As regular readers will know I have a slight obsession with bread. I love the baking of it and the eating of it, which is not all that great for the waistline but hey, everything in moderation. Right?
Who can resist the smell of baking bread? Not me, that’s for sure. It’s such a welcoming aroma.
I’m not a total ‘no-knead’ convert, as I do love baking more labour intensive loaves using traditional kneading and several rises, but when life gets in the way no-knead is the way to go.
The joy of this bread is that it requires no kneading, uses no special ingredients, equipment or techniques and it takes very little effort — only time. You will need to be patient as a fair number of hours are needed create the bread, but much of this is unattended waiting, a slow fermentation of the dough that results in a perfect loaf.
Generally I prefer a wholemeal/malted grain loaf as I like the nuttier flavour. White flour is made from the bulk of the wheat kernel, the starchy endosperm. Whole wheat flour takes more from the plant. In addition to the endosperm, it retains the bran, which is the fibrous outer husk of the kernel and the germ which contains the oil in the grain.
Here I went for 25% wholemeal flour and 75% white flour, but feel free to adapt and experiment but keep in mind that the more wholemeal flour you add the denser and less elastic your dough will be.
The slow rise lends a slightly sweet, yeasty flavour to the dough, comparable almost to using a sourdough or poolish.
The crusty exterior complements the chewy, moist center, riddled so delightfully with holes that you’ll wonder why you didn’t make this sooner.