The smell of fresh-baked bread

Sniff.

Inhale deeply.

Smell the aroma of fresh-baked bread?

Smell that yeasty goodness of simple flour, salt, yeast (and perhaps sesame seeds) mixed together in a glass bowl?  Are your taste buds watering?  Would you like a buttered piece of homemade peasant bread to compliment your soup or summer salad? 

Bread dough with sesame seeds

If you have already headed to the kitchen, come back.  For just a minute.

Let me share a recipe for Peasant Bread from Dave.  He brought a loaf to our Artist’s Way meeting last summer and we devoured it like manna from heaven.  We begged for his recipe, and he thoughtfully complied.

If you are tired of store-bought bread and have two days…keep reading.  (Two days!  Yes, yes.  But do not fear.  You will only need ten minutes on the first day.  Maybe five. And not much more time on the second day.  Best of all you hardly have to knead.)

Whisk the following ingredients together in a large glass bowl:

2 cups unbleached flour

1 cup whole wheat flour (if you want a really heavy-duty loaf of bread–like mine–use all whole wheat bread flour.  But only if you like your bread extra dark and healthy.)

1/2 Tablespoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon yeast

Yep, that’s about it.  Except for adding the water.  Add one and a half to one and 5/8 cup of water and mix well. 

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm location for 12-18 hours.

Sleep.

Lightly flour an area on the counter and turn dough out on it.  Slightly knead in some of the flour.  Leave dough ball on counter covering lightly with plastic wrap.  Let sit 15 minutes.

Lay a cotton cloth on counter.  Sprinkle half with sesame seeds, flour, or cornmeal.  Maybe even poppy seeds.  Carefully transfer dough ball onto cloth.  Fold cloth over dough and rest for 2-3 hours. (You can rest again, too.)

How I love sesame seeds.

Selected a heavy walled two-quart or larger ovenproof glass, cast iron, or clay dish with lid.  Oil it well. If you have no lid–use aluminum foil.  Preheat oven with rack in center to 450 F with dish and lid in it.   (Ooops, I forgot to do this part today.) 

When oven is ready carefully lift dough ball into the dish and bake 30 minutes with lid on…15 minutes without lid.

Turn onto cutting board or wire rack to cool.

Try to let cool.  Really try.  Then cut off slice, slather with butter (or vegan alternative) or peanut butter or jam or honey.  Lick your lips.  Mmmm, isn’t homemade bread good?

Tea with your bread? A cup of coffee? Some homemade raspberry jam, perhaps?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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20 Responses to The smell of fresh-baked bread

  1. Marianne says:

    Mmmmm the smell of fresh-baked bread made me hungry. The bread looks yummy! I think I’ll heat up my leftover lunch.

  2. Oh Yes
    Bread, Tea, and raspberry jam are just what I need tonight….

    Kim

  3. Susan D. says:

    Oh, how I want to make and bake this lovely bread! I can only do so if I can lie for 2 days on that dewy cobweb hammock you posted yesterday. It would be insufferable in my little brick apt. with the oven on at 450 …

    So, I shall either plan time away or wait for cooler days. Nevertheless, there is something so soothing, simple, and wonderful about recipes for delicious bread. Ahhhh… thank you!

  4. bearyweather says:

    I have never baked bread before … I thought it was too complicated … this recipe seems easy … I will have to give it a try. The smell of bread baking is one of my favorites .. the thought of melting butter and jam just make it better. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    (One question … does the pan need to be greased? I seem to recall my mother greasing the pan when she baked bread)

  5. Zara says:

    My summer vacation is coming up in a few days and you’ve given me a project to do just before we leave for Thailand!
    Thanks Kathy!

  6. Dawn says:

    Yuuuummmmmmmy! But 450? Really? I don’t think I’ve ever baked anything at 450…would this work in a cast iron lidded pot? Is that why it’s so hot and so long?

    I think I will try it, starting tomorrow…

  7. Jessica says:

    Kathy, I thought you didn’t eat wheat. I thought you were gluten free…am I remembering wrongly? I love baking bread, but this summer my kitchen is insufferably hot so I stay away as much as I can. Did you know they still use outdoor ovens to bake breads and pastries in El Salvador? (random El Salvador question of the day.no need to answer)

  8. Reggie says:

    Ohhh, yumm. I just had breakfast, but the mere thought of that heavenly fragrance of freshly baked bread is making my tummy rumble as though it hasn’t eaten in days… It sounds scrumptious, happy munching!

  9. Robin says:

    It looks and sounds yummy. (My tummy is rumbling — wanting a piece.)

    My husband has become our in-house bread baker. He makes some amazing breads. He started baking breads during my gluten-free period in life, learning to make breads without wheat. Lately he’s had to feed and take care of a sourdough “mother” that he uses for his sourdough breads. The “mother” has a distinct (and stinky) odor but the breads that come from it are delicious!

  10. holessence says:

    Kathy, this mouth-watering recipe was a delight to read this morning. The only thing that could possibly have made it better would be to have a warm slice — right now.

  11. fountainpen says:

    I smell its baked aroma from here!!!!!!
    Yes, I do!!!!!!

    Fountainpen

  12. Cindy Lou says:

    Not today – it’s way to hot though I do love it! – but this yummy bread will be made in my home one day soon. Perhaps with tortellini chicken soup?

    Simplicity in the basic bread of life…. :}

  13. Kathy says:

    Hello all bread bakers and bread eaters! Ohmygoodness, it is way too hot to bake bread today! Almost 90 degrees. One small fan is pointing at me and this computer right now attempting to cool things down.

    First of all! I am going to ammend the recipe, pronto. Definitely oil the pan before baking. Definitely! Otherwise it will not be much fun digging it out. 😦

    Second, on the matter of 450 degrees. Yep, that’s what the original recipe says. HOWEVER, our oven bakes hot so I put it somewhere about 425 degrees. You may want to experiment.

    Jessica~~no, I am not gluten-free. I have to eat a mostly-fat-free diet. My gall bladder does not process fat too efficiently. It still seems to do OK with wheat. (However we hardly ever eat yeasted bread, so this is a treat. We usually eat store-bought Ezekial bread.)

    I like this recipe because it’s not too complicated. Simple. Easy, even.

    I have been contemplating Simplicity & Peace all day. It’s really fascinating…much to explore.

    thank you all for visiting and sampling a slice of bread!

  14. Carol says:

    Two of the very best smells in the world – home baked bread, hot out of the oven, and sheets dried outside on a clothesline! My laziness usually prevents the homemade bread these days, but I do love to hang clothes on the line in the nice weather. It makes me feel so righteous!

  15. Martha Bergin says:

    Yum! Thanks! I might try it!

  16. Jessica says:

    Oh, I WAS mistaken! Thanks for clarifying. I love homemade bread of almost any kind. My James Beard bread book is ragtag, with stains and a burnt back cover. Note to future bread bakers: don’t leave your recipes near your stove while you’re baking.

  17. Pingback: “Hey, Lady, you lost your peach!” « Lake Superior Spirit

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