I did something this weekend I thought I would never do in my lifetime…I made bread. Like, real homemade bread. Not store-bought frozen dough, not throwing ingredients into a bread making machine, just me and my little hands and my husband. It was a fun experience.
Growing up, my mother made bread every week. I remember sitting on this old brown high stool watching her as she sifted flour, punched, poked and kneaded the dough, setting it to rise on the counter then baking in bread pans until it was a golden, honey brown. The smell was always so amazing and that first taste of warm bread and butter was a little peace of heaven. I remember the 6 or so loaves sitting on the cooling racks and my father coming home after a hard day of work and exclaiming “oh ‘Net, that smells good” or “gimme me some bread and butter and molasses”. Ok, I am simultaneously salivating and going down the road of nostalgia, into my parents old kitchen, before reno’s…with Art Linkletter on the radio telling us “kids say the darndest things”…and the trading post…and family…♥
See what baking bread will do to you? It elicits all sorts of cozy, comfy memories.
Any way, back to business here. So we decided to make Ciabatta bread. We found a recipe online for No Knead Ciabatta Bread from Chef John at http://foodwishes.blogspot.ca/
We only had whole wheat flour in the house so we went with that.
Combine the flour, salt and yeast…mix in the warm water and combine until dough is sticky.
Remember - no need to knead! Haha, couldn’t resist! Cover with foil and leave on counter to rise 18 hours…ooops typo you say….nope, it really is 18 HOURS!
This is what it looks like after 18 hours. You want those holes in the dough, don’t be tempted to punch them out. Gently turn dough over onto itself a few times. Next you will want to plop the dough onto the counter to shape…but wait! Chef John shares a little tip to make this even easier. Spray your counter top lightly with water, lay plastic wrap out so it sticks to the water, dust with flour.
Shape dough into an oblong and carefully pick up plastic and roll dough out and onto flour/corn meal dusted pan…he used olive oil to grease a pan then a dusting of flour and corn meal but I always use parchment paper when I bake for no sticking AND easy clean up.
Once you have perfected the oblong shape on your pan, cover with a dish cloth and let rise another 2 hours. After the 2 hours, bake the bread at 425 for 35 minutes.
We were so happy with the results considering we had always thought bread making would be such a chore! When we make this again I will drizzle a little olive oil on the top and rub an italian seasoning or rosemary, or even garlic on top. You could add any spice to change-up the flavor I suppose.
Enjoy the bread toasted, with some EVOO and a cheese of your liking. We had some delicious, soft mozzarella we bought at the Farmer’s Market. We ate the loaf all up within a couple of days toasted with jam, as french toast, with a spread of gorgonzola cheese, with peanut butter and honey…it was very satisfying. Most of all though, it was gratifying to know that what I once thought was so difficult and impossible was in fact so easy! The hardest part was waiting all those hours. Well, we went to bed, but still.
Having small successes like this gives me confidence to keep trying new recipes. There is nothing like making something new and it turns out as you expect it.
do you have any easy bake bread recipes to share? add them to the comment section or share on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/fitpsychology?ref=tn_tnmn
in good comfort food and health