Have you heard of the new TV station the Cooking Channel? If you haven't, you must check it out immediately. One of my favorite shows is Chuck's Day Off. Chuck Hughes, the owner and chef of Garde Manger in Montreal, Canada has convinced me I need to go to Montreal sometime in the near future solely to check out his restaurant. Anyone up for a trip to Montreal?
So I woke up on a weekend morning and figured I would check out the Cooking Channel before starting my school work. While I watched Chuck make his famous No Knead Bread I thought to myself that because the recipe seemed so simple maybe I could sneak in a quick loaf before I began working on my paper. The good angel on my shoulder convinced me I should start working, so I decided to save the bread for later. Maybe this wasn't such a great idea because instead of focusing on my paper I was constantly brought back to the bread recipe. I eventually gave in, set myself up in the kitchen, and made the dough. To appease the good angel on my shoulder I did a little research while the dough rose and then continued once I popped the loaf pan in the oven. Thank goodness for multitasking!
The smell of the sweet cinnamon as the bread baked was just delightful and it filled my entire apartment and probably the hallway as well. I wonder what my neighbors thought! The smell was even better once I took the bread out from the oven. I attempted to wait 10 minutes before slicing, but it was just too tempting. There is nothing better than a nice slice of warm fresh bread on a weekend morning! I hope you enjoy.
No Knead Bread
adapted from Chuck's Day Off
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
3 cups warm, but not hot water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp coarse or kosher salt
½ tsp cinnamon
Raw sugar, for sprinkling
Herbs or spices *optional
(If you want to make only one loaf simply following the directions, but halve the ingredients.)
Mix together the yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl and allow to bubble up and foam. Wait a few minutes until the yeast starts to work, and then add the vinegar and oil. Add the flour cup by cup, stirring well after each addition. Then add the whole wheat flour cup by cup stirring well after each addition and mix in the salt as well. The dough will still be a little bit wet and spongy.
Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Using a big spatula, spoon the dough out into 2 well-greased loaf pans. Using your fingers if needed, press the sides down, helping to create the perfect loaf shape. (Do not knead). With a knife, make 2 or 3 diagonal shallow incisions across the top of the loaves. Top with the raw sugar (or for a savory loaf use any herbs or spices).
Bake the loaves for about 50 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crusty on top, and sound hollow when tapped on the underside. Let sit, if you can wait, for at least 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
This moist bread keeps well for a few days if placed in a resealable plastic bag. The bread can also be frozen for many weeks.