05 Apr

Baking Bread

One of the things I miss most about living aboard is that the freezer (especially on batteries) is not quite up to the job of keeping bread fresh. We make do with preservative-heavy Wonderbread a lot of the time and try and plan things like hotdogs and hamburgers around shopping trips.

But one of our missing crew is a fabulous cook and she had a recipe for a no-knead bread that she would treat us with, so I decided to get her to send it to me after we hit Victoria. It turns out we needed something like a Le Creuset dutch oven, but that wasn’t in the budget. So we headed down to Capital Iron and picked up an old school cast iron pot with lid that would fit in the boat’s oven. Forty dollars later and a bit of seasoning and we were good to go.

Doing some research here I found that apparently no-knead breads are a big thing and I certainly have grown to embrace them. It takes about 5 minutes to blend flour, yeast salt and water and then you put it aside for 18 hours or so and you have great dough for pizza or bread for dinner the next day. These days I usually make a batch or two every week. This recipe was also featured on page 21 of the March issue of T8N Magazine.

IMG_5979

C’s Boule

IMG_6240

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water (room temp or cold)

Put the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Add the water. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is shaggy. No need to knead.

Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 12 to 21 hours.

Use as-is for pizza dough.

For a boule, punch down the dough (use flour — it will be sticky), and form it into a ball. Roll the ball in flour, and place it on a large plate. Cover loosely, and let rise until double (1 to 2 hours)

Put a Dutch oven with a lid in the oven, and heat it to 425°F.

Flop the risen dough into the hot Dutch oven, cover and bake in oven for 30 min.

Remove the lid, and bake 15 minutes more.

A few boater caveats

I make a 2/3rds version of this recipe for my smaller cast iron pot. And I usually just put the oven on the highest setting and bake it for a bout 35 minutes before taking the lid off. Then I just monitor it for browning, giving it a thump or two to see if it sounds hollow.

IMG_6436It makes terrific pizza dough

IMG_6421Try adding 2 tsp of sugar and cinnamon and a 1/2 cup of raisins

 

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