Bread baking is both deceptively simple. It’s just water, flour, salt, and yeast, after all. But also deceptively complex to master. Here are all the simple bread baking questions I’ve had as I learned more and gained more experience in baking good bread in a home oven.
Cheese and bread. Can you find better friends? Okay, maybe cookies and milk but still, cheese and bread have been besties for a serious long time. And they show no signs of getting tired of each other. They work great in the traditional no knead recipe. This is another simple, easy, foolproof bread recipe that is great at using up various nubs of fridge deli drawer cheese. Take it up a notch by throwing in some age spice cabinet herbs and you really have a party.
If you want to step up your bread baking game beyond the no knead variety, but don’t have the time or confidence to cultivate a sourdough starter quite yet you might consider trying baking a loaf with an overnight poolish.
A poolish is a mixture of flour and water and a small amount of yeast. You let the pre-ferment or poolish sit overnight and then add it to the rest of the ingredients in the morning.
If I’m looking for small joys during this time, I love the explosion and interest in bread baking. It’s been a fun distraction to talk bread making tips, techniques and tricks with friends and families and sometimes total strangers. This is the warm, fuzzy side of the internet.
If there is one common theme to many of the initial questions, it’s the surprise that most of the popular no knead, artisan bread recipes include an overnight proof. That long rest in the fridge helps the dough develop flavor, saves you the step of kneading, and makes the dough much easier to handle and shape the next day. Can you make no knead bread in a day? Yes, but start early. Can you make no knead bread after lunch and still have it on the table for dinner. Let’s find out…
The vast majority of the no knead bread recipes breaking the internet are for round artisan loaves. What if you want an equally easy, fool proof recipe but instead of a thick crusted slab to sop up soup or sauce, you want to make a sandwich? Is there a simple, no knead foolproof sandwich loaf bread recipe?
Yes, it exists and it’s simple and easy. It’s a great recipe to bake with kids. Best of all, the finished loaf tastes great, looks great, uses one bowl, freezes well, and works well with different add-ins.
It’s hard to improve fresh baked bread but how about adding chocolate? This chocolate walnut bread is great for a sweet breakfast treat or a nice pick-me-up as a mid-afternoon snack.
Using Lahey’s no knead method it is simple and easy and very beginner friendly. It’s flexible and forgiving enough to be adapted with different flour or spice combinations. Best of all it tastes delicious no matter where or how you eat it. It’s a great variation on the classic no knead recipe.
If my text messages or website traffic are any indication, people are rediscovering, or at least trying, the joys (and some frustrations!) of baking homemade bread and pizza during the quarantine. Nothing could make me happier. I’m filling up my freezer with lots of anxiety baking. It might not help my waistline but it is helping my mental health during these strange times.