How to Bake Bread

If you follow me on Instagram Stories, you know how proud I am of my latest accomplishment: Baking my first loaf of bread! It was one of my goals for 2017, and I snuck it in under the wire with only a few weeks to spare.

And, to be honest, the only reason I did it is because KitchenAid® tapped me to create three recipes with my new Artisan® Stand Mixer (I have it in Aqua Sky), so I felt like it was a sign to finally check if off my list.

The only question was: Where do I start?

I did extensive research. A lot of the recipes I found were too hard for a first attempt, so I finally settled on this recipe from the New York Times and am so glad that I did. Literally, it came out perfectly after only two try!

The only reason my first loaf wasn’t perfect is because I didn’t let it rise for long enough… Patience is key in bread making, apparently. I’ve included that tip and more notes below for each step of the process based on my experience in italics.

No Knead Bread Recipe from New York Times

Ingredients:
– 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting (I used King Arther Unbleached Organic All-Purpose Flour)
– ¼ tspn instant yeast
– ¼ tspn salt (I used ½ tspn)
– Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed (I just used more flour)

Step 1:
– In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.
– Add 1 5/8 cups water (I just eyeballed between 1 3/4 and 2 cups in my glass measuring cup), and stir until blended. I used the Dough Hook attachment on my KitchenAid® Artisan® Stand Mixer.
– Dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
– Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. I suggest 18 hours if you can swing it!

Step 2:
– Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
– Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Make sure there’s enough flour so dough doesn’t stick to the surface.
– Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Step 3:
– Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. This step is a little tricky but you just have to go for it with no fear! It’s ok if the ball doesn’t look perfect.
– Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.
– Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. On my first attempt, I let it rise for 1.5 hours and it wasn’t enough, the loaf was very thin. The second time, I let it rise for 3 hours and it was perfect.
– When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

Step 4:
– At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.
– When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K.
– Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
– Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.
– Cool on a rack.

Thank you to KitchenAid® for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own. Photos by Courtney Ann Photography.

View all posts in:

Comments