Cooking With Kids: Overnight Bread

Are you familiar with the concept of no-knead bread? This method basically replaces the usual  kneading time with a very long prove on the kitchen counter. This way, the gluten develops through a long, slow fermentation and the bread develops a delicious flavour.

We’ve been making this bread for a few years now. It’s a lovely thing for the kids to do – they can mix it after school, leave it to prove overnight, and (if I’m on top of life and up early) we can have fresh bread for breakfast. Otherwise, lunch.

You can search the web for lots of no-knead bread recipes, but here is ours:  the simplest version of them all. You can throw this baby together in five minutes: the work to pleasure ratio of this recipe is very, very high. (Just mentally prepare yourself to spend a good five minutes scraping messy, sticky dough off the children’s fingers.)

  •  3 cups of flour, 1 3/4 tsp of salt and half a teaspoon of yeast. Use your fingers to spread the dry ingredients around the bowl, which helps to start the yeast activating. (We add a little LSA or kibble grain here too.) Then, add the water and mix until it just comes together into a sloppy ball.
  • Leave it overnight in a bowl covered in plastic wrap. We tend to make it after school, and bake it in the morning. Anywhere between 12 and 24 hours proving time is OK.
  • In the morning, take a cast iron pot (I use my Le Crueset here), and heat it, lid on, in the oven at 200 for twenty minutes.
  • Take the sloppy bread mix out of the bowl and drop it in a little flour on the counter. Flip it over and into your pot, and bake it in the oven (lid on) for half and hour, lid off for another fifteen minutes.

So easy, so rewarding. Smelly so good.

(You can share your creations too: post your bread to Ruth’s Instagram thread at #ggbreadrevolution )

Happy baking!

More cooking with kids: Greek yoghurt pannacotta with raspberry sauce, and toasted muesli.