Hello friends! I hope you are having a good week…… I was so thrilled (and slightly nervous) earlier in the week to see that Anne of Frayed at the Edge had made a Yoyo Angel! Anne is a very experienced sewist......would my tutorial stand up to her scrutiny?? Her Angel is gorgeous, do go and have a look.
This week, I have been baking bread.
I have been experimenting with bread ever since I auditioned for the second series of The Great British Bake Off. Yes, really!! (Just thought I'd casually drop that in!)
Having absolutely loved the first series, I sent off my application form, not thinking that I would get any further. After a phone interview, I was invited to bring one sweet and one savoury bake to show what I could do. In those days, you actually met Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. I sat across a table from them, they tasted my goods and interviewed me! That bit was amazing, and worth all the stress! Sadly, I didn't get any further than that, but after spending a couple of weeks beforehand teaching myself to bake bread, I was hooked.
I acquired a sourdough starter from a friend at work, but found the effort required to keep it alive, and plan ahead was just too much for me. Then I read a post on another favourite blog of ours, Attic 24. I tried out Lucy’s no knead bread and was really impressed. I increased the amounts to make a bigger loaf (I have three men in the house after all) and happily used this recipe for a couple of years.
The only problem was thinking ahead…….I would invariably forget to put it on 18-24 hours ahead. I needed something quicker. A scour round the Internet led me to this post by James Morton (who did get onto the Bake Off) and I decided to try it. And it worked! Just as well in fact.
And so I give you…… No knead 4 hour bread! (I've increased James' recipe by a third to make a bigger loaf)
Disclaimer…….you do need an ovenproof dish with a lid. Ideally one like the one on the left (photo from the Le Creuset website). Mine is the one on the right... Let's keep it real, lovelies!
What you knead is……. (teehee)
750g strong bread flour (I use a mixture of white, wholemeal and seeded)
10g fast action dried yeast
585 mls tepid water
What you do is
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl. As soon as they are mixed, leave them for 30 minutes. This is called autolysing and apparently starts off the gluten formation and makes the dough easier to handle. Then just fold the dough a few times in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave for a couple of hours.
Put your dish into an oven and turn it on, 240C. Turn the dough onto an oiled surface, and shape it into a ball. Cover again and leave for 30 minutes while the oven heats.
After 30 minutes, take the pot out, it will be really hot! Drop the dough in, no need to grease it, though I have only used cast iron. Bake for 45 minutes. Some say take the lid off for the last 15 minutes for a more crispy crust, I've tried it and it didn't seem to make much difference.
Turn it out of the pot, and see how long you can wait before cutting into it!
Do give it a try, and let me know how it goes! I'd love to see a picture! Find us on Instagram and tag us!
Much love, Jenny xxx