Thursday, 3 January 2013

Rustic Bread (Toddlers and children can help)

The best thing about rustic bread is there is no kneading to do. So it requires a lot less work. In fact, My 3 yr old daughter, Anjalie, mixed the dough last night with a spoon. Today all I did was shape it and pop it in the oven. The only catch is you need a good dutch oven/pyrex bowl. You can also use cast-iron bowls or anything with a lid (no plastic/non-stick). This recipe is for a whole wheat rustic bread. Of course, you may add 3 cups of plain/bread flour instead to make white bread. Have fun baking with your toddler/child :)

You will need:
1 and 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 and 1/2 cups of plain/bread flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of active dried yeast
1 and 1/2 cups of warm water and a another 1/4 cup for activating the yeast.

In a large mixing bowl mix 1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 and 1/2 cup plain/bread flour with 1 and 1/2 tsp salt. In a separate cup, add 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp active dried yeast to 1/4 cup of warm water and mix well. Leave the yeast mixture to raise for 5 mins until it turns frothy.Add the yeast water and an extra 1 and 1/2 cup of warm water to the flour and mix the dough. It will be more soft and sticky than the usual bread dough. Leave to raise for 12-18 hrs (or overnight). The next day, or after 12-18 hrs, preheat oven to 220 degree Celsius (fan assisted) or 450 Fahrenheit and place a large/medium dutch oven/pyrex glass bowl with a lid into the oven. The lid is a must! Make sure the bowl used can withstand the heat. Leave the empty bowl with lid in the oven for 30 mins. Meanwhile, shape the dough with wet hands/dusted with flour into a large round ball and place it on a parchment paper. Leave to raise again for 30 mins or if you have more time then leave it for an hour. When ready, place the dough with the parchment paper into the preheated dutch oven/pyrex bowl. Cover and bake in the oven for 30 mins. Remove the cover and cook for another 15 mins until golden brown. When done, thump the bread on the bottom and it should sound hollow. If not pop it back for another 10 mins. Cool the bread and then enjoy with your favorite soup!

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