I stayed with my dear friend Robyn this past week during our trip to Cincinnati for a wedding. While she was making this incredible loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, she casually mentioned that she hasn’t bought bread from the store in over a year.
Wait, what!?! I had no idea that her family of four lived totally on delicious homemade bread! As I watched her, I realized that she has this bread-making process mastered. So I asked her if I could share her secrets here on the blog and she kindly obliged. 🙂
Robyn makes all of her bread in this 2 quart Le Creuset dutch oven. She said she used to make bread in traditional loaf pans or a larger dutch oven, but found that this size loaf works the best.
She has developed her go-to recipe over time from this recipe. If you are new to the no-knead bread phenomenon, the basic idea is that you mix up the dough, let it sit in the mixing bowl for 12-18 hours, rise on the counter for another hour or two, then plop it into a preheated dutch oven and bake it for 45 minutes.
She also shared the science behind no-knead bread with me, in case you are wondering how it is possible to make such incredible bread with no kneading at all.
I also wanted to share Robyn’s method for storing her bread, since that was one of my questions to her. She stores the bread in this bread keeper on her counter top, with a cutting board and knife handy. She says the bread will be at its best for about 48 hours, and that is never lasts more than 3 days because her family devours it!
So here is her recipe for a basic no-knead bread with cinnamon and raisins added. You can of course leave them out and still get an amazing loaf of bread. Check out this post for lots of other variations.
- 3 cups flour (Robyn suggests a mix of 2 cups bread flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 tsp yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup raisins
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and raisins. Add the water and stir until the dough is wet and sticky.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-18 hours at room temperature.
- When the dough has risen and has little bubbles on top, put the dutch oven with the lid on into the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees. Set the timer for 30 minutes while the dutch oven heats up.
- While the oven is preheating, add flour to a work surface. Dump the dough onto the work surface. Cover it with the same plastic wrap from the bowl.
- Let the dough rise for the same amount of time the oven is preheating.
- When the timer goes off, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven. Remove the lid and drop the dough into the dutch oven. Place the cover back on.
- Bake for 20 minutes covered, then remove the cover, (and if you have a pizza stone or some kind of earthenware dish, slide it underneath to prevent the crust from getting too dark) and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the top crust is a golden brown.
- Immediately remove the bread from the dutch oven and set it on a cooling rack.
- Let the bread cool completely before slicing.