My boyfriend, Matt, enjoys making bread. Dinner rolls, danishes, loaves filled with herbs. He’s a bread making machine! I never wanted to try baking some myself because of the kneading process. I was lazy.
That changed when I found Alexandra Stafford’s no-knead peasant bread. I read the recipe and figured it was simple, so I made it on a Saturday where I didn’t have any plans. (That’s rare, by the way).
Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of the baking process, but it came together fast! It was mixed by hand with a spatula: no stand mixer needed. And you only need one bowl to mix the ingredients, how great is that?
However, even with the quick prep, the dough still needed to rise for a total of…okay, so the first rise is 1-1/1/2 hours and the second rise is 10-20 minutes. I let it rise for 1/1/2 hours, then 20 minutes, so you do the math for me. Haha!!
After the first rise, I formed the mass of dough into a ball, divided in half, and placed each half into two (different sized) bowls using forks. The transfer of the balls with forks resulted in the dough coming apart. I wasn’t sure why the directions called for forks, but I assumed it was to keep my hands from getting messy (if that was the case, the directions said that if the dough came apart during transferring, to use your hands. Contradiction).
Because my bowls were different sizes, that affected how the dough rose the second time. The dough ball in the small bowl became huge while the ball in the large bowl didn’t look too big.
The differences in bowl sizes also affected their baking time. The one in the small bowl was done in 20 minutes while the other took longer.
Now, as I mentioned, it was my first time baking bread. I didn’t know when it was fully baked, even though I ate it all the time. I’ve eaten (and seen) soft, white bread, brown bread, wheat bread…but baking loaves myself made me wonder, ‘Is it done? How do I know?’
The loaves came out decent. The outside was crunchy and the inside was really buttery (because of the greasing of the bowls) and soft, a little too soft. Not doughy. According to Matt, it was a little undercooked.
I trust him.
Even with that knowledge, I was proud of myself for making my first bread! I will be making it again.
But I better buy two same size bowls first.