Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Best Bread Ever!!!

I have finally achieved that pinnacle of baking ---  the "best bread" award from my husband, who was raised on what I was previously led to believe was the best bread ever of his childhood housekeeper, Mrs. Ryan, in the small village of Kenmare, Ireland.

I use a no-knead bread recipe that sits on the counter overnight raising...and then bakes in a cast iron dutch oven.  The humidity bakes it *perfectly*

Here is the recipe with my tweaks!

4 C King Arthur Bread Flour                                
1 t active yeast
1 t salt
2 T sugar
1T olive oil
1 2/3 C warm water
(good  additions - thyme, oregano, rosemary, parmesan cheese, sundried tomato)

Mix dry ingredients together (i use a wooden spoon), add warm water.   Mix together, dough will have a sticky consistency.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap, leave on counter for approx 18 hours.

Using floured work surface and hands, gently work the dough into a loaf by folding over and tucking the ends underneath.  Do not knead, it will make the bread tough!  Flour the bowl and then carefully lift the loaf and pop it back into the bowl.  Cover with a floured towel.  Let rise for 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.   After oven is preheated, put your covered dutch oven or deep casserole dish (i use cast iron, but i've heard that other types work too as long as you cover tightly with a lid)   to heat.   After 15 minutes remove, pick up dough and move to the dutch oven.  Dough will spread out and cover the bottom of dutch oven.  Re-cover, put into the oven for 30 minutes.   Remove lid, bake for another 3-5 minutes to brown the top.

Easiest and best bread i've ever tasted!  Makes a perfect "artisan" type loaf every time!

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