There is nothing like waking to the smell of fresh baked bread wafting from the kitchen. When my children might otherwise roll over to dream a 1000 dreams, the smell entices them to rise and come to the kitchen.
Lebanese have wonderful food, but the classic loaf of bread is not part of their culture. Therefore, out of necessity, we make our own bread. Over the years, I’ve tried using the traditional method of yeast and sugar in warm water, mix, knead, rise, punch down, shape, rise cook, etc. It’s exhausting, not to mention far beyond the realm of practical for a woman trying to do it all! So, I’ve settled for a bread maker which does the work for you. Although, it still requires sugar and eggs. Then, my friends had me over for tea, and I was introduced to cold rise bread.
At 48 years old, I’ve never heard of such a thing as cold rise bread. My friends served up this wonderful bread with cheese on the side. It was so delicious that the kids devoured it without any toppings. I was in total amazement of how such an amazing treat existed without my knowledge, so I rushed home to try it out. Sadly, I didn’t own the right type of pot (one with a lid that can go in the oven), so my bread didn’t cook through.
Seriously determined to make this simple and delicious bread, I bought a suitable pot and tried again. Viola, it worked! This bread is a little denser than the bread that I was raised on, and the shape is different, but the flavor and the simplicity of this loaf make it a smashing success! A success I wanted to share with you.
Tip: Did you know thiamin is mood lifting vitamin? When those winter blues hit, turn to whole grain foods which are excellent sources of B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin etc.)!
- 3 cups flour (I used stone meal because of its higher dietary fiber content and good source of B vitamins.)
- 1 ¾ cup water
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 2 ½ tbsp. dry yeast
Step by Step
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- Add water.
- Cover (I used saran wrap.)
- Place in fridge for 12-18 hours.
- Proof the pot. I have a cast iron pot, so I put it in a cold oven and turn it up to max heat, around 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oven is heated, take out the pot.
- Scrape around the edge of the bowl with the dough to release it.
- Pour bread mixture gently into the proofed pot, then put lid on pot.
- Put back in oven for 30 minutes.
- Take out of oven, turn bread onto cotton cloth, wrap and let sit. This helps to keep the steam in and softens the crust. If you like harder crusts, skip this step.
- Cut into hearty slices and enjoy. Some topping suggestions include beans, eggs, almond butter and honey.
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