This week on Basics, I'm teaching you how to make bread. This process takes little more than plain old flour and turns it into something delicious that you can actually eat.
KitchenAid mixer with dough hook attachment
Cast iron dutch oven
- Bread flour
- Olive oil
Method: No Knead Bread
- Start with 400 grams of bread flour. Add ¼ tsp yeast and whisk until combined. Next add 1 ½ tsp of kosher salt (¾ tsp if you’re using table salt) along with 1 ⅓ cups of room temperature water. Gently mix it all together until a rough ball forms. No need to knead!
- Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
- Liberally dust your work surface with flour and turn out your dough onto the flour. There is no need to knead, just grab the corners and pulling them in towards the center until you have a heavily floured, smooth, and taut dough.
- Once you have a large, round, smooth surface, start pulling the dough in towards the bottom, shaping it into small mound. Place it on some parchment paper.
- Flour a clean kitchen towel and place on top of the bread and let sit for about 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven as hot as it will get with a cast iron dutch oven inside of it for at least an hour.
- Cut excess parchment paper off around the bread and score the top with a knife.
- Drop the loaf directly into the cast iron dutch oven, and before covering it, liberally spritz with water.
- Place in oven and let it bake for 15 minutes, removing the lid and then spritzing again with water and then baking for 15 minutes again (with no lid) or until completely done.
- Let the bread cool and then slice into it. Serve and enjoy!
Method: Focaccia Bread
- Get your stand mixer ready with the dough hook, and in the stand mixing bowl add 850g of bread flour along with 2 ½ cups of room temperature water and mix on low for a few minutes.
- Combine ½ a cup of water that is about 105°F with 1 full packet of active dry yeast and a pinch of sugar. Whisk to combine and let stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes and then add to your shaggy ball of dough in your stand mixer.
- Once water is fully absorbed add 2 Tbsp of kosher salt, and then knead on a medium speed for about 5 minutes.
- Generously oil a bowl, add your dough mixture, cover, and let sit for about 2 hours.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold the dough stuck to the edges onto itself.
- In an 18x13 rimmed baking sheet, add about ½ a cup of olive oil and spread out until pan is fully coated.
- Place the bread mixture onto the baking sheet and using the olive oil, fold the mixture onto itself a few times and then start to spread the dough across the surface of the pan. If the dough keeps springing back, place some olive oil on the bread and cover it with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. You may have to do it a few times, but it’ll eventually spread to the whole pan.
- Once the pan is filled out, hit it with some more oil, and then cover and let it ferment overnight in the fridge so for about 12 hours. If any bubbles form, just poke them with a knife, and using oiled fingers, pull the bread just off the edges.
- Coat bread in olive oil and let sit covered at room temperature for about an hour. Make dimples in the dough with your fingers.
- Preheat oven at 450°F for 1 hour. Coat the dough one last time with olive oil and kosher salt and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Remove and place on a baking rack for about an hour and half to cool. Serve and enjoy!