I promise I’m not a bum-licky, over achieving show off. Ok, I don’t promise, but I’m fairly sure I’m not. I do, however, like to make our bread whenever possible. It’s much easier than you think. It takes 5 minutes to throw it together, and then you ignore it for 18 hours, turn it out, ignore for another two hours, then you cook it. So, I guess when you think about it, it takes time, but it certainly doesn’t take much effort once you’ve perfected the art of ignoring. If you think it sounds like a ball ache, maybe save it for the weekend, but it is totally worth it.
I began making our bread because we like really yummy artisan type loaves and I have an objection to paying between $7 and $8 dollars for our daily bread….remember, my husband is Dutch and they have no fear of the carbohydrate! Now that have moved to the burbs, I can barely even find the bread we love. Whenever I go passed a Bourke Street Bakery I must stop in and grab a loaf, even to freeze, just because there is a shortage of great sourdough in the Wilds of the Deep South……ok, perhaps I also pick up a little Pork and Fennel Sausage Roll, and maybe a little Ginger Brûlée tart but who’s counting. Dang, those Bourke Street kids know how to bake though, huh? I bought my dear girlfriend, also an avid gastronome and chef, the recipe book and their bread starter requires some serious farting about. I cannot be arsed with that behaviour. No feeding starter for weeks on end, just a little /14 of a teaspoon of yeast and some cold shoulder.
My Mama first gave me this recipe after is was published in the New York Times back in about 2007. At the time, I was not bothered about making my bread regularly, but it became quite routine for me once I moved in with the Dutchman. These days I’m not as regular as I once was, but I still maintain that it is my boys’ favourite bread, and my fruit loaves are to die for. Modesty is for chumps.
I use these loaves as gifts, or thank you’s, and they are always well received. There is no end to the different ways you can make them. Different flours, different fruit and nuts (cranberry/walnut – hello?), seeds and spices (don’t be shy about experimenting. I’ve had great success with caraway, fennel and nigella seeds).
Here ’tis –
No Knead Sourdough Bread
Yeild – 1 delicious loaf
- 3 cups flour (all purpose is fine although I like to mix it up with wholemeal, rye and spelt. Remember the more complex the flour, the heavier the bread. I find as long as whatever the combo is at least one cup is plain flour it doesn’t become a brick)
- Slightly less than 2 cups, slightly luke warm, water
- 1/4 tsp powdered yeast
- Two good pinches sea salt
- Then, I like to add a variety of seeds. Sesame, poppy, linseed, pepitas, sunflower seeds.
- You can do fruit (then I add cinnamon also- 1/2 tsp), or roast garlic and rosemary……..only limited by your imagination.
Cover loosely with glad wrap and leave somewhere warm for 18 hours. In winter, in the oven (not turned on), near heater….in summer just the counter top is fine.
Then on a well floured surface, turn bread out (it’ll be sticky and stringy. My mama calls it ‘leggy’. Some loaves are leggier than others), fold the sides into the middle and sprinkle with more seed (I like oats too at this point) and flour generously on top before gently and loosely laying the glad wrap back over for two hours.
This next part is very important……
Every loaf needs either a kiss or a pat with kind words put into it. This way the people eating the bread will taste the love.
Pre-heat oven to 230C. Place clay pot, or cast iron pot with lid in oven to heat up (or you can use a loaf tin which you’ll cover with foil when you bake). Pop dough into pot with lid on for half and hour, then take the lid off for half an hour.
Voila!!! Homemade, super dooper, deliciousioso sourdough, made with love!