Hello! A very happy new year to you and your families! I hope you all have had a great time during the holiday season! As of me, I had a wonderful time. I and hubby went on a trip to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic for the holidays, a much awaited vacation since our wedding! I will be posting pictures and details about my vacation in the upcoming posts.
We had somewhat of a problem finding food suited to our palate, especially in Dominican Republic. Though, I must mention that the pizzas that we had on both the islands were far far better than any pizzas I have had here in the States or back home in India. The crust, the juicy sauces…just out of the world..! Thank goodness for pizzas! So after a week of having a mix of some good and some bad food during our stay in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, I was craving for some home cooked goodness! So last weekend I made my husband’s favorite rustic peppery chicken. Yum! 2 pounds of chicken and we cleared the plates like there was no tomorrow!
Like I mentioned earlier, the pizzas were amazing. This got me wanting to make some of my own crusty breads. The problem that I have faced with bread making in the past is that it’s just me and husband against one big loaf of bread. When that loaf comes out of the oven, there’s nothing better than that fresh bready aroma that fills the whole house! But, after that initial excitement and tasting, what worries me is that how am I going to store that bread. Being free of preservatives, homemade breads cannot be stored for long periods of time. It has to be had fresh or finished up within 2-3 days at the maximum. So, I was constantly on the lookout for a recipe which I could maybe halve to suit the size of loaf that I wanted or which I could use to make smaller loaves and control the amount of bread that I bake. Finally, after trying out various recipes/ permutations and combinations, I have finally succeeded in making the perfect mini crusty bread loaves! These can be used for sandwiches, crostinis, bruschetta and pretty much anything else that you can think of!
Is there anything better than a whiff of freshly baked bread on a sunny yet snowy morning?! I am so excited!
Oh, did I mention that there is just no kneading required for this! That’s right! I am sure you can find thousands of recipes on the internet which you can use for this, but trust me, not everything out there works. Been there! Also, I am sure there may be another thousand recipes out there which may be good too, but here today I am sharing with you the one recipe that really works! So after a couple of failed attempts, I am proud to say that I have found the perfect NO KNEAD crusty mini bread loaves! The recipe just involves mixing everything up and leaving it to rest overnight, 8-24 hrs. That’s that! Next day, the bread would be all ready to get baked! No hassle.
See those air pockets in there..! That’s what I was really looking for!
Remember, if I can do this, so can you..!
So let’s get started with the recipe,
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 ½ cup warm water
In a large mixing bowl, take the warm water and add the sugar. Mix in the yeast and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
Now add the flour and salt. Mix using a wooden spoon/spatula. You do not have to overmix it. Just gently fold the flour in.
Now cover it with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit untouched at room temperature for about 8-12 hours or up to 24 hrs.
Next morning, the dough will look somewhat like this,
Take out the dough on a floured surface and using your floured hands, make a big ball out of the dough.
Preheat the oven to 450F. Line your baking dish with parchment paper or grease it. Put it in the oven as the oven preheats.
Now, flour your hands properly and divide the big dough ball into 6 small dough balls. You may even divide it into 4. Using your hands, shape them into balls gently. The more you ‘work’ it, the more it will turn out with less air pouches. They will look like this,
Let the balls sit covered for about half hour.
Once 30 minutes are up, gently, transfer the balls to the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes covered. After 30 minutes, carefully remove the cover/foil and cook for another 8-12 minutes till the surface turns golden.
Remove from oven and let them cool down before you cut them up and enjoy..!
Here you go! That is the easiest ever bread that you can ever make at home! I urge you to try this. I am a beginner and learner and I could do this, you could too!
Enjoy! Let me know how it turned out if you do try this.