Guest Post: The Lean Green Bean does bread!
Do you ever stop and think about what a crazy thing the Internet is? Not all the Ipads and Itouchs and tablet doo-dads, but just the Internet. The fact that I can type up this entry and the whole world can read it in a matter of minutes is neat. The fact that I have ‘friends’ in other parts of the world that I haven’t met, but only conversed with via twitter/tumblr/email is also pretty neat.
When I started writing this blog (not even 2 years ago), I figured it would be something for me to just get out all my food talk that no one wanted to hear about. Somewhere I could dump a recipe, share with close friends and family who had inquired, and forget about. I never imagined it would have connected me with so many wonderful like-minded people. And with those wonderful people, comes inspiring recipes, tips and thoughts on food. If I’m ever feeling stuck in a rut, or uninspired, I just look to my many peers and am never stuck for long.
All of this to say, I have a special entry for you today. All the way from Ohio! Lindsay writes a blog called The Lean Green Bean and if you haven’t yet read it, you’re missing out! I asked Lindsay last week if she would be interested in guest posting on The Gouda Life with a baked good or doughy recipe. She was quick to respond with an enthusiastic yes and said she had a great bread recipe she’d made over the weekend. I’m especially thankful for her post since I don’t do a lot of bread making at home (call me lazy). So before I go on much further, I’ll let Lindsay do what she does best!
Hello lovely Gouda Life readers! My name is Lindsay and I blog over at The Lean Green Bean. Kelly was nice enough to let me do a little guest post for you guys and I couldn’t be more excited to tell you about this bread recipe!
Have you ever made something that too good not to share, but so good you don’t want to share? That’s this bread! I’ve been on a bit of a quest these past few days to find a new bread recipe and I finally have a winner. But losers, ohhhhhh did I have some losers first. Allow me to tell you about some of my latest baking fails. (*All you bakers out there will probably cringe as you read this but please stick with me…I figure it out in the end, I promise!)
The best part about this is that I learned something new with each failed loaf. I will share these lessons with you now so that those of you who aren’t yet expert bakers can learn as well J
Lesson #1: Do not substitute whole-wheat pastry flour for all of the flour in your banana bread recipe. The loaves may look pretty, but they will taste like the inside of your sweaty tennis shoe. Into the trash.
Lesson #2: Do not substitute whole wheat flour for all the flour in your sweet potato bread. The sweet potatoes make it slightly more edible, but still not worth eating. Into the trash.
Lesson #3: Instant yeast and active dry yeast ARE NOT the same thing. If you use active dry yeast in the same way the recipe tells you to use instant yeast, nothing will happen! I found this awesome-looking recipe for Almost No Knead Bread on one of my favorite blogs, Framed, and gave it a try. The idea is that it rises overnight and then you bake it in the morning in your dutch oven. I mixed up the dough, went to bed, woke up super excited in the morning and……….it looked exactly the same. Into the trash.
And finally, we come to the success! After my third fail, I did some research and discovered that while you can use active dry yeast in recipes that call for instant yeast, you must first activate it! (I knew something didn’t feel right when I was making the dough!) I didn’t want to wait another night, so I did some more searching and found this recipe for Speedy No-Knead Bread on The New York Times website. It was a very similar recipe, except it only needed to rise for 4 hours! And it turned out PERFECTLY!
You only need 4 ingredients:
3 cups of bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups water
1 package of yeast.
1. If you’re using instant yeast, you can mix the yeast, salt and flour together and then add the water.
2. If you’re using active dry yeast, mix the flour and salt together in one bowl, and activate the yeast in another by adding the yeast to the water (100-110 degrees Fahrenheit) with a pinch of sugar! Let it sit for five minutes, stir it up and then mix the two together.
3. Once all of the ingredients are in the same bowl, stir until combined into a doughy ball.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise somewhere warm for 4 hours.
5. Take the dough out, place on a lightly oiled surface and knead 5 times. That’s it! Just 5 times! Then put it back in the bowl for another 30 minutes.
6. Place your dutch oven into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. After the second rise, carefully take the dutch oven out, dump the dough in, put the lid on and into the oven it goes for 30 minutes! You’ll hear a satisfying little sizzle when you dump the dough in.
8. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and let the bread cook for another 10-15 minutes until it’s golden brown all over.
9. Slice, serve and enjoy!
PS. I may or may not have made a second loaf IMMEDIATELY following this because I ate 4 slices in about 2 minutes. And guess what?! The second one turned out just as well as the first!
So go grab your dutch oven and give this bread a try. It’s AMAZING! Perfect for making sandwiches, French toast or even dipping in some soup!
Thanks to Kelly for letting me share this recipe with you guys! Feel free to stop by The Lean Green Blog and find some new recipes! Don’t forget to say hi!