Bread has never seemed like an easy thing to make to me, but I’ve recently learned otherwise from a few experts. Apparently you need either lots of time and not many ingredients or just an hour and some unique ingredients.
Less Time, Lots of Ingredients
During my stay at Dos Brisas Melissa Fitz-Walters (the pastry chef) showed me how to make the delicious Irish Soda Bread she whipped up for our lunch. With the exception of the baking, you see the whole process in the video. It’s super easy once you collect the ingredients.
(Btw, did you see my video and pics of the amazing food I had during my stay?! Love this little luxurious hideaway!)
- 8 oz bread flour
- 6 oz cake flour
- 5 oz wheat flakes
- 2 oz wheat flour
- 2 Tblsp + 2 tspn Dry Milk Solids (don’t ask, I have no idea where you buy this)
- 1 tspn sugar
- 3 tspn baking soda
- 1 tspn baking powder
- 2 1/4 c buttermilk
- Optional: dried currants, raisins, or golden raisins
- Wax paper
(You can cut the recipe in half.)
In the video, you’ll see all you have to do is mix with your hand. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. I like this bread better than the next one. It retains more moisture (thanks to the buttermilk I’m sure). But if you can’t find dry milk solids, opt for the following recipe.
Less Ingredients, More Time
For this loaf, you only need flour, water, yeast, and salt. That’s it!
Mark Bittman’s video with Jim Lahey of the famed Sullivan Street Bakery demonstrates each step if you believe the recipe sounds too effortless to be true. Apparently “any 6 year old can do it.” But it requires 2 days to complete.
I only eat bread if it’s “worth it,” and I can attest that even though this bread isn’t fancy, it’s absolutely worth ever carb. Fresh out of the oven bread made a world of difference in this very simple bruschetta.
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
Top It Off With Something Sweet!
Not that you need anything to go with these breads, but the fresh blueberry jam from Dos Brisas is so good I had to include it here.
For the jam, you’ll need:
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 2 tbsp. corn starch
- Place sugar in small bowl, infuse scraped vanilla bean with sugar
- Pour infused vanilla sugar, blueberries, salt, sugar and lemon in pot on medium-low heat. Cook until blueberries start to break down.
- Place cornstarch in separate bowl, add water (enough to make liquid) mix
until there are no clumps.
- Add cornstarch to blueberry mix, stir constantly until starch cooks out
(approximately 1-2 minutes)
- Add sugar/lemon juice to taste
- Let cool, jar and enjoy!