My new favorite bread recipe comes from alexandracooks.com. Be sure to click over there and visit her recipe, since she has lots of tips for making this turn out just-right, as well as several variations that I haven’t tried working with yet. What I’m posting today focuses on making one peasant loaf and one faux focaccia loaf.
This bread is incredible easy to make, but you do have to plan ahead. I need about three hours between the time you start the bread to the time when you can eat it.
Announcement: I’m planning some changes to this blog to focus on providing more useful resources for my readers. My posts on type psychology have been the ones people consistently comment on as being the most helpful, so I want to focus on that while continuing to write my Christian articles and introducing homeschooling resources for teaching high-school English. With all these changes, I’m most likely going to be phasing-out these weekly recipe posts or moving them to a different blogging platform (unless you all REALLY want me to keep them, in which case they’ll probably be less frequent).
Easy No-Knead Bread
2 cups lukewarm water (110–120° F)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
4 cups flour (3 cups all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat)
2 teaspoons salt
room temperature butter, about 1 tablespoon
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1 clove garlic, diced
coarse sea salt
Dissolve the sugar into the water in a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over top, then let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is foamy.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, stir it up. Mix the yeast mixture into the flour until it forms a soft dough.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel run under hot water and rung out so it is slightly damp. Set it aside in a warm spot to rise for about one-and-a-half hours.
Grease one oven-safe bowl or a medium casserole dish and one 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Use 1/2 tablespoon of butter for each. Using two forks, punch down the dough and scrape it from the sides of the bowl, turning the dough over on itself. Using the two forks, pull the dough apart into the equal portions and then scoop one into each baking dish.
The peasant loaf, the one in the bowl or casserole dish, is now done. For the faux focaccia, mix 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon parsley, and 1 clove diced garlic. Spread the dough out with your fingers to fit the shape of the pan, then dip your fingers in the olive oil mixture and press the top of the dough to make dimples in the surface. Spread the remainder of the olive oil mixture on top of the bread, and then sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes, then bake for 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375ºF and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks.
Brush the top of the peasant loaf with butter. Let the loaves cool for about 10 minutes before cutting.