Aphorisms from the Professor: Brillat-Savarin

Sunday, January 17, 2010

E-Z bread

I've seen so many food bloggers post beautiful home-made breads, that I felt it was really about time my boyfriend and I jumped on the bandwagon and gave it a try ourselves. Plus my boyfriend likes bread and butter more than the average person, so the idea of bread fresh from the oven was enough to convince him that this was a worthwhile use of our time. He found these instructions on YouTube for "easy bread", so named because there is no kneading involved. In fact, once the dough is formed, it is barely handled at all.

Recipe courtesy of the YouTube video linked above:
1) combine 3 cups of flour, 1 & 1/2 cups of water, 1/4 tsp yeast and 2 tsp salt in a large bowl
2) cover bowl with plastic bag and let sit overnight
3) on a floured surface, stretch the dough in one direction then fold into thirds, repeat in the other direction (this is where the YouTube video will probably be helpful)
4) place in a pie pan, cover, and let rise for another 2 hours
5) bake 10 minutes at 500, 10 minutes at 450 then 10 minutes at 350 (crust should be browned and hard)

For our first go at this, I think our bread came out pretty good. It was a touch on the dense side, and would have been better if it had risen a bit more. We are thinking that we need to buy better yeast (not this sketchy instant yeast that comes in packets) and this will make all the difference next time.
More importantly, it tastes delicious, especially when accompanied by a generous helping of butter.


  1. Last night Tony and I made our first pie crust (technically a tart, I suppose) together and I think I am slowly getting over my fear of pastry... I have seen similar "make your own bread" videos which I find inspiring, especially due to Nashville's lack of good bread, but I'm not quite there yet... I won't lie, yeast scares me! It seems like there's such a high probability for things to go sour...

  2. MMMMM..looks good...and of course,"butter makes everything better"
    Really nice pic too

  3. I use more yeast than you do in this recipe.I use the 2 pks of yeast of the regular rise not quick rise yeast.I also use it for pizza dough also not just for bread.

  4. I LOVE homemade bread. I love to try new recipes for it too. I haven't seen this one before, it looks really good! I love the light and airy ones with a nice crusty crust. :)

  5. I played with the no-knead bread recipes for a while, when I first got totally fed up with what passes for good bread here in Nashville. These days, I alternate between a basic boule recipe I pulled out of one of Michael Rhulman's books and the Culinary Insititue's Challah recipe. Homemade bread is head and shoulders above anything you can get in Nashville.

  6. Steph & Ben -- Y'all really knock Nashville bread! In general Matt and I have been happy with the fresh baked/artisanal breads we've bought from Trader Joes. Is it possible that he and I don't know what good bread is???

  7. I do not know I would go that far, but the best I can say about available bread in this town is that it is middling decent (for a while, I chalked it up to the Southern preference for comparatively soft baked goods versus the Northern preference for things with actual crust).

    Trader Joe's has a couple of decent loaves (the cranberry-pecan loaf is an occasional indulgence of mine), but I am not that impressed with most of their other bread (and their challah is just sad). Other viable options in town are Whole Foods (who, sadly, no longer makes their really good and absolutely huge boule; they do have a decent many-seeded loaf though which I get rarely). In a similar vein, I really want to like Provence's bread, but they just do not do it for me - I want a crust (soft and fluffy are not what I want), I want a flavorful crumb and I would rather it did not cost an arm and a leg.

    Besides, baking your own bread is easy (as you have found out), tasty, and one hell of a lot better than what you can get here.

  8. Ben -- Okay, you are right, I totally wasn't thinking about crust...which yes, is certainly lacking down here!