12.03.2012

homemade bread, a simple pleasure







yesterday was one of those gray damp days that called for all day pajamas and homemade bread.

i make this bread a minimum of once a week and i'd like you to try it too.
not only will you save a ton of money at the grocery store (it costs about 50 cents to make) but there is just something decadent about eating homemade bread every day.









i've shared the recipe with you before and you can see it right here
but i've cut a bunch of the steps out and it comes out perfect every single time.

so here is what i do...

late in the afternoon, usually between 2pm and 4pm in a medium sized mixing bowl i add...

3 cups of flour.  i usually mix white, wheat and spelt in equal parts.
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

i pour in...
1 5/8th cup water (which is roughly 1 3/4 cup water)

and with a big spoon mix it up and then use my hands to mix it a little bit more

i cover it with another bowl inverted style and let it be for a minimum of 12 hrs but up to 18 is ok too.

when i get up the next morning i punch the dough down about 3 or 4 times and let it sit for another hour or so.
1/2 hr before it's ready to be baked i heat my dutch oven to 450 degrees.

when the dutch oven comes out i sprinkle a small amount of flour on the bottom and then put the bread dough in, cover it and bake it for about 45 minutes.

 then i just pop it out and it's ready.

it's so easy.

this has to be one of life's simplest but most luxurious pleasures.

xo
janet



57 comments:

  1. That's a beauty, I make my own bread too, but it nver looks that good.
    Last week, we didn't really cook, we just had bread based dinners every night!

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  2. I'm impressed too! I love bread, especially homemade. I'd rather you just come here and bake it for me....good excuse to visit. You know you want to come to nebraska! :)

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  3. Help! Been trying to make this bread come out like yours for 6 months! Even bought a $200+ Le Crueset. Somehow during the dough transfer to the hot pot the dough deflates and I end up with a flat heavy loaf. What is the secret to the transfer?

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    Replies
    1. hmmm, i've never had that problem. i don't have a secret re the transfer, and my dough doesn't really deflate. it is kind of a big gooey mess but it always rises. is your yeast fresh? i've had a heavy loaf or two from yeast that was not fresh.

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  4. Dear Janet - how do you actually keep the bread fresh & crusty - I made bread before and tried plastic/paper/nothing/bread basket in different combinations but somehow it always seems to go soggy... or does your's "disappear" within a day?

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    1. i don't package the bread in anything for most of the day and then i put it into a paper bag and store it in a drawer. i've never had it go soggy on me and it lasts us a few days. if you store it in a plastic bag while it is still a little warm it would create a sauna for the bread so i guess my suggestion would be that you make sure it is super dry before storing.

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    2. Try putting the bread in a cotton bag , maybe with draw strings. A simple cotton pillow case would also work. The bread doesn't go soft or soggy. That's what we use here in Switzerland.

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  5. Jon's going to be busy this week! He makes a mean loaf and I'm sure he'd love a crack at yours! x

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  6. Hi Janet,

    The bread sounds lovely, but what size dutch oven do you use? Is that why the loaf stays round and loaf-like? Need to know! Thanks- Jill

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    Replies
    1. i believe it is a round 3qt size. i think it's 3qt, it has a 3 on the bottom so i'm guessing it means quarts.:)

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  7. Wow, it must smell heavenly too.

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  8. You make it sound so easy ... it's a pretty loaf of bread. I can almost smell it.
    Claudia

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  9. Bread and cheese is one of my favourite things - you're right about life's simple pleasures.

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  10. Yesterday at lunch time, on the other side of your world, I put a loaf together to rise. Got up this morning and set it out for its second rise.
    Logged in to look at some blogs while my coffee was on and saw you had just done the same! It's a small world. I love this no knead bread.
    I bake it here and on the farm. Love your blog too Janet , and while I am not a vegan I enjoy fresh and tasty food- so your vegan month of recipes gave me some great ideas.

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  11. Wondering if you've ever made this with entirely whole wheat flour or other whole grains?....I've eliminated white flour from my diet and am always seeking 100 percent whole grain ideas! Thanks so much.....LOVE your blog!

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    1. oh yes! i actually make it with lots of different variations of flour but the one i usually make is this one. the 100% whole wheat version is very good, it is more dense than this one - but it's good.

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  12. Oooo! YUMMY! And EASY! My lady is going to try it! Thank you.

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  13. I love the no-knead bread too. I got my 5 qt cast iron dutch oven at Target about 2 years ago. I had trouble with the dough transfer until I began using parchment paper - as this gal does in her video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JguDf11R4PU

    The oiled parchment paper saves on cleanup and prevents any sticking problems.

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    1. Seriously, shell, your piggybacking onto Janet's lovely blog is getting really annoying and tiresome to read----get your own blog, and readers who want to read your comments/ uncalled for directions/biases can choose to. I find myself avoiding reading the comments on Janet's blog so I don't have to read your comments. A good friend would tell you to find your own medium to use, and not use Janet's platform. It is unfair to Janet. Now go do the right thing.

      Cyndy P

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    2. She can't help herself. Did you see the last post where she went off on a vegan diatribe on a fashion post? But she's just trying to "get out information that people want." Apparently olive oil is bad for us now.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. I can't see anything wrong in shell's comment, she actually added some valuable information that might be of use for others :)

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  14. I read your blog avidly. Thank you for the vegan recipes and decorating ideas, I am renovating my home and your pictures and ideas are a wonderful inspiration. I have been trying to make bread, sometimes successfully sometimes not! I live in the warm and humid tropics - would you say that this dough would rise better in the fridge overnight in my case? Thank you!

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    1. i really don't have any idea how the dough would do in the refrigerator. i'm thinking the warmth of your climate would be good for it. you can always try and see what happens!

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    2. Thanks, I'll do that!
      Yvonne

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  15. Wow - sounds and looks beautiful ! Thank you for sharing the recipe - just one question ! Is a "dutch oven" a heavy covered casserole type dish , such as a Le Crueset, or something similar ?

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  16. Thanks for all of the great recipes! I've really been enjoying your posts. I have been experimenting with veganism since this summer, but it's hard with two male carnivores in the house.

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  17. Janet,
    Never has a round loaf of bread looked prettier than on the railing of your porch with a little CA daylight. I love making homemade bread. There's just something so satisfying how simple ingredients, a little time and patience...and you have this amazing warm bread. Wish I had some right now.
    xo
    annie

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  18. I have never made homemade bread but I think I will now.
    YUM!

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  19. just want to clarify that it's 1/4 Tablespoon yeast and 1 1/2 Tablespoon salt or is it teaspoons?
    Sorry to be so daft but I'd like to be sure before I make it!
    Leslie

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    1. oh no leslie. a small t is teaspoon and a capital T is tablespoon.
      i need to be clearer about this.:)

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  20. Hi Janet
    I love your blog, and this is my first comment! Is a 't' a teaspoon or tablespoon?
    Regards
    Meg

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  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  22. I seriously need to get a dutch oven. My arthritis is such a pain to me sometimes. I finally bought a cast iron skillet once I found one with two handles for easy gripping. I bet I could lug a dutch oven if it had big enough handles. What brand do you use?
    I am rambling along. I loved the look of your bread. If it is this easy and cheap, I might stop buying bread altogether! I recently took your advice and bought some spelt flour, but I have yet to use it. Maybe this is the reason to open it up! :)
    Brandi
    Oh, I posted the remodel of our bathroom on http://ourtinycottagelife.blogspot.com/ today!!!

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  23. Hi Janet! I have been baking this bread for my family since the first time you posted the recipe.I just had it for breakfast with butter and a good cheddar:)
    Your blog is a nice, calm place.

    Tery

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  24. I love it when a great recipe can be made even simpler. I think a lot of recipes have extra steps built into them because they just get passed on that way. Your bread looks luscious!

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  25. Janet the recipe sounds wonderfully easy. However, I don't have a dutch oven. Can I just place the dough in a formed baking pan, pie pan, or on a pizza stone?

    Thanks.

    Donna

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    1. i don't think so donna. if you read the original recipe he specifically calls for a covered casserole type dish. do you have a covered pyrex casserole?

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    2. Donna--I think yes you can use a pizza stone but you have to have a pan of water in the oven at the same time.

      I have a basic Lodge [ brand ] cast iron dutch oven. It was not expensive at all. I think under $12 at Target.
      Or maybe it was Walmart. One of those.
      On Chowhound some say you can make the bread without a dutch oven. I think that
      the main purpose of the cast iron dutch oven is to concentrate and retain the moisture that is released from the dough as it’s heated.
      This simulates the conditions in a commercial oven with steam injection. The steam produces a hard dense crust.
      read here:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/505121

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    3. Donna,
      I don't use a dutch oven either since I don't own one and I don't like the idea of buying stuff for sole-purpose use only. (the fact that I don't own a dutch oven prooves that I don't need it :-)

      I go with the Jamie Oliver bread recipe which is plain and simple, the bread always leaves the oven with a great crust and never goes out of shape.

      Here you can see the process (I add nuts and cranberries):
      http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/basic-bread-recipe

      and the list of ingredients/recipe:
      http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/basic-bread-recipe

      of course your hands can do the job the food processor does :-)

      Please let me know if this comment was of any use for you!

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    4. PS: now I remember: the reason why I went for a knead-bread was the timemanagement. I found the long pauses inbetween difficult to handle.

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    5. Janet, Shell, and Paula, thank you all for your replies. I'm going to give the pizza stone/pan of water process a try this weekend. Wish me luck.

      Donna

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  26. Hi Janet.
    I have a bread machine but no longer use it. Here's my problem with home-made bread; It tastes so much better than store bought and so I eat 3 to 4 times the amount of bread I would normally eat. Therefore, I buy bread I don't really like so I won't eat it. Very much.
    I just realized that's pretty damaged.

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    1. haha. i do the same thing with junk food. i buy everything larry likes so i am not tempted. but the problem with that is i have never met a bad potato chip.

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  27. I've got to get over my intimidation with baking bread and practice for the holidays. I'm trusting you when you say it is easy!

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    1. it is easy. it takes a few times to get the hang of it but don't get discouraged - keep trying!

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  28. Hi Janet,

    Any idea how this recipe could be made gluten free?

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    1. actually i don't sue. i'm guessing you use gluten free flour. maybe a google search would help.

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  29. Thanks for the awesome recipe! It's on my to-make list now!I like the carrots n peas soup, too. ~ Linne

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  30. The smell of fresh baked bread has to be one of the best smells in the world.

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  31. Hi Janet - I tried it and it was perfect and delicious. Meanwhile my hubbie was giving a breadmaking machine more attention than a newborn baby, so I proved my minimalist point LOL. Needless to say the machine has disappeared.

    I just wondered what recipe you use in the glass loaf "tins" you have in your beautiful kitchen - only cake or also bread? Do you know if this NYT recipe works without a lidded pot? Not that I'm not willing to try it out, but why repeat an experiment that might fail if you can already tell me the answer!!

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  32. oh that's funny re the bread machine.

    what glass loaf tins are you talking about?

    i have never tried the bread w/o the top but i think the top is what helps create the steam and why the crust of the bread comes out so perfectly. like you i don't want to mess with a good thing.:)

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  33. Tracked this recipe down after Little Wash House mentioned it on her blog...it looked so good! And I'm all for anything that's easier than the easy version :)
    Thanks!
    Kassie aka "Mom"

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