I don’t have a dough hook or anything like that so making bread where lots of kneading is required is a definite no no no. A quick look (ha ha -who ever has a quick look!) on the internet and I discovered it’s possible to make fantastic bread (white or brown) without any kneading at all!
I followed the steps on artisan bread and it’s brilliant! It’s well explained, really simple to follow and has photos showing each step.
It takes a bit of hanging about the first day but after that it’s as fast as any other kind of bread. I have also scribbled the instructions down in my recipe book and they look like this:
Ingredients – for about 4 loaves
900g plain flour (or a mixture of plain and whole-wheat flours)
1 ½ tbsp salt
1 ½ tbsp powered yeast
3 ½ cups luke warm water
Stage 1 : Put salt and yeast in a bucket, add the water and stir until combined. Add all the flour at once and stir until everything is well mixed together and looks gloopy. Put the lid on the bucket, not forgetting to pierce a small hole in the lid first!
Stage 2 : Leave at room temperature for 2 – 5 hours, then either use in stage 3 or refrigerate for up to 1 week – it’s easier to handle if chilled first.
Stage 3 : Prepare some grease-proof paper and dust with flour. Sprinkle some flour over the surface of the very sticky dough, just enough so your fingers don’t stick too much. Pull out a piece of dough (roughly 500g) and with floured hands form a ball, then plop onto the grease-proof paper.
Stage 4 : Leave at room temperature for between 40 and 90 mins.
Stage 5: Heat the oven, a baking sheet and a small roasting tin to 230°C. Cut 2 or 3 diagonal slashes in the dough – using scissors or a bread knife. When the oven is hot enough, put the dough with the grease-proof paper onto the hot baking tray and bake for 30 mins – not forgetting to pour a cupful of water into the roasting tin to keep the bread moist.
Remove the loaf from the oven, remove the grease-proof paper and leave to cool. It should be golden and gorgeous, check if it’s fully baked by tapping the bottom of the loaf – if it sounds hollow it’s done!
Of course the next day, things are a lot faster as I can begin my bread making at stage 3 and find plenty of other things to do during the “waiting” times!