I live in a tourist town and one of our “things” is clam chowder.
There’s this one particular spot where 12 restaurants cram their store-fronts onto an old fishing wharf and every one of those restaurants has a stand out in front where employees shout,
“Clam chowder? Would you like to try some clam chowder?”
Well who wouldn’t?
So on my first visit to this spot, I sampled one. And then two. And then three and four and the next thing you know, I’m entirely stuffed on multiple one tablespoon servings of clam chowder.
Pitiful, I know. But then I turn around to see the holy grail of clam chowder – served in a bread bowl.
Did I just see clam chowder in a bread bowl?!
As if the best (and free) clam chowder in the country wasn’t enough, you can get it via a sourdough-like vessels that not only eliminates a dish (mom’s dream come true), but is edible and tastes GOOD?!
Someone pinch me.
Like my town has a “thing” for clam chowder, the Crumbs family has a “thing” for bread. We like it. A lot.
Homemade bread doesn’t last very long in our house, and since my schedule has been a bit too busy to squeeze in several hours together, Mr. Crumbs has recently taken it upon himself to dig through the Crumbs archives and learn how to bake bread.
Really truly though, we’ve been baking our own bread for a few years now for three main reasons:
- It’s really, really good (WAAAY better than store-bought).
- It’s really, really cheap (like, as little as 25¢/loaf cheap).
- It’s really, really easy.
Ok, so #3 hasn’t always been true. There was a time when I was terrified of yeast and wanted nothing to do with it.
I would purposely go out of my way to make bread that DIDN’T need yeast, just to avoid it. Which you know, will only get you so far in the yeast-bread-making world.
Then one day I got over my fear (at the request of Mr. Crumbs) and made bread.
*cue singing angels*
Yes, it really is that amazing.
But I get that you might have the same fear of yeast that I once had. Yeast kinda sorta has a mind of its own – and we’ll talk more about that soon – but I feel so strongly about homemade bread that I don’t think yeast should stand in your way.
So I’m officially introducing you to the easiest bread to make on the planet…
No Knead Bread
Which, with one minor change, can become a bread bowl. Awesomesauce.
Even better, this no knead overnight artisan bread is everything the name claims to be:
- There is no kneading. In fact, kneading ruins the bread. Awesome news for the soon-to-be yeast-loving crowd.
- The first rise is overnight. While you sleep. High five for schedule-friendly.
- Each recipe makes just one small loaf, which is technically what the “artisan” movement is. Buh-bye mass produced rectangle loaves. Hello beautiful round loaves of deliciousness.
However, in the name of transparency, real foodies might find just one teeny tiny issue with this recipe.
It calls for all-purpose flour.
Now, before a revolution ensues and my real foodie card is stripped away, I’m a firm believer in using whole wheat flour whenever possible. I’m known to sneak it into things like pastry crusts and cookies – foods that ordinarily call for all-purpose flour because of taste and texture.
But, I’m also a firm believer that it’s not the end of the world to use all-purpose flour sometimes. Although I will say that in our house, we make a valiant effort to make sure the all-purpose flour we do buy is
- whole grain (my reasons why)
- NOT enriched (my reasons why)
- NOT bleached (my reasons why)
- NOT bromated (my reasons why)
And let me tell you, this is no easy feat!
The Best Flour Out There
But little did I know, Hodgson Mill makes this type of flour (and many others) and they do this without passing the cost on to us as consumers. Literally, they’re one of the most affordable brands of flour on the market!
Plus they’re a family-owned company that does things the way we would do it if we owned a mill company:
- They start with the highest grade whole grains, produced domestically wherever available.
- They only use stone-ground milling, which keeps the nutrition of the grain intact. (The heat generated from modern-day high speed steel rollers damages the grain.)
- They have over 100 products certified non-GMO, with more added to the list all the time.
- The majority of their flours are certified organic too.
- They use solar panels and wind mills to power their headquarters.
Crumbs is excited to team up with Hodgson Mill this month to help you overcome the fear of yeast, enjoy the process of baking bread and bake healthier foods for your family. It all starts with this delicious No Knead Bread!!
PS – If you’re wondering where you can find Hodgson Mill products, just check your local grocery stores (the ones that DON’T require a whole paycheck).
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached, unenriched and unbromated if possible)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1½ cups room temperature water
- Combine flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Add water and mix well. The dough will be hard to stir and shaggy, not smooth like traditional bread dough.
- Cover with a towel and let rise overnight, 8-18 hours. The dough will bubble and rise.
- When you're ready to make bread, flour your hands and your working surface and turn the dough out. Without kneading the dough, gently form it into a ball. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for one hour.**
- After the dough has risen for 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 450F and put your Dutch oven or oven-safe pot (that has a lid) inside to preheat. Do not put the lid in the oven. Preheat for 30 minutes.
- When the dough has rested for an hour, and the pot has preheated, remove the pot from the oven. Carefully lift the dough from the surface and place into the pot. If your pot is stainless steel and not lined, you can line it with parchment paper first.
- Replace the lid and place the pot back in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.
- Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the top is golden-medium brown.
- Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minutes in a spot where air can flow freely above and below).
Additional Recipe Notes
This bread is super sturdy, which makes it not only awesome for holding soup, but great for for grilling sandwiches or when you need something hearty for heavy sandwich fillings (like a Reuben).
We made this recipe with entirely all-purpose, then again with only whole wheat. The whole wheat version doesn’t taste bad by any means, but it is definitely denser both in texture and flavor.
- flour: $0.63
- yeast: $.04
- salt: $.02
Total cost of No Knead Bread is $0.69 per loaf!
Compare that to $3-4 per store-bought loaf and imagine how much you could save each year!
(Actually, don’t imagine – I’ll just tell you: $120 if you made just one loaf each week.)
What’s your level of experience in making bread? Did you, or do you, have a fear of yeast? Do you have any advice for those who are new to making bread?
This post is sponsored by Hodgson Mill, a family-owned company whom Crumbs is proud to partner with. As always, I would never recommend anything on Crumbs that I wouldn’t recommend to a close friend or neighbor, and all opinions here are my own.