel while it is coming to a rise for the second time. Have not made one in a while, will definitely try your way next time, sounds delicious. I got mine from the internet as I saw the man on Marthas show from The Sullivan Street Bakery in New York, they are famous for this kind of bread. Happy Bread making to my vintage little housewife friend.

  13. Jayme, Jayme, Jayme,
    That bread is looks absolutely heavenly! I cannot wait to bake. I have to get a dutch oven (dont have one). Is it a heavy pan? You bring so much joy to us all. You should publish those pictures, lol
    Love Ya

  14. Jayme, Larry & I have been trying to swear off of yeast, although I love the smell and taste of it in bread.
    I have a great Irish Soda bread recipe that needs no rising at all and has no yeast! Just a little bit of kneading. It's a round bread, with a cross slashed on it to "let the fairies out" the recipe says! Chewy crust and soft and even textured inside, it does not dry out. I make it every other day! Love you, you talented lady!


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