It’s eco-parent dad here. The eco-parent boss has asked me to share an easy recipe I found recently. I really enjoy cooking and find it relaxing but I’m more Jamie Oliver than Masterchef so I don’t often enjoy finicky recipes. If you’re the same you will love this easy bread recipe and if you haven’t tried any of Jamie’s recipes I’d recommend you try as I have found his recipes so easy to follow and they come out looking just like the photos he provides.
I’m going to give 2 versions, one succinct and one not so as I do have a tendency to waffle on.
Ok to the point:
1/ 450g flour, 2tsp salt, 7g yeast, 375ml very warm water. Mix. Should be a little wet and sloppy
2/ cover 2-3 hours to rise
3/ can use immediately or put in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leave on bench for 40-60 minutes to warm up if in fridge
4/ Put Dutch Oven in oven. Preheat to 230°C/450°F (220° fan) 30 minutes prior to baking
5/ Scrape dough out onto lightly floured surface and sprinkle some flour on top. Fold with a spatula around outside to inside around 5-6 times to make a nice shape and deflate the mixture a little. But don’t knock it around too much.
6/ Turn onto baking paper and into the hot Dutch oven then into the oven for 30 mins covered then 10-15 mins with lid off
7/ let cool on a rack for 10 mins then enjoy!
Now for the waffle:
1/ 450g bakers flour, I have doubled the recipe but as always it never seems to work out for me when I do it!
Add 2tsp salt
I’ve made this recipe a few times now and believe the quality of flour is paramount. You must use proper bread or bakers flour. The stuff I’ve used from the supermarket worked fine and tasted great but I bought some flour from a lovely cafe I stumbled upon and it was just next level.
2/ 7g sachet of dry yeast in 375ml VERY warm water. I have memories somewhere of being told water should be at body temperature but I found if the water is very warm on your finger it works better. Leave to bubble away, as yet mine doesn’t bubble as much as I thought it would. You can supposedly use instant yeast which doesn’t have to sit in water first.
3/ Anyone notice the Baby Tooth Serum in the background?
Great product placement but honestly it was just there. Watch out, your kids will devour it more than the bread but no problems as it’s all good quality, safe to ingest.
4/ mix in yeast in water to flour and salt
5/ Cover and leave in a warm spot for 2-3 hours. I’ve found on previous attempts the dough rose quicker, if it’s not rising after an hour you may need to find a warmer spot. It’s heading into winter so I’ve made it when we have the heater on so room is around 20-22 degrees C and I leave it under the bench light, which is LED so likely not adding much warmth. I’ve used biodegradable cling wrap in the past but could do better eco-wise so trying a tea towel this time
6/ You can use immediately or put in the fridge for up to 3 days. Flavours develop doing this so experiment to see what you like. Leave on bench for 40-60 minutes to warm up if in fridge
7/ Put Dutch Oven in oven. Preheat to 230°C/450°F (220° fan) 30 minutes prior to baking. You could use any pot with lid that can go in oven but I’d say that cast iron or ceramic would be better than thin steel but that’s a hunch.
8/ Here’s the bit I like most - DO NOT kneed the dough. Simply scrape dough out onto lightly floured surface and sprinkle some flour on top. Fold with a spatula around outside to inside around 5-6 times to make a nice shape and deflate the mixture a little. But don’t knock it around too much.
9/ flip the dough onto some baking paper so the part that was on the bench is now on the top. The shape doesn’t have to be perfect and imperfections = crunchy bits after baking.
10/ Remove hot Dutch oven from oven and place baking paper with dough in it in the pot, cover with lid and into the oven for 30 mins covered then 10-15 uncovered until it’s the colour you want it.
11/ cool on rack for 10 mins before slicing. Of course we can never wait that long!
What I’ve learned so far:
Writing this I’m only on my 3rd batch. The first was so far the best, it was a single batch and using the special cafe bought flour. The next batch I doubled the recipe as we were going to dinner at a friends place but made 2 separate batches then added them into the Dutch Oven on separate pieces of paper. They came out looking pretty cool with a yin-yang kind of vibe. They were good but a little more dense and even though I gave them an extra 10 mins or so I think I could have given them another 10 with the lid on. Of these one batch was slightly drier dough and I think the wetter one rose better but was a little undercooked.
Alright for those of you that got this far here’s another little recipe that is so easy, kudos goes to Gary Megihan of Masterchef fame:
Foolproof pasta dough:
200g OO flour + 2 eggs + 2tsp water + 2tsp olive oil.
Mix all together in any processor, even with metal cutting blades it works.
Divide into 3-4 balls and put in freezer for 30mins to cool to make handling easier
I run through pasta maker around 8 times from thickest setting to 2nd or 3rd thinnest.
From there can run through the pasta maker to cut into spaghetti or fettuccini or cut into any shapes with a knife
Cook in boiling water with a little salt and oil. Only needs 3-5 minutes. Don’t overcook. It needs to be just undercooked when drained as it keeps cooking
Add pecorino or pepper or herbs or anything you like to the mix before blending for something different.
This recipe can be halved which makes everything 1:1 and then scaled to whatever amount you like but I find the original amount makes enough pasta for 4 and not too time consuming. I’ve doubled it and nearly wore myself out on the pasta maker!