– By Bridgette Mabuto –
I love bread. Seriously love bread. And considering I’ve lived in France and other francophone countries, I’ve had access to some really great breads throughout my life. And it spoiled me. My point? When I got back from France the last time, I decided I was done with store-bought bread and I was going to start baking my own. Easy enough, right?
Yeah, no. Not at all.
The first few tries, I ended up with bread that smelled delicious but was doughy and uncooked in the center. After throwing away more loaves than I care to admit, I was on the verge of giving up and making the trek downtown every day to get the freshly baked good stuff. Then I discovered this no-knead bread.
How should I describe it?
I could go on. All I know is that this recipe changed my life. Is it a baguette? No. I’ve given up those dreams for the time being. Until then, my mediocre skills will be put towards making this next best thing.
And how great is it to bring freshly baked bread to family and friends? You’ll get mad props!
4 Cups All-Purpose Flour (not bleached!)
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Cups Warm Water
2 Teaspoons Sugar
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
2 Tablespoons Room Temperature Butter
To Prep the Yeast:
Dissolve the sugar in the lukewarm water.
Shake the yeast out over the water, but don’t mix.
Leave until it forms foam (about 10 minutes).
To Make the Dough:
Sieve flour and salt into a bowl.
Mix foamy yeast into the flour and salt mix.
Blend until all the flour is absorbed.
Cover bowl with towel.
Leave in a warm area for an hour or two, until the dough doubles in size.
Butter two loaf pans and preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using your floured hands or two spoons, punch down the dough back to its original size.
Let the dough rise again for about 30 minutes, near the oven where it’s warm.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Lower temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake for 15 minutes further or until browned.
Flip out of loaf pans and allow to cool. (But still warm!)
Smother with butter and preserves and enjoy!
This bread is best fresh out of the oven. However, if you’re planning on eating it for several days, I definitely suggest toasting it. It gives the bread the fresh feeling again and it smells SO good!