The past few days have been about resting and resetting. Daylight savings threw me for a loop and my sleep schedule basically dove straight off a cliff. I spent the majority of last week staying up way past my normal bed time, tossing and turning all night, then waking up exhausted and heading to work. As my weekend came to a close I was feeling fatigued and run down. So, since my schedule allows me to work from home certain days of the week, that’s what I’ve been doing the last few days. Working from home, taking care of myself and trying to catch up on sleep and, oh, baking bread.
My love for cooking comes directly from my great appreciation for food and eating. Simple meals are my favorite but as I blog about food more and more, I find myself struggling with this - creating simple meals with simple ingredients. It seems like every recipe needs more and more to make their recipe sparkle or special. As I’m resetting my sleep habits, I felt like it was a good time to remind myself why I love to cook. So, in between naps and work this week, I spent some time in my kitchen making my all time favorite food, bread. Simple, 4-ingredient, no-knead bread.
We began making our own bread about 4 years ago. My husband is the true baker in the family. He spends hours playing with recipes mixing different combination of flours like rye and wheat to discover the optimal bread flavor. Our go-to recipe is the Master Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This is a quick (in bread world) and easy recipe that can produce beautiful and fairly tasty bread loaves. But over time, we’ve gotten bored with this recipe from eating it so much.
A few months ago as we were searching for a new bread recipe, I stumbled upon Mark Bittman’s New York Times No-Knead Bread Recipe. This foolproof method has been around for about 8 years, and I’ll admit, I felt quiet silly that I only discovered it now. As I began to dive into articles exploring this no-knead treasure, I was intrigued by it’s unique cooking method, in a pot. Yes, you read that right, in an enamel or cast iron pot. Actually, I’m sure there are a number of other pot types you could use but these are the two we have experimented with. So, one evening in November, I made my husband mix together the dough, and the next day I attempted my first bread in a pot – posting these beauties on Facebook.
The flavor of this bread is quiet simple, it’s not too yeasty and when done correctly, has the most wonderful crust. While it may sound daunting, this No-Knead Bread recipe from The New York Times is astoundingly easy. Just combine water, salt and yeast. Let it rise for 12 hours. Preheat oven, place in pot at 450° for 45 minutes and remove. I usually have to stop myself from eating half the loaf when it’s straight out of the oven because nothing in the world tastes better then a piece of this freshly baked bread with butter and honey.