Friday, May 24, 2013

Ridiculously Easy Bread In A Jar: The Actually Useful Rewrite

HOLY MOLY that was a lot to read to get a simple recipe. Being concise is not a strength I am overburdened with, and apparently sleep deprivation doesn't make me any better at it. 

Here's the simple recipe that I promised you in the beginning before all the blather.

Ridiculously Easy Bread In a Jar

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon salt 
2 cups white flour
1 cup wheat flour

In a half-gallon Mason jar, stir the yeast and salt into the warm water. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture has little bubbles on top.

Put the flour into the Mason jar (a canning funnel is useful here) one cup at a time, stirring well to combine after each cup.

Let sit at room temperature for one to two hours, or until the dough reaches the top of the jar. Punch down the dough, screw lid on loosely, and refrigerate overnight or for up to two weeks. 

To make a basic loaf of bread, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Grease up a loaf pan; I use coconut oil, but you could use butter, bacon fat, olive oil, lard--whatever you have handy. Pull the dough out of the jar and make an approximate cylindrical shape with it. Place it in the pan, pop it in your preheated oven, and leave it there for somewhere between half an hour and 45 minutes, or whenever it is nice and crusty-looking and the internal temperature is at least 195 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In preparing this bread, you don't have to use a proper shaping method, score the loaf, overheat the oven and then turn it back down to 450 once the loaf is in, or place a steam pan in the bottom of the oven. You can do any and all of these things if you'd like, and having done them, I can tell you that they only improve the loaf. That being said, the beauty of this recipe is that if all you have time to do is stick a lump of dough in the oven, you'll still get decent bread. 

Other options: press dough flat with your hands and cook on the grill or in a cast-iron pan on the stovetop; make littler lumps of dough for rolls; stuff, wrap and bake into a pretty bread braid. Enjoy! 

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