Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Posts Tagged ‘bread’

Almost No-Knead Bread Recipe

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

So we were talking about flour on the Facebook page (as you do) and it came up that we make most of our own bread. I posted a photo (partly to substantiate the claim, partly to BOAST) then had to admit that it’s actually my husband who does most of the work. Think of me as a consumer rather than a manufacturer. 

Over to the baker…

My almost no-knead bread is really just an even more simplified version of the Jim Lahey No-Knead Bread that was popularised by The New York Times in 2006. I’ve linked to the recipes and clips below.

However, I think the basic recipe can be improved further because the one drawback with the original recipe is that the very wet dough is tricky to work with and especially to shape. The way to improve that is with a slight trade off. That is, a bit less water and a little bit of kneading.

Here is what I do instead:

Ingredients:

3 Cups of strong bread flour of your choice (450g).

¼ teaspoon quick yeast (such as Dove Farm bright orange packet) (1g).

1 ¼ teaspoon salt (8g) Fiddle around with this if you’re avoiding salt, but we think it does need some.

1 mug water (250g) (you may want slightly less or more, it is a bit trial and error. But try this amount first time).

A bit of flour for dusting

An egg and a spot of milk in a cup to create a nice wash with a shiny finish (optional)

Equipment:

Mixing bowl (or two)

Spatula or wooden spoon

Casserole dish or oven proof pot either ceramic or metal is fine. The key issue is that it has a lid and can be preheated in the oven.

A chopping board or preferably a silicon baking tray.

Oven gloves or similar… you seriously do NOT want to burn yourself on the scalding pot/dish.

 

Method:

Add the flour, yeast, salt and water into a large mixing bowl.

Combine by hand or with a spatula or wooden spoon if you have an aversion to getting messy hands.

Recently, I have added in a stage of kneading the dough for five minutes rather than simply combining it all together but it is strictly my preference. Besides if the dough is too wet you probably won’t be able to do that kneading anyway.

At this stage when you have a nicely combined dough (after a couple of minutes) you might want to transfer the dough to a second mixing bowl coated with olive oil. Alternatively, stick with what you have if the messy bowl doesn’t bother you much and your preference is to save on the washing up.

In either case, cover your bowl with the dough with cling film for a minimum of 10 hours and ideally 12 hours at room temperature , say on a work surface in your kitchen.

A few hours into the waiting process, you can remove the cling film and work the dough around a bit in the bowl for five minutes by hand or with the spatula. Fold the edges in towards the centre as you turn the dough around. That should give you something resembling a ball shape. The idea with this stage is that you can work some of the airholes out of the bread so you get a denser bread that is better for sandwiches and spreading (precisely because there are no holes in it). Again though, this is a personal preference for me and you can again miss this stage out.

I also miss out the very messy stage with the dish towel covering the dough for two hours as having tried it I could neither see nor taste a notable difference in my bread.

After the dough has been covered for your around a minimum of four hours (but around 8 hours for best results) you are ready to bake it.

At this stage, turn your oven on to heat up to 250 degrees centigrade and put your cold casserole dish or lidded pot into the oven to heat up.

While this is happening, get your dough out off the bowl and transfer it onto a floured/oiled board or work surface. Actually, if you have a silicone traybake tray, put it on that, the flexible sides are great. 

Work the bread around for a few minutes shaping it as you go into the final shape you want for your loaf.

Once the oven and casserole/pot are heated to 250 degrees than take out your pot (with oven gloves!), remove the lid and place your shaped dough into the pot. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with a dusting of flour and/or brush the egg and milk mixture onto the top with a pastry brush. Put the lid back on and place in the oven.

Set your timer to 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes take the lid of the pot and brown the top of your loaf to your preferred hue (I tend to cook it uncovered for three to five minutes).

 

After that your loaf is done, tip it onto a wire rack to cool.

 

 

You can find Jim Lahey’s original recipe here: http://www.sullivanstreetbakery.com/recipes

 

The very useful video demonstration here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU

 

And the original NY Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html

Yay! And this is what it looks like in the casserole dish we have. Some people have asked for timings etc, so I can say that he normally makes up the dough before going to bed, then leaves it and bakes it the next morning. If he’s in for the day, he does the middley bit of faffing, if he’s asleep, he doesn’t.


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Sandwich Fillings

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

As you may recall Babybear has enjoyed tuna mayonnaise sandwiches in the past, the only downside of which was that she honked rather badly of fish until it came to bath time.

She also likes hummous sandwiches, cheese sandwiches and controversially, hummous and cheese sandwiches. I'd also highly recommend mixing grated carrot with hummous as it holds together nicely. If I'm making these for myself I'd drop some sultanas into it but I haven't done that for Babybear yet as I'm wondering if disguising secret choking hazards in hummous is the way to go. It will probably be fine, really, as Babybear has yet to eat a sandwich without fully dismantling it first, smushing the filling into her face and then addressing the slices of bread. Ham is a trickier option, given her technique as it has a tendency to stick to the bread.

She also enjoys avocado but it's not convenient to take out with us as it goes brown which I personally find aesthetically unappealing. Philadelphia is good, but a little boring I think.

So…anyone else? There must be loads that I'm just not thinking of.

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French Toast/Eggy Bread

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Right, so at nearly eleven months we have finally dived in on the egg eventually (partly in an effort to 'bind' my poor daughter's poo back to some sort of solidity, I admit). We are big fans of French toast in this household, but only, and I mean only, made with Scottish Plain bread. If you think you've tasted white bread before, think again, for they don't some any whiter than a plain loaf, in all its doughy, burnt-crusted gorgeousness. Stupid foofy cotton wool bread tastes weird with egg, I think, so try to get the doughiest loaf you can.
Obviously you know how to make it, just crack a couple of eggs into a dish large enough for your bread, fling in the slices and then prick with a fork so that it better absorbs the egg. Once you are satisfied that the bread is suitably eggy, drop it into some warmed olice oil in a frying pan and fry it until golden-ish. Some people eat this with sugar but they are mostly American. I'm strictly savoury myself.

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Bread and Butter

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

For all that I do like cooking more complex meals, doing Baby Led Weaning with Babybear has re-introduced me to the simple pleasure of a slice of bread with a decidedly generous slathering of butter. (Hey, Babybear needs her fats, doesn't she?) As it happens I buy an unsalted butter and if possible organic as I once read an article on how they make spreads and those room temperature butters and it turned my stomach.

Certainly if you are just starting baby led weaning, the advice would be to toast the bread so that it doesn't go all claggy and get stuck in the roof of their mouths, but once the babies get better at eating (you'll know when) then I cannot recommend a good old slice of B'n'B too highly.

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JennT's Home-made Bread Croutons

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

JennT says:

Cut a thick slice of bread into
fingers and brush the bread with honey or marmite diluted 50:50 with water
before baking at gas 4/180C/350F for about 20 minutes.  I'm not sure I would use the
marmite ones myself, but I'm assuming that the honey is okay cos it's
cooked.


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Toast

Monday, July 17th, 2006

According to Gill Rapley, you are better off giving your child toast than bread because the toast is kinda crunchier and is less likely to go claggy and get stuck in the babies' mouths. (I hardly need add that she expresses the concept rather more elegantly than I just did.)
I started Babybear off with some crusts of Italian bread in a cafe (honestly, the life I lead… it's a social whirl) but it was a bit too sharp so I slightly pre-chewed it in the mummy bird style.

Back at home, I am more likely to toast bread, pop some cream cheese or butter or hummus on it and then cut it into slices for the baby.

Initially I used white bread (for that mega-insulin rush) but I have slowly moved her towards a brown multi-grain that her father and I eat. She did a bit of gagging on it a couple of times but it's fine now. I'm not sure about the brown bread, however, as I read on the internet that fibre can interfere with Vitamin C absorption. But we all know that things you find on the internet can be very unreliable, har, har…

If anyone has any information on this I'd be delighted to hear about it. Cheers, all.

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