Saturday, December 3, 2011

No Need to Knead Bread

My four year old granddaughter ate a variety of vegetables and fruits when she was younger, but the older she gets the pickier she becomes. Last weekend she and her little brother came to have dinner with Poppy and me. I had prepared a healthy nutritious meal ahead of time: there was roasted chicken, pasta salad, a green vegetable salad, No Need to Knead Bread, and for dessert, chocolate zucchini muffins with fruit.

Both children were hungry and started eating right away. Lana had never tasted my No Need to Knead bread and being a carb-eating child, I was sure she’d like it. But she was reluctant to taste anything with green specks on top. I talked her into “just one small bite” and she loved it. While she worked on the second piece, the bread basket disappeared. Since she wanted more, she took her brother’s. So you have the Princess’s stamp of approval on this bread that is easier to make than a cake mix.

I love making breads as you’ve probably guessed by now. I have tried many different recipes for peasant breads, some were too refined, some too soft or didn’t have that homemade flavor. But this recipe was just about perfect. It’s not only delicious, but it has a wonderful chewy texture and is one of the easiest and most versatile breads I have ever made. In fact this recipe is so easy that I have written it in my children’s book. It doesn’t have to be kneaded—so I have renamed this yeast bread the No-Need-to-Kneed Bread. Be sure to let your Prince or Princess help with this one.

You will need: A large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, measuring spoons and cups, and a large jellyroll pan brushed liberally with extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with cornmeal. Set aside.

2 cups of warm water Toppings:
2 teaspoons of yeast Fresh Rosemary
2 teaspoons of salt Pepper
4 cups of unbleached flour
Crushed garlic
Grated Parmesan


Pour the warm water, about the temperature of a baby’s milk, into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir just until the yeast is dissolved, then add the salt and flour. Mix until the flour is just moistened and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with olive oil spray, and place on top of the bowl. Cover with a dish towel and keep in warm and draft free place. Let it rest for about an hour or until the dough is spongy and about double in size. Brush olive oil onto a jellyroll pan sprinkle with corn meal and set aside.

The next step is the most difficult. When the dough has risen until about double, carefully remove the towel and plastic wrap. Spray or brush olive oil on your hands and on top of the dough. Carefully cup your hands and work your way around the edges of dough while the bowl is tipped over the baking pan. When it is completely on the pan, drizzle more olive oil on top, and gently pull apart leaving small holes. This should be about the size of a large pizza. Don’t be afraid that it will end up flat. It is very forgiving and will rise to the occasion.

Sprinkle the dough with coarse salt, chopped fresh rosemary, pepper to taste, crushed garlic, or a sprinkling of dried garlic. Grated Parmesan or your favorite cheese sprinkled on top is fine too. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes until your masterpiece is light brown. Serve with Italian food or after baking 20 minutes add some marinara sauce and pizza fixings. Place back into the hot oven and bake until it's bubbly and beginning to brown. We have done this at our home, and it has become our favorite pizza crust. With a green salad this will serve six to seven people. Even your picky eaters will love it.

Have you got any good recipe for your picky eaters? Send them to us. Maybe we can try them.

1 comment:

Barb's Writings and Recipes said...

If you haven't tried this simple recipe you are missing out on a good one.