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No-Knead Overnight Bread + 5 Gourmet Variations

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Love homemade bread, but hate making bread at home? After all, homemade bread making makes a mess. There’s all that kneading, proofing, rising, and waiting…right?! Not with our easy, no-knead overnight basic bread recipe.

This recipe is incredible. No kneading needed. You just stir it together at the start of the week, then cover it and keep it in your fridge. You can have hot, fresh homemade loaves of bread coming out of the oven all week long.

Better yet, this bread is so easy to make gourmet. Here’s how to make it…and how you can turn a plain loaf into something spectacular…right in your very own kitchen.

No-Knead Overnight Bread

Most bread recipes feel overwhelming because they call for specific steps which can feel overwhelming. Not this recipe! Just grab a large mixing bowl, whisk the yeast into water, then dump flour and salt in.

The Easiest Bread You've Ever Made

You can “stir” with your hands, but you don’t need to knead the dough. Just make sure the flour is mixed in. Then, cover lightly with plastic wrap and pop it in your fridge overnight. It’s seriously that easy.

No Knead BreadIn the morning, you can pull out as much dough as you need and get it prepped for baking. The real secret to getting a good loaf it to fold the dough like a little bowl in your hands, then gently roll the edges of the dough under several times to create some soft layers in your bread.

Place your prepped loaf of dough—or boule—on a parchment lined baking sheet, and let it rise for about an hour. Once it’s risen, use a sharp knife to slice the top of the dough, sprinkle it with a bit of flour to give it a gorgeous, professional look, then bake yourself some bread. You deserve it.

No-Knead Bread and 5 Ways to Turn it Into a Gourmet Loaf

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Overnight Artisan Bread

Mix it once (no kneading needed!) and have rustic, European-style bread ready to bake all week long! This deliciously simple recipes takes just a matter of minutes to make, and can be turned into several loaves of bread, or fresh hot homemade dinner rolls anytime you desire, because it can be stored in the fridge for up to 14-days! Simply make one batch, then bake the dough into fresh loaves whenever you’re ready! Fresh bread all week long!

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 packets yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 7 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

In a very large bowl, stir together warm water and yeast. Allow to rise and bubble for 2 minutes, then whisk in sea salt and begin adding flour 1 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Though you don’t need to knead this bread, you can use your hands to incorporate all the flour if it becomes to difficult to use a spoon. Transfer dough to a large container. Drizzle with olive oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Store in fridge overnight (or up to 1 week). When ready to bake: Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Remove any amount of dough you desire (you can make a full loaf or four small dinner rolls! You decide!) from the fridge, and form an upside down bowl shape, curling the edges of the bread under itself several times. Transfer dough to an oil-drizzled dutch oven or baking pan. Allow to sit for 40-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Just before baking, sprinkle the loaf with flour, then use a very sharp knife to slash four slashes on top of the loaf. Place loaf in heating oven, then quickly slide a broiler pan with 1 cup of water into the bottom rack of your oven. Quickly close the oven. The water will create steam, which bakes deep, beautiful pockets of texture into your final loaf. Bake for 30 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Serve and enjoy! Use the refrigerated dough within 14 days for best results. The longer the dough sits in the fridge, the better it gets!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2

Your dough can be used all week…it gets better as it ages in the fridge, rising into rich, chewy loaves that taste similar to sourdough bread. Just rise it and bake it, or turn a basic loaf into one of these delicious gourmet flavors.

CRANBERRY WALNUT BREAD

On baking day, gently knead ½ cup dried cranberries and ½ cup chopped walnuts into your bread dough. Allow dough to rise 1- ½ hours before baking according to recipe directions.

AMISH CINNAMON BREAD

On baking day, pull bread from the fridge and allow to rise. Just before baking, slather the top of your loaf with ¼ cup melted butter, and a mixture of ¼ cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Slice loaf, bake according to regular loaf instructions, covering the top of the bread lightly with tin foil, if needed, to keep the cinnamon mixture from over cooking.

CHEESY GARLIC PULL-APART BREAD

Bake bread according to regular instructions. Using a very sharp, serrated knife, slice cooked loaf into very thin slices which don’t quite cut through bottom of the loaf. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar inside each the slices, drizzle with ½ cup melted butter and 3 cloves fresh chopped garlic. Wrap the loaf lightly in tin foil and place in an oven preheated to 400 degrees just until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!

RUSTIC PARMESAN BREADSTICKS

On baking day, pull as much bread dough as desired from the fridge and slice into long, thin pieces of dough. Twirl the pieces of dough into breadstick spirals, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle each breadstick with 1 tablespoon melted butter, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon grated parmesan. Bake in an oven preheated to 450 degrees just until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove and brush with more melted butter, sprinkle with grated parmesan and fresh chopped parsley. Serve immediately!

ROSEMARY FRENCH LOAF

On baking day, pull as much bread dough as desired from the fridge. Gently knead 1 teaspoon (and up to 1 tablespoon) dried rosemary into the dough. Allow dough to rise 1- 1 ½ hours before baking according to recipe directions.

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How to Make No-Knead Overnight Bread. So easy!

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3-Ingredient Easy Kouign Amann Pastries

How to Make a 3-Ingredient Kouign Amann

Legend has it that the Kouign Amann (pronounced “Queen Aman”) is only made in 6 bakeries in the United States. Hot out of the oven, these pastries create an almost custard-like center, with a crème-brulee like top of caramelized sugar and butter.

Though these pastries are traditionally finicky—and can cost up to $5 per serving—our recipe offers up the ultimate hack. Three ingredients and less than 30 minutes, and you’ll have 9 perfectly flaky morsels, which taste incredible with a cup of hot coffee.

Tried This Recipe at Home?

We’d love to see a snapshot of your homebaked Kouign Amann. Upload a photo to Instagram and include the hashtag #lovegoodcook. Or pop by Facebook and tell us how the recipe worked for you. We can’t wait to see what you’ve cooked up!

Kouin SM  

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3-Ingredient Easy Kouign Amann Pastries

Traditionally Kouign Amann takes hours to make, but a few kitchen tricks will have you enjoying the dramatic flakey layers of this buttery, carmelized pastry in less then an hour.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9

Ingredients

  • 1 package puffed pastry
  • 18 tablespoons Challenge Butter, salted
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar

Instructions

Remove both sheets of puffed pastry from the box, allowing them to thaw at room temperature for 1 hour before making your pastries. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Good Cook muffin tin with nonstick baking spray. Lay thawed puffed pastries flat on a clean workspace. Spread 6 tablespoons of melted butter on top of one of the sheets of pastry dough. Immediately coat butter with 1/3 cup of sugar. Lay the second piece of puffed pastry on top of the layer of sugar. Spread 6 tablespoons of melted butter on top of the second sheet of pastry dough. Top with 1/3 cup sugar. With a very sharp knife, slice pastry sheet into 9 squares. Fold the edges of each square into the center of each square, then drop each folded pastry into the prepared muffin tins. Drizzle ¾ tablespoons of melted butter on top of each pastry. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Three of the muffin cups will remain unfilled with pastry. Pour a small amount of water into the empty muffin tins to keep the empty muffin tins from burning. Bake in preheated oven for 14-18 minutes, or until the pastries are deep golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven, and immediately turn pastries out of the muffin tin to keep them from sticking. Cool slightly before serving.

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How to Hack the "Hardest Pastry in the World"

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Good Cook Kitchen Expert and food blogger at Cookistry, Donna Currie has just announced the publication of her first cookbook, Make Ahead Bread, due to be published on November 4, 2014 and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

We asked Donna to tell us a little bit about the book and share one of her recipes.

Here’s what she said:

So many people wish they had time to bake bread, but it’s hard to fit all that kneading, rising, forming, and baking into a day. Who wants to get up in the wee hours to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and who can start baking in the morning to have a fresh loaf for dinner? Not many people, that’s for sure. Even the most dedicated bread bakers are much more likely to bake on the weekend than during the week.

My book, Make Ahead Bread, endeavors to make bread baking more accessible by breaking the bread-making process into several stages. Bakers do most of the work the day before baking, and they can do it in the morning, afternoon, or the evening before they want to bake. The dough does its rising unattended in the refrigerator, and then it is baked when it’s convenient.

Besides making the breadmaking process easier, a long, slow rise gives the bread more flavor, so this is a situation where easier is also better.

This recipe for “Overnight Buns” is one that is similar to recipes that are in my upcoming book, and it’s one of my favorite recipes for buns when I need to feed a crowd.

Overnight Buns

1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon instant yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons room temperature butter
White rice flour, as needed

Combine the water, honey, instant yeast, bread flour, semolina flour, dry milk, and potato flakes in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add the salt and butter and continue kneading until the salt and butter are completely incorporated and the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 45 minutes. Line a half-sheet rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Divide it into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking pan, sprinkle the tops white rice flour. If you don’t have rice flour, you can use bread flour or all purpose flour.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put the pan in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to bake, take the buns out of the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center position. Let the oven heat for 20 minutes.

Uncover the buns and bake until nicely browned, about 25 minutes.

Let the buns cool on a rack.

SPECIAL OFFER: FREE LOAF PAN

Pre-order your copy of Donna’s new book “Make ahead Bread”on Amazon by February 28, 2014 and once you completed your order fill out this form and we’ll send you a free Good Cook loaf pan to help you get your baking done.

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