If you’re like me and most people, you’re probably in awe of people who make their own bread. I think it’s pretty awesome in this day and age that people take the time to enjoy making traditional bread, a real contributor to the slow-food movement. A return to our roots. Making bread is beautiful, it takes time and patience, especially when using sourdough.
The sad reality of our busy North American lives is that we don’t seem to have much time, so what is one to do? Try this bread, it requires almost no work, and you can make a big batch to last you all week. You can have 4 fresh loaves during the week, with just a few minutes of work and 25 minutes of baking! Try it, you’ll be hooked!
Healthier European peasant crusty bread
(Makes 4 loaves)
5 min preparation
- 3 cups lukewarm filtered or spring water
- 1 ½ Tbsp granulated organic yeast (2 packets)
- 1 ½ Tbsp unrefined grey sea salt
- 6 ½ cups of organic flours (2 cups of rye, 1 ½ cup of spelt and 1 cup each of: whole-wheat pastry, unbleached white, white pastry)
Mix the water, salt and yeast together in a very large mixing bowl (not metal) until the salt is melted.
Mix all the flours in a different bowl and add to the bowl with the water, mix with a wooden spoon as much as you can; you might need to use your hands to finish mixing it, but very quickly, this should only take 10 seconds.
Put a lid on the bowl (not airtight) and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours (in the winter, leave it by the stove if you’re cooking, the cold will not allow the dough to rise as much). You are then ready to put the bowl (with the lid) in the fridge, this can last up to 2 weeks, you just take what you need and bake it.
On the day of baking, prepare a Dutch oven (ceramic or clay pot with a lid) coat the bottom with a little bit of olive or some flour, take a piece of dough, about 1 lb or a ¼ of your bowl, quickly form into a ball and put in the Dutch oven, put the lid on and let rest for 40 minutes.
In the last 20 minutes, turn the oven on to 450oF and put a large baking sheet (empty) on the lower rack. When ready, put the Dutch oven (with dough in it) on the middle rack in the oven.
Add 1 cup of hot water to the baking sheet (careful with the steam!) and immediately close the door.
Bake for 25 min, then remove the lid of the Dutch oven and continue baking for 10 min, or until the top crust is golden brown and firm to the touch. (Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time)
Allow to cool down for a few minutes, then take out of Dutch oven and put on a rack to continue cooling down. Cut thick slices and enjoy with some fresh organic butter on top, or make your own garlic toasts, or just enjoy dipped in a homemade soup on a cold winter night.
(Based on recipe from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)