Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Making Do

 It's St Patrick's Day and I should be making soda bread but I don't have any of the things I need to make it. What I have is the stuff to make regular bread and since I always get a few questions about it I thought I'd show you how it's done.

 I use the recipes from this book. It changed the way I make bread forever.

 It's so easy and fast. There is no kneading. It's a one bowl process. No mess. No fuss.

 You make a slurry of the warm water, yeast and salt and then just sift in the flour and stir until you get a dough that looks like this. I think any basic bread recipe would work. The only difference is that the dough should still be rather sticky and loose-not firm enough that you could knead it.

 That's it. Now you just let it sit on the counter until it doubles. Then you pop it into the fridge until you are ready to bake it.

 About a half hour before you want to stick it in the oven you sprinkle a bit more flour over the top and.....

....punch it down.

 Then you reach down and grab a handful and fold it over itself until you get a nice ball.

 You tuck in any loose ends underneath and plop it on a baking sheet to rise for 30 minutes and then.....

 .... give it a slash and pop it in the oven until it's brown and sounds hollow when you thunck it. If you want to braid it or make a baguette or even use it for pizza dough it works just as well.

If you steam up the oven with a pan of hot water while it bakes you get a nice crisp crust and a lovely soft, chewy inside. It's so good.

It's perfect with a pot of navy bean soup. It's not exactly our traditional St Patrick's Day dinner but we have to make do with what we have these days. At least my bean pot is green.
Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!


  1. I have always been a failure at baking bread but I did buy flour and fresh yeast last week just in case I can't get out to buy bread. Who knows what we'll actually be facing? I may be asking for your recipe my friend.
    The soup looks good too. I still haven't decided on a St. Patricks day dinner. I'm attempting the store tomorrow morning early so maybe they'll still have some corned beef. Otherwise maybe it will be soup for us too!

  2. I love a fresh loaf. I haven't made bread in years but hopefully this year I will. Your load looks delicious by the way.

  3. That book changed my life! It's the only way I've ever been able to bake anything beyond hockey pucks and cinder blocks. Sadly I didn't bring it when we moved to the MIL's because her fridge is so small and the dough would take up too much valuable space.

  4. I just made some but I will have to try that method when I make more.

  5. Never tried it before but might just do it now - Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all!

  6. We will be doing soda bread, but HAM and cabbage instead of corned beef. I guess my mom didn't like corned beef because we always had ham.

    Hope you have a wonderful day. Your meal sounds delicious.

  7. The bread certainly looks delicious! The process you use seems much more doable than the recipes I have read. I have yet to actually bake bread. I am sure I will be looking back at this post if I decide to attempt bread baking.

  8. Yum....scooch on over so I can have a bowl and bread with you.I can bring dessert. How about a chocolate bar?
    Best and easiest way to make bread ever.

  9. Oh, boy! Does that look good!!!! Thanks for outlining the steps! It's been a while since I made some bread this way!