I wanted to give my friends a housewarming gift that would not add to the giant pile of things they just had to move into their new home, so I tried my hand at some rustic, thick crusty bread. I doubled the portions but the bread was a tiny bit wetter than I’d like so I didn’t adjust the portions below for the double portion.
WARNING: this is one of those crazy multi-day recipes. The trade-off with no knead is waiting for the air bubbles and yeast to develop. And no, this was not something I did last night, it’s from Sunday. You know, that day you have time to do crazy things like bake bread..
Cranberry Orange Almond Artisan Bread from Simply So Good
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I did a mix of dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots and golden raisins)
1/2 cup chopped almonds (I used toasted almond slices)
Zest from one orange (I used lemon rind, didn’t have an orange on hand)
1 1/2 cups water (water does not have to be warm)
1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast and zest. Whisk together. Add dried cranberries and almonds, stir. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.
2) Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours (mine sat for about 30 hours). Overnight works great.
3) Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.
5) Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes (20ish, in my case).
6) Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
Try it with jam!
Novelty Rating: 4 of 5
For some one who rarely eats bread and bakes it even less, I was pleasantly surprised at how edible this turned out. Win! There’s really nothing quite like the smell of baking bread to make for a cozy-feeling house, though. I have enjoyed a whole week of toasted bread with greek yogurt and lox for breakfast (plus pepper). Nom nom nom.
Likelihood of Repeat: 45%
I’ll need another excuse from a friend to bake bread.. although, I do have a big bag of non-whole wheat flour now that I have to find some use for..
Lesson learned: I could have mixed the ingredients a tiny bit more at the start, since I did get a few pockets of dry raw flour in the middle of the bread. Next time I’d like to try using actual orange rind and also soaking dried cranberries in apple juice for moisture (then cutting the water content some).
What, were you still wondering about the upo? Don’t worry, I’ve ambushed a few friends with some squash and have more plans to try other recipes out..stay tuned!