For a few weeks now, I had made many attempts at bread-making with not much success. I became obsessed with making the perfect bread, and obviously my first instinct was to go for the very simple and easy No-Knead Bread method. There was not a single stone left unturned, there was not a single bread blog left unread. Though the ingredients were minimal (Flour, Yeast, Water, Salt) and there was virtually no effort (just mix ’em and leave ’em alone for around 12 hours or more), this bread-making exhausted me. Because of the very chewy and gummy result I got every time I made it!
At first I thought, it was because I was cutting it too early. Sometimes temptation gets the better of you, and unlike a cake you can never know if a bread is done until we cut it. The third time I made it, I made myself wait a good 2 hours (The wait killed me because the smell was heaven!!) before I sliced it. Once again I was disappointed.
The bread had a very baguette-y exterior and the inside was so dense, chewy and gummy. Because I didn’t have the heart to throw it out, I managed to have it after toasting (toasting seemed to make it a little better, but not quite).
I nearly gave up when I saw this particular recipe, and it wasn’t a no-knead method. The Ingredients were once again not too fancy (I saw breads made with eggs.. Though it was guaranteed they’d be deliciously soft, wasting an egg over a bread, which I may make every week didn’t seem to sit well with me). Anyhoo, I baked this bread at 1 in the night because I saw the recipe at 9 and I had to make it right away. This recipe was the make or break one. If this didnt turn out right I was gonna give up Bread-making forever.
Fortunately, it turned out so good!! After baking I had to let the bread cool for an hour, and this time I had to punch myself to make me wait.The whole house smelled so delicious 😀
After cooling, I cut the bread at 3. That’s right, 3 in the middle of the night. I was so excited it turned out so soft and delicious, I shook the sleeping husband awake and shoved it into his mouth to taste it!! 😀 (I’m evil, I know)
In a very confused and groggy state he mumbled, it was good and went back to sleep. I on the other hand, basking over my victory couldn’t sleep all night! 😛 And boy was I pleased Grandma VanDoren had a good memory!
That was a couple of weeks ago..I made it again yesterday and deviated a little from the original to see how it’ll change and the resulting bread though soft, it wasn’t the same as the first one I made. So I’m gonna stick to the original for the foreseeable future!
And the original recipe made 3 loaves, I just halved the recipe and made one huge loaf 🙂
Original recipe makes 3 – 1 1/2 pound loaves
- 3 cups warm water (1.5 cups)
- 3 tablespoons active dry yeast (1.5 TB spoon)
- 3 teaspoons salt (1.5 teaspoon)
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 TB spoon)
- 1/2 cup white sugar (1/4 cup)
- 8 cups bread flour (4 cups)
P.S: The ones in the bracket are the measurements I used.
- In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, salt, oil, sugar, and 4 cups flour. Mix thoroughly, and let sponge rise until doubled in size.
- Gradually add about 4 cups flour, kneading until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn several times to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled.
- Punch down the dough, let it rest a few minutes. Divide dough into three equal parts. Shape into loaves, and place in three 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch greased bread pans. Let rise until almost doubled.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes. The loaves may need to be covered for the last few minutes with foil to prevent excess browning.
Recipe from: Grandma VanDoren’s Bread
Also there was a video along with this recipe without which I would have been totally lost! I would recommend watching it once or twice before making the bread. Its very straight forward 🙂
Please make and enjoy! 🙂