I have a bread secret: I make my own and it’s extremely easy and delicious. I was driven to find a bread recipe that required no kneading or effort from fear that my $7 AUS (Though: The Aus/US exchange rate is pretty much at parity currently—HELLO internet shopping—so $7 works both ways.) fancy sourdough loaf habit was going to bankrupt me. It costs me about 55c and one hour to make a loaf that looks like the one pictured here i.e. amazing.
1. In a large bowl mix together 375g flour (almost 3 cups), a pinch of salt, 1/3 tsp dry yeast and 325g water (1 and 3/4 cups, plus 3 tablespoons). Cover with cling wrap and leave for around 12-18 hours. When it’s ready to go it will have risen significantly and have little bubbles all over the surface.
2. When you’re ready to cook, pre-heat a baking dish with a lid in a 250 degree Celsius (482 Fahrenheit) oven for around 20 minutes. The baking dish can be made of anything—ceramic, glass, cast iron—as long as it has a lid. Because the dough is quite wet, the lid creates a steamy baking environment which gives an incredibly crunchy crust.
3. Lay out some baking paper on your kitchen counter and cover it with plain flour. Scrape the risen bread dough onto the floury baking paper and immediately start folding it over itself to get all the outside bits coated in flour. Just fold it over itself a few times, fashion it into any bread-like shape and plop it in the baking dish straight away. I usually sprinkle some extra flour on top to make it look nice when it’s baked. (Because it’s so wet, this isn’t a dough you can really leave to sit on the bench at all, otherwise it will ooze everywhere.) It really doesn’t matter what shape the bread goes in like, it tends to work itself out in the baking, though try to keep it fairly ‘tall’ in shape though as it will spread and go super flat if it’s already short and wide.
4. Put the dish with the lid on in the oven and leave to bake at 250 degrees Celsius (482 Fahrenheit) for around 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the lid off the dish and turn the heat down to 200 degrees Celsuis (392 Fahrenheit), and bake for another 25 – 30 minutes—til it looks good and not burnt basically. Take it out of the oven and let the loaf cool on a rack for 20 minutes or so. While it’s cooling you can upload a picture to Facebook and smugly revel in the adulation you’ll receive.
Megan Wright lives in Australia. Secrets about all carbohydrates simple and complex alike should be sent to email@example.com.