Despite how I've never posted any bread recipes - I'm a bread person. Sweets are a fun creative outlet, and of course delicious, but nothing beats the warm, yeast smell of rising dough. Even after working in a bread bakery for 6 months, I still think it's pure magic when I see that my dough has gotten a good rise, or watching the crust get that beautiful caramel-y color as it bakes. I think no matter how long, I will still think the whole process is magic and beautiful.
Being in baking classes, I had almost forgotten how to be a home baker - the amazing and intimate notion of working on just one loaf and not 100 or 400. So, the other night before bed, being inspired by a friend asking for a bread recipe to go with her morning tea, I decided I wanted to whip up something easy I could bake off the next morning - I decided to finally give in and give this no-knead bread thing a try. And what a good idea it was. It's amazing what slow fermentation and little gluten development will do for flavor, not to mention that I want to add molasses to every bread recipe from now on. It gives the bread a subtle tangy, sweet flavor that complements the yeast and apple in just the right way. Then the toasted oats give a slight crunch with a bit of a nutty flavor - so perfect.
S T E E L C U T O A T, A P P L E & M O L A S S E S N O K N E A D B R E A D
makes 1 loaf
2 1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup steel cut oats, toasted
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 apple, diced
1/3 cup molasses
1 3/4 cup water
- Recipe -
I. Lightly toast oats in a dry saucepan over medium heat, let cool. Dice apple and let it sit in water measurement while you measure out other ingredients. In a large bowl combine flours, yeast, salt, and toasted oats. Add water with apples and molasses. Stir with your hand or a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Dough should be sticky and shaggy. If not add a tablespoon of bread flour or water until it is wet and sticky.
II. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 12 - 18 hours at a warm room temperature. I placed mine on my stovetop and let it sit overnight.
III. After 12 - 18 hours, dust your work surface generously with flour. Scrape your dough out onto your surface in one piece - the dough should be loose and sticky. Sprinkle with a bit of flour and then fold the dough over on itself twice. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 more minutes.
IV. Dust your hands with flour, making sure your work surface is still generously coated, and then lift the edges of your dough and tuck them into the center until the dough is a round shape. Turn the dough over and gently roll it into a ball. Take a tea towel, made from cotton or linen, and generously coat it with flour. Place the dough into the towel with seam (tucked edges) facing down and then dust the top with more flour. Fold the towel loosely over the dough and place it in a warm location.
V. 30 minutes before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven with cast iron pot (I don't have a cast iron pot or a dutch oven, so I used my cast iron skillet, it worked surprisingly well!) to 450 degrees. Let heat for 30 minutes. Take pot from oven (IT WILL BE SO HOT BE CAREFUL).
VI. Slide your hand under the towel and turn over. Uncover and quickly/gently/safely turn dough over into the pot so that the seam is facing up. It may be a bit messy but that's okay. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 10 minutes, or until loaf is the color you like. Lift bread out of pot and let cool on cooling rack.