COLD AND BREAD

When the San Francisco Bay Area weather exits its Indian Summer and the air very suddenly turns cold, it’s time to seek out the simplest, most comforting foods available; there is nothing more basic than fresh bread.

For a long time the making of bread seemed almost mystical. I had made pizza dough without making the connection but bread was something that required some kind of connection with yeast as a living thing, it was the domain of husky servant women of olde with big hands and forearms who spent all day thrashing big blobs of dough into compliance.

But then everything changed, or more specifically, I, along with most of The Internet, discovered the magic of no-knead bread. This dough lives in my fridge during the fall and winter as I tend to replenish it as often as necessary. It makes loaves that, while not quite as refined as many of the local offerings, smell great while baking (it’s been said a billion times, but some things are clichés and others absolute truths – there is nothing better than the smell of fresh bread baking) and offer enough crust, chew, and versatility in shape that it’s hard to resist throwing a loaf in the oven every night.

For a really nice loaf, I toss the dough into a preheated cast iron casserole and cover for the first 15 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes or so. Another tip: those basic single edge razor blades from the drugstore are perfect for making slashes.

From this:

IMG_0871

To this:

IMG_0873To this:

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9 Responses to COLD AND BREAD

  1. I ought to try that no-knead since me and bread have been eyeing each other warily from across the room.

  2. Why am I not doing this?!?! What is wrong with me?

  3. I’ve always loved making bread, but this no knead stuff makes me love it even more.
    Gorgeous loaf!

  4. Pingback: Last of the Summer Vine | MACHO PINEAPPLE

  5. amey says:

    oh my god. your bread looks totally freaking amazing! I’ll browse the thrift store for a cast iron casserole, I can see how that would really do the trick. I love that no-knead stuff….

    • Christopher says:

      Amey, I think what the casserole does is trap the moisture in the bread. It’s good to have a humid baking environment for bread at the start of baking because it helps the bread “pop” in the oven.

  6. Mo says:

    Drool. I really want to bake some bread right now.

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