Bread is something I have never done before coming to the US. But if all the bread you had in your life is what you buy in the US, you really don’t know how bread is supposed to be!
Florida is particularly bad in bread making but I have tasted the famous sourdough bread from the Boudin Bakery in San Francisco, and let me tell you, what a terrible taste!
So, soon after I got settled in the US I started making my own bread!
Some types of bread require 2 to 3 days of preparation. Most of that time they rest and rise but still you have to be ready for the various steps they require WHEN they require them, a few extra hours of rising and you may have to throw away the whole thing, not enough rising and you may end up with loaves too small. Other types of bread take a little over one hour counting the kneading, the rising and the baking, they won’t get the same flavor of the 3 days bread, but still they are A LOT better than store-bought bread!
What I am posting today is a no-knead bread. As the name says clearly, no kneading is required for this type of preparation. The flavor develops thanks to the long rising time. There is also no shaping and proofing (technical terms of bread making) for this bread, and very little yeast is required.
This bread is very similar to a Ciabatta bread. Typically Italian as usual ;)
This bread is great enjoyed warm and dipped in some good olive oil.
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour (500 gr)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm water (500 ml)
- all purpose flour and cornmeal to dust
Very easy, here we go:
In a large bowl mix the flour with the salt and yeast.
Add the lukewarm water and stir with a metal spoon until everything is wet. The texture will be very soft and wet but not liquid (see picture below).
Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for 8 hours.
A warm place is your kitchen countertop if you live in Florida :) But you may want to rest the dough in the oven with the oven light on if your AC is on. Or if your house is cool, turn the oven on at the minimum temperature for a few minutes (2-3 min). Turn off, turn on the oven light to maintain the oven warm, toss your bread in and close the oven! Make sure you did not heat the oven too much before you rest the bread in there. A good temperature for rising you bread is 80°F (26°C).
After 8 hours your bread will be very pretty ;) It will have risen quite a bit and it will be sticky and airy. Take it out of the oven, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and prepare a baking pan by dusting abundantly with flour and cornmeal. Alternatively, you could line the pan with parchment paper, but still you will want to dust with flour to give your bread that nice home-made look :)
Slowly tilt the bowl and SLOWLY pour your dough into the pan (picture 1), it will be extremely sticky and wet, don’t try to touch it :P Use a metal spoon or a spatula to help scraping the bowl but you should be able to pour almost all the dough without much leftover in the bowl (picture 2 and 3). Round the dough with the metal spoon if needed.
Dust the dough with flour and cornmeal or with spices such as oregano or rosemary (yummy!!).
When the oven has reached temperature. Toss your pan in and lower the heat to 400°F (200°C). Bake for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.
My bread was not completely done when I took it out of the oven (my fault!), but no worries if that happens, you can slice it and toast the slices before you eat it :)
Look at those beautiful holes, pure bread love! Enjoy!