A few things:
I am not a cook.
I assemble (and draw) food.
I love bread.
Sourdough, biscuits, rolls, yeast breads, pumpkin/apple/banana breads, etc.
I especially love crusty exterior with soft interior bread.
My love for yummy, hot-out-of-the-oven bread overcomes my dislike of and ineptitude at cooking.
Years ago, I used to make sourdough loaves all the time. Fed the “critter” in my fridge. Gave loaves to friends. Served family this beloved bread.
But it has been years since I’ve made sourdough bread. And I also have a “bread angel” who gifts us with sourdough bread (many many thank you’s!).
I now have a new love.
European Peasant Bread.
Thank you Kay for the recipe! (Even though I’m ashamed to admit that this is how long it has taken me to make the bread you so generously gave me and then wrote out and gave me the recipe!)
I share it here [with my added changes in square brackets due to not having exact items on hand, but it still turned out fantastic!]. (Kay’s notes are in rounded parentheses).
White European Peasant Bread OR 5-Minute Bread (ok…so right here I must tell you that I made a combo white/wheat bread. Amounts included below. Turned out great! But I think it will rise even more when I make it all white bread. AND…5 Minutes? Well. Maybe 5 minutes to stir up the ingredients. But then 5 hours for it to rise. And then 40 minutes for it to cook. So all totaled, mine was 5 hours 45 minutes.:)
6 1/2 cups unbleached flour (5 lb. bag will make 2 recipes) [OK. So. I did not have unbleached flour. I drove to Target to get this item. They do not have anything but bleached flour. I was too impatient to go to numerous places to find this. So home I went and used the Bread Flour and Wheat Flour I had in the pantry. I used 4 1/2 cups of white Bread Flour, and 2 cups of Wheat.]
1 1/2 T of Kosher salt. [I just had regular salt, the kind with the girl with an umbrella on it. Worked fine. However, Randy said he thought the bread tasted a bit salty. I didn’t notice. But I might cut back the amount of salt next time. OR, perhaps the Kosher kind will taste less salty…??? I told you, I’m not a cook. ]
1 1/2 T yeast (rapid rise or regular). [I had rapid rise yeast in packets. I measured this amount out and I used 2 packets plus a bit of a third. Does this come in a jar form? Might be easier.]
3 cups warm water. [Easiest part. Ran warm water from tap. Even I can do that. 🙂 ]
2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese (optional). [To me, this is not optional…it is soooo delicious!]
*Makes 3 loaves or rounds. [Personally I love it in the round form!! Looks all peasant-like to me!]
*Dough is good for 2 weeks in fridge in an airtight container. [Really? It’ll last 2 weeks? Not in my house! I have baked all three loaves in the span of two days. And it is all gone!]
*Make dough: Throw it all in and stir just until mixed. Don’t over stir [pretty sure I did!]. If using cheese, add it last.
*Put dough in 5 qt. container. [Kay uses 4.7 qt. Sterilite from Walmart. I couldn’t find 4.7 or 5 qt. containers at Target, so I came home with a 6 qt. container. Seemed to work fine.]
*Let rise on counter 2-5 hours til it fills container. Leave lid askew [don’t you love that word?] to allow gases to escape. (If it doesn’t fill container in 5 hours, go ahead and put lid on tight and refrigerate.) [Mine did not fill the 6 qt. container, but I went ahead and baked a third of it anyways.]
*Take out 1/3 of dough with floured hands and floured surface. Don’t knead but work down on all sides [in a kind of arc from center of bread to the edges]. Then turn and do the same all around dough. This is called “cloaking” the bread. [Very cool!]
*Put in a greased and floured pan (round or loaf). (Kay notes that she hasn’t been flouring the stone/pan if it is round/flat; but that she would flour if baked in a loaf pan.)
*If dough has been in fridge, let it sit in pan 1/2 hour. If making it right away, skip this step.
*Bake @ 450 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until thermometer reaches 180-210 degrees. [Mine got to 206 degrees after 40 minutes!:) ]
*As you take dough out of airtight container, cover the remaining dough with plastic wrap.
So. I know it took you longer than 5 minutes to read all that! But it is so worth any time needed to make this bread!! I don’t know that mine turned out exactly the way it should’ve, so I will be attempting to “perfect” it. An excuse to have to make it many, many more times!! My family is glad of that!! I think you will be too!
Awesome quote I found today on this amazing blog!
“To err is human. To loaf is Parisian.” Victor Hugo
Not sure that “loaf” is meaning the bread kind, but it works both ways really well! 🙂