Bonnie Stern Bread

Like Oprah, I love bread.

I like eating it in sandwiches and with butter and sometimes just breaking off pieces of it and eating it like that. Until recently, like within the past year or two, I figured I would be a bread consumer only, rather than a bread creator. But after finding a recommended no-knead bread recipe on Lainey Gossip, I decided to test out my skills. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who makes their own bread. It’s not super worth it because bread is like 3$ at the store but it is cool to make something from scratch that can actually contribute to the grilled cheese sandwiches you make every day.

The recipe is from Bonnie Stern and can be found here: https://houseandhome.com/recipe/bonnie-sterns-no-knead-artisanal-bread-recipe/

It’s cool in a lot of ways but mainly in the fact that you only need a dutch oven big enough to hold your final bread form. It’s pretty low maintenance in that you don’t need to roll it out in any way or really maneuver it in the way you’d feel pressure to maneuver it when making bread. You mostly just fold it over a few times and pat it with flour to ensure its shape stays bread-like.

What is labour intensive are the hours spent at home waiting for your dough to rise. From the initial mix of all the ingredients (minus extra flour for dusting and maybe sesame seeds if you’re into that), you have to wait overnight for the yeast to do its work and make the dough rise. No problem, that’s fine because mixing flour, salt, instant yeast and water is nothing. It takes five minutes. You can make pre-bread in five minutes which is the least amount of time it takes me to make anything while baking or cooking.

The annoying part is the next day when your flour has risen. You take it out of its giant bowl once, pat it with flour then cover it in plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Okay, that seems like an arbitrarily short and random amount of time to have it sit but I’m sure the recipe writer knows what’s up. After the fifteen minutes are up, you dust it with more flour and fold it into thirds and add the extra baking trick (sesame seeds, lol) and let it rise for another 2 hours. Why? I don’t know.

When waiting for it to rise you have to set an alarm for 1.5 hours because at this point you heat up the oven and the dutch oven in the oven. You carefully place the bread in there at the 2 hour mark and then you bake the bread for 30 minutes before removing the lid and cooking it for its last 30 minutes. All things said, the whole process is really four hours but feels like six. Do with that what you will when you ever consider making this again. It does taste delicious though and eating fresh out of the oven bread with cold butter makes me feel like Ina Garten.