$0.25 a Loaf

I can’t believe I’ve never devoted a post to bread. Cheap, easy, tasty (but not fast), bread is more or less responsible for Western civilization. It’s a staple in our household and I bake a loaf around once a week (though more this month).

The method I use mainly comes from Jim Lahey at NYC’s Sullivan Street Bakery, and was first publicized by Mark Bittman in the NY Times back in 2006 (The Original No-Knead Bread recipe). I’ve made changes to make things a little bit easier on myself, but the technique is basically the same for most breads of this type. The basic recipe only uses four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. It’s known as “no knead bread” because by upping the water ratio and allowing for a MUCH longer rise, the looser dough lets the yeast and gluten work together to do the kneading for you.

Here’s what you need:
Equipment
mixing bowl
spatula
parchment paper (part of that “making things easier on myself” bit)
baking container (dutch ovens work well for round loaves, but I like an oblong loaf so I use a Clay Baker (which is awesome)

Ingredients
3 c flour*
1 tsp salt
.25 tsp yeast
~1.5 c water (1-1.5c really, but you have to eyeball it and add a bit more if necessary to incorporate all of the flour)
whatever you want to add to the bread**

* For whole wheat bread, I use a 2:1 white:wheat ratio. A little extra water is also necessary.
** In the pictures, you may notice I’ve added flax seeds and sunflower seeds – I have soooo much of both!

Flour and yeast together comes to $0.30 a loaf, but since it feels like I’ll never finish this jar of yeast, I’m not counting it this month. That’s why we have bread at $0.25 a loaf!

My method in pictures. Click on the thumbnails for instructions!

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