Before commercial bakeries started, people baked bread at home. Well, those who had an oven at least did. They had time to do it. We, for some reason don't have time or at least that's what we claim. It is easier to buy bread. I won't and can't argue with that. But, if you own a bread machine and can plan a bit, you can bake healthy, delicious bread free of preservatives at home with no trouble at all. All you have to do is measure the ingredients and place in the pan and set the timer on.
For some reason, many people who have owned the bread machine for years still go and buy the bread. Don't ask me why, because I can't understand that. But there are others who do not own or want to own a bread machine. I understand that point. Takes up space, another extra electronic appliance and all. This bread is for those people who have no time and no bread machine. Mix, forget about it for more than half a day, shape, plop and bake. You can't complain that you can't make bread now. Can you? If you still have an excuse, well, what can I say?
Year Back - Stuffed Potato Bun / Palya Bun
Adapted from - Various sources for 'No Knead Bread'.
Whole Wheat flour - 3 cups
Vital Wheat gluten - 2 TBSP
Instant yeast - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp
Warm water - 1 3/4 cups
Mix all the ingredients with a strong wooden spoon. If you find it hard to stir, you can use your hands to mix. You are not kneading it, just mixing all the ingredients until no flour streaks can be seen. Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and leave it for 12 - 18 hours in a warm place.
When ready, the dough will be puffy. If you use all purpose flour, it will be puffier than what it was with whole wheat flour. Sprinkle the counter top with some flour (I used whole wheat flour here too). Gently plop the dough from the bowl on to the dusted surface. Sprinkle some flour on the top and just fold the dough on to itself. You are not trying to incorporate the flour into the dough, just use the flour so that it doesn't stick to your hands and to the counter. Let it rest covered for about 10 - 15 minutes. Then shape into a round. It won't be very pretty, but this bread isn't going to be pretty anyway.
Most of the people will suggest you to line a bowl with clean kitchen towel, coat generously with cornmeal, let the dough rest seam side up in there. When risen and the oven is ready, plop it so that the seam side goes down. I didn't do that.
Here comes the part that I did differently. I was not confident of plopping the risen dough into a hot pot. So, I lined a bowl with aluminum foil and placed the shaped dough ball in it. Cover with a towel and let rise for 2 hours. Remember to generously flour the foil before you put the dough, else it will stick.
When ready to bake, place a heavy cast iron 4 - 5 Qt dutch oven or a pyrex dish with lid (make sure it is oven safe and there is no plastic parts) which is at least 4" deep and wide enough to hold the dough ball. Place the pan with the lid in the oven and preheat to 450 F. When heated, remove the pan with the lid from the oven. Remember to wear proper mittens. Both the lid and the pot are hot. Remove the lid. Holding the edges of the aluminum foil, gently place the dough into the hot pan. Cover with the lid and place it back in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the wire rack completely before slicing.
Even when this bread tastes awesome and has lot of holes, it is not to be compared with the traditionally made whole wheat bread. This however, is for those occasions when you don't have time to go through the traditional method of bread baking.
I am sure one of you will ask why 2 TBSP of gluten instead of 3 TBSP? That is because I had only that much left in the packet. That's all, no reason otherwise.
This goes to BBD#38 hosted by Cindystar and yeastspotting.