Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's a Beautiful Loaf: Making No-Knead Bread

I just love bread.  I love the time and effort that goes into making a fresh loaf.  I like making extra's around the holidays to share with friends and family.  Bread is an act of love that you can eat.  Plain and simple.

But sometimes you just want a really easy, fussy free loaf of bread.  Maybe it's a busy day and you don't want to be tied down to the kitchen and rising times.  Or maybe you just really love bread but hate the process that goes into it.

Enter the easiest bread recipe ever: No-Knead Bread.

Isn't it just beautiful?  It looks like it was made by a professional baker and belongs in a professional bakery window.

 I love the split crust on top.  It looks a little rustic and definitely like an artisan style bread.

The thing that I love about this bread recipe, other than the fact that it is so darn simple, is that it has a super crunchy, thin crust, but it's airy and moist inside.  I assume this is from all the time it set out on the counter top to rise, creating several air pockets from the yeast.

Here's a look at the inside:

And because it's so pretty, here's another:

Now, this bread only has 4 ingredients: water, flour, yeast, and salt.  That's it.  So a few things to keep in, this bread is a little salty.  It has no sugar at all, so if you like a sweet bread, this isn't it.  Two, it's really, really crunchy on the outside.  So if you prefer soft breads only, maybe not for you either.

But the beauty of such a plain recipe is that you can play around with it all you want.  After I write this post, I am getting back into the kitchen for a fennel, garlic, and parmesan loaf.

There's already a great tutorial on how to make this bread - in fact, this is where I got the recipe from so  I can't take credit for it.  Go check it out on Simply So Good.  She even provided pictures for a super cute handmade gift idea using loaves of bread and some pretty dish towels.  I'm now dreaming up ideas of a hand embroidered tea towel that says "Merry Christmas" all in red, and all wrapped around a beautiful, handmade loaf of bread.  Christmas is months away, but it's constantly on my mind.

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