No-Knead Artisan Bread (aka No Knead to Panic Bread!)
With the world so topsy turvy at the moment there really is something quite comforting about homemade bread. Even the smell is delicious. With supermarkets running out of supplies and more people staying home, there’s never been a better time to be able to whip up a freshly baked loaf. And this recipe is so easy! It has a slight sourdough taste (without the bother of using a starter), AND only four ingredients!
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast*
- 1 tbsp salt
- 6 1/2 cups flour (plain or bread flour)
- In a medium bowl, add the yeast, lukewarm water and salt. Stir together and leave for 5-10 mins until the yeast bubbles up. (Yeast is a living thing – if bubbles don’t appear then unfortunately it’s past its use-by-date. See my yeast page for more hints and tips.)
- Measure the flour into a mixing bowl then pour the yeast mixture on top. Mix until well combined (either by hand, or in a stand mixer using a dough hook). The mixture will be a little wet, don’t add more flour.
- Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 2+ hours.
- Place baking paper on a baking tray (or pizza stone if using). With floured hands (the dough will be sticky!) divide the dough into two, and shape each half into a loaf. Remember you don’t need to knead the dough!
- Place dough on the baking paper, with any seams or joins hidden underneath. Sprinkle a little flour on top and leave to rise for another 30 mins.
- Preheat oven to 230°C. To get super crusty bread: on the lowest shelf of the oven, place an oven dish with a cup of water poured inside. When cooking, place the baking tray with bread on the shelf above. The steam will rise and help create a delicious crust!
- Make slashes in the loaves (using a very sharp, serrated knife) – this allows the bread to expand in the right direction while cooking. Bake for 30-35 mins. Cool on rack, then devour!
- Have yeast at room temperature before using (the one I use needs to be kept in the fridge once opened, so I measure out the quantity needed and leave it out before I need). See my yeast page for more tips!
- Always check the use-by-dates of yeast. It’s a living thing and doesn’t last forever! When activating the yeast (ie the initial step where it’s mixed with lukewarm water), If it fails to bubble up or foam then unfortunately it’s no longer usable.
- Tap the bottom of the loaf to check when it’s cooked – it should sound hollow.
This bread freezes well. It’s even easier if you slice it first, then just pull out slices to toast when you need them.
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