If at First You Don’t Succeed…

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If at First You Don’t Succeed…
8 August 2014

Something amazing happened this morning. I made a loaf of bread.

Now most of you might think that this is not amazing at all. A lot of you may think I am a born baker who can whip magic out of the oven with my eyes closed. Well, this isn’t the case.

It is true, however, I have turned in to someone who is pretty great at baking simple treats for the kids. I persevered and eventually I got in to a flow with how things worked. This is why I like to keep things simple on here, I don’t want to scare anyone and I don’t want anyone spending copious amounts of time tied to the oven when you could be doing something else (even though baking can be fun and relaxing, don’t get me wrong, but I know that there is a lot of busy women out there!).

BUT, the one thing I could not get my head around was bread. I spent weeks, trying to master the perfect loaf. Until it got to a point where Ro took it upon himself to take over. It then took him months of trial and error to now have his perfect loaf. It is a great loaf, he has his little bread making routine. We are all very lucky to have him make us a fresh loaf of bread each day.

BUT! Now he has gone (don’t freak out, he has just gone for a week) and we haven’t got our resident bread guy in the house. He left me the recipe for his loaf and off he went. Here is my first attempt at the Ro loaf. (The photo is a SHOCKER, it is blurry and dark, but I needed to show you my crap loaf).

It was pretty funny how crap it was. The girls and I stood around it laughing for a while. But it motivated me to get it right, I am a stubborn and quite competitive woman, and I refuse to be beaten by a loaf of bread and more to the point, Ro.

I searched the internet for a recipe that spoke to me. “Kate, here! Look at me!” I eventually found it, actually it was probably one of the top of the google search. It was on a site called Nourished Kitchen. I liked the sound of that.

Before I went to bed I did what the recipe told me to do. And no joke, I was so excited about seeing what would happen the net morning I had trouble sleeping!! How sad is that. I need to get out more. I eventually got to sleep after listening to what we like to called my ‘Geek Radio’ (think BBC World Service and NPR). When the alarm went off I peeled myself from my cosy cocoon and finished the rest of the method and waited.

45 minutes later…

I wanted to share this with you. Because sometimes things don’t work out as you imagine, in life and in the kitchen. But don’t be defeated, try again, try a different way, try your way and you never know, it might just work!

Here is the recipe I used for my delicious and successful loaf!

No-Knead Sourdough Bread (Nourished Kitchen Style, with a little tweak from me to make it easier and more accessible to all!)

What You Need

  • 3 cups white organic flour
  • 1/4 cup proofed and bubbly sourdough starter (learn how to make sourdough starter here)
  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature water
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground unrefined sea salt
  • olive oil, for oiling the bowl

What You Need to Do
(the lady who wrote this recipe writes dump a lot, I have changed a bit of the method for you guys, but I had to keep her over use of the word dump, I love it!)

  1. Dump the flours, sourdough starter, water and salt into the basin of a standmixer equipped with a dough hook (you can use a bowl and good ol wooden spoon, but I am lucky enough to have a mixer). Mix the ingredients together on medium-low speed until they form a uniform ball of dough that cleans the sides of the mixing bowl, about three minutes.
  2. Oil a ceramic / glass mixing bowl, and dump the ball of dough into the mixing bowl. Cover tightly, and let it rise in a warm spot in your kitchen for six to eight hours, or until doubled in bulk.
  3. Place a biggish cast iron or enameled cast iron Dutch oven in a cold oven, and then heat the oven to 250˚C.
  4. Flour your working surface, and dump the dough onto the floured surface, gently forming it into a boule. Cover it with the empty glass mixing bowl, and allow it to rise for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the bowl, and if the dough has spread, reform it. Working quickly, open the oven and remove the lid from the preheated Dutch oven. Dump the dough into the Dutch oven, cover once more, and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid to the Dutch oven, and continue baking a further 15 minutes until the bread is fragrant and a light amber brown.
  6. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.