Okay I know you think that title is an oxymoron but I swear it isn’t! It is time consuming in terms of “waiting” but hands-on time is literally about 10 minutes.
You definitely would want to have a scale, an electronic scale, if possible but I realize not everyone has one so I will give you the measurements for both. I cannot make any guarantees on the bread made using anything other than a scale….
For the scale/measuring cup:
- 430 grams/ 3 cups flour (see note)
- 1 gram/ 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 8 grams/ 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 345 grams/ 1 3/4 cup water or half water/half beer or all beer (why not right?)
Note: you can use white or wheat or half of each, you can use rye or toss in some seeds. The type of flour isn’t really that important, break flour or AP flour, white or wheat, whatever. Make it your own!
So you mix everything in a bowl and stir, no proofing the yeast or anything else; just mix together until combined and cover with plastic wrap.
I set mine on the countertop for about 20 hours. You have options here. You can put it in the refrigerator for a couple of days for a slow rise or you can let sit for a little as 12 hours but the longer it sits, the better it tastes. For however long you decide to let it rise, just know you shouldn’t go to the next step until you see small bubbles on the surface of the dough but you will not notice much of a change in the volume of the dough at this point.
For the second rise you need to turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and turn it over itself once or twice. Just take the right side and fold it over to the left and the left side over to the right, kind of like folding it in half. Cover it again with plastic wrap and let it sit for a bit, I left it for ~30 minutes.
Drizzle some olive oil into a bowl and make sure it coats the bottom and sides then place the dough into the bowl seam side down. Cover with a cotton cloth and let sit for a couple of hours, I left it for ~3 hours.. Now you will need a heavy pot (cast iron is best) with a lid or you can fashion one out of another pan or something but whichever vessel you use (I used a large cast iron Dutch oven), you need to place in a 450 degree oven while it preheats, I left it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Once the heat time has elapsed, carefully remove the pan from the oven (I did not heat with the lid) and place on the stovetop. Dump the dough from the oiled bowl into the hot pan, don’t worry too much about how it looks in the plan as it will flatten out during cooking. You can shake it around to distribute better but I am of the belief the less you touch that 450 degree pot, the better off you will be.
Place the lid on the pot and relocate to the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid after 30 and bake for another 15 and that’s it! Crusty on the outside and moist on the inside, a truly delightful bread! You can get fancy if you want but this is a simple bread for people who don’t like the complication of baking bread, add whatever you would like but it is simply perfection on it’s own.
I’ve also created a blog for jalapeño cheddar bread so click here to see how to convert…..