Bread seems pretty intimidating to me. All this talk of starters and rising and bread machines…I never thought I would make bread. Ever. Then I stumbled upon a recipe at CooksIllustrated.com that seemed totally doable. Especially since the recipe is titled “Almost No-Knead Bread”. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it out. It was seriously so incredibly easy I could not believe it. It really takes almost no effort to make. The only thing it really takes is patience. Which, I usually have none of. Luckily I now have a day job, so I could allow my dough to rest and rise in peace while I’m busy at work.
Here’s what you’ll need:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs water, room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs Guinness
1 Tbs white vinegar
Take a large skillet and place a piece of parchment paper over it. Spray with some non-stick spray, and place dough-ball onto greased paper with the gathered side down. Spray some non-stick spray on the top your dough and loosely cover with saran wrap and allow to rise for 2 more hours.
Half an hour before your bread is ready to go, place your dutch oven (or any large, oven-safe pot with a lid) in your oven and crank the temperature up to 500 degrees. When dough is done rising, lightly flour the top. Take a knife and make a slash in the top that’s about 5 inches long and a half an inch deep.
Using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer your dough and paper into the hot dutch oven and put it back in the oven. Turn oven down to 425 degrees and allow to bake for 30 minutes.
It’ll come out looking like this…
Yeah. It’s THAT easy. It looks like I bought that from some expensive Artisian bakery, doesn’t it? You don’t even have to add the berries and nuts to it. If you just want some yummy sour dough just leave them out. I served this last night, on girl’s night, as something to top with yummy cheeses and stuff in our faces. Enjoy!