Friday, January 8, 2016

5 ingredient No-Knead 6-Grain Bread Anyone Can Make

I have been taking a bit of a break from blogging the last few months, as I was working long exhausting hours in the restaurant and tied up completely with that part of my life. Catering large events during the Holiday season was brutal.   I was spending my day with what I call, "froofie food"...You know...tiny fancy nibbles of heaven. Elegant, but not satisfying in the whole soul kind of way. 
 Don't get me wrong, the fabulous stuff definitely has a place. 
This week, that changed.  
I left the Bistro and Catering Kitchen. 
I'm looking for something more balanced.  I'm nervous about that.  Simply because I've given so much of my heart and time to that dream, that I haven't thought of anything else.

In the last six months, I had completely stopped cooking dinner at home and baking bread was something I did at work Usually I'd get home and simply collapse into bed, only to get up and repeat that scenario the following day.  Physical exhaustion had stripped me of passion, and emotional distress had numbed me. I was giving so much to build someone else's business, that I felt like I was suffocating. I needed to spend more time with my family, and find some much needed rest. Everything hurt.   I was so tired that part of me wanted to leave the food industry forever and never look back.  

That being said, the part of me that will forever be passionate about food has won out.  I'm just getting back to the basics of my life and simple truths are finding their way back to my everyday existence.  This week has been remarkable.  

So this week, I pulled out the flour. I opened up the 6 grain rolled cereal. I took off my chef coat and my meat thermometer and I just took time to remember what I loved about baking. In doing that, I've found the reason why I started baking in the first place. The simple, grounding, almost meditative reason why I started baking.  It is the gentle rhythm that a fast paced stress-filled kitchen had taken away from me. This wad of fermenting dough has been sitting on my kitchen table in a bowl all week. I've baked 12 loaves of bread for my family.  The smell has grounded me. The calm pace has lifted me. 

 The gasps of love and awe from my kids and husband when I pulled the bread from the oven was far more gratifying than all the pomp and circumstance that clamoring guests and customers could ever offer. 

I'm not sure what is ahead for me as far as my career goes.  I still need a job.  That's for sure.  I'm taking it one day at a time and I'm okay with that.  I've sent out my resume to everyone I can think of over the last couple of days. Mostly however, I've just been satisfied to be home for a little while and bask in the warmth of my family.  I am trusting that the Lord will hold us in His hands.'s the recipe for the bread.  Enjoy.  It's a classic.  It is one that I used countless times in the restaurant and that has now found it's way home...Just like me.  I'm so glad.  

My No Knead 5 Ingredient 6-Grain Bread 
yield: 2 loaves

  • 6 cups bread flour (measure exactly with a knife)
  • 1 cup 6 Grain Rolled cereal OR Rolled Oats
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast (or 1/2 tsp active dry yeast)
  • 3 1/4 cup water (under 110 degrees)

Directions:   Combine the ingredients in a 1 gallon food-grade bucket or a large 1 gallon bowl with a lid, just until everything is mixed and smooth. It takes about 20-30 turns by hand to get it all combined. Literally less than 2 minutes.  Cover with a lid and keep covered 10-12 hours at room temperature until you're ready to bake bread. 

Once it has raised overnight you have two options:

Option 1:Form into bread (or rolls, cinnamon rolls, whatever), raise and bake (see below).

Option 2: Dough can be kept in the fridge up to 7 days and warmed to room temperature to use for bread or pizza etc. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get it up to room temperature (70 degrees). 

When ready to bake: 

  • Form into 2 loaves (see detailed tutorial here) and place on a lightly oiled baking stone or in an 8 inch loaf pan that has been greased. 
  • Allow to raise in a warm room until doubled, about 2 hours. 
  • Bake at 375 degrees 35-40 minutes (meat thermometer will register 165 degrees or more).  
  • Enjoy!

There you go! Enjoy a simple way to make bread! For  my gluten free bread that is quick and whole grain delicious...go here. It is just as quick and gets rave reviews! My other favorite no knead bread is Lisa's No Knead White Chocolate Pecan Bread. It is to die for. 

End Notes: 

A few factors on the overnight no-knead bread that can have an effect on the lightness of the bread would be:

Temperature: raising the bread during the winter months will take up to an hour longer for the second raise in the pan because our houses are cooler now. If you're like me, we keep it around 70 during the winter and a good ten degrees colder inside will make a difference in how fast it raises....exponentially. Solution would be to turn on the oven to "warm". Place the dough that is in the loaf (ready to bake) in the oven, covering it with a mist of water. TURN OFF THE OVEN. It should raise in an oven around 100 degrees or less so don't leave it on! Once it has risen, pull the loaf out of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 and then proceed to bake. 

Loaf formation: The molding technique Chef Tess Bakeresse: Sandwhich Loaf Molding and baking is a factor in how well the loaf will raise because it is optimal in trapping the air produced by the yeast. The more air that is trapped inside the loaf, the lighter the final loaf will be.

Freshness of the yeast and type of yeast: It is always a good idea to check the freshness of the yeast as well. If you are using the regular active dry yeast, 1/2 tsp is the correct measure but if it is older, it will take more (up to 1 tsp). One may add up to 1/4 cup of sugar or honey to the recipe to help get the yeast active if there is still a problem (especially during the winter months). 

Type and mill of Flour: Finer milled Higher protein white wheat bread flour, Kamut flour or Hard Red wheat flours are the best for this recipe. If you use whole wheat flour, you must increase the water to 4 cups, especially with the rolled oats or 6 grains.   These flours have a stronger amount of protein and will always yield a higher loaf. The finer ground the flour, the better the gluten development will be. Large pieces of fiber in the flour will cut the strands of gluten, and shorter strands of gluten will not connect well enough to hold air in the loaf. 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Anonymous said...

So excited to see what's next!! We have missed you. I'm sure I'm not the only one to start experimenting with your recipes on my family. Happy New Year!!! Christina Amadio

BettyC said...

Thank you, Chef Tess for your bread recipe. I enjoyed your post today. I am glad that you have peace in your life once more.

Shae Ko said...

Welcome back, Stephanie. Isn't that a funny thing for me to think as I read your post? I hope you get a little time off to recover because I'm sure someone or some opportunity is going to snatch you up quickly.

Unknown said...

So good to hear from you again. I really don't see how you kept that fast pace life up as long as yo did. I can seesaw you would not want to cook at home after all you would do at the Bistro. My mother had several restaurants in her lifetime. I worked for her a lot. I would have a hard time cooking at home after cooking all day there. I tell people if I ever say I want to open a restaurant send me off because I will have lost my mind. Haha!!

Try to get some much needed rest of the body and mind. You can't be your best when you are exhausted. I am sure the LORD has something in HIS plans for you.


Charlotte Moore

Audrey said...

Is it selfish to say I missed your blog so I am glad you are back.

Most people think running a restaurant is a glamorous life, but few realize the crazy long exhausting hours and (sometimes) crazy demanding customers can really take it out of you. Very hard on family life.

Blair said...

I am so happy for you, Tess. Follow your heart and you will do great things. It is wonderful that you had a chance to do something that you had longed to try. Now that you know it is not what you thought it would be, you can cross it off your bucket list. Greater things are yet to come. God bless you.


Anonymous said...

I too have missed you and your wit. Since Honeyville farm days I looked forward to your recipes. God bless, I hope you find what your heart desires.

Anonymous said...

So happy you have returned to your blog. I'm sorry that the Bistro took up way too much of your life, and I'm sure they miss you. Welcome back to your life.

Daniel said...

Years ago, when I worked as a cook in the Canadian Pavilion at EPCOT at Walt Disney World, one of the executive chefs taught me how to use my dishwasher as a proof box. The dishwasher creates a perfect warm, humid environment that yeast just loves and gives consistent results each and every time. I've used it ever since.

Here's how:

Just before making your dough, pour a cup of water into the bottom of your empty, clean dishwasher and put it on the dry cycle. When your dough is done and formed into a ball, place it in a bowl and cover it with a clean dishtowel. By this point, the dry cycle should be complete.

Then quickly open your dishwasher, place the bowl on the bottom rack and quickly close the door. Let it sit for exactly one hour. (No peeking!) When the hour is done, your dough will have doubled in volume. Remove bowl from dishwasher.

Pour a half cup of water into the bottom of the dishwasher and start it halfway through the dry cycle. Punch down your dough and shape into your loaves or rolls. Again, by this point the dry cycle should be complete.

Then again, quickly open your dishwasher and place your loaf pans or baking sheets onto the bottom rack and close the door. Let sit for exactly 1/2 hour. (No peeking!)Your dough should now be perfectly risen and ready for the oven.

Remove from the dishwasher and place directly into your preheated oven.

Since learning this technique, depending on the time it takes to knead the dough and form the loaves or rolls, from the time I open the cupboard to reach for the bread flour to the time I open the oven to remove the freshly baked bread or rolls is now 3 hours or less, with perfect consistent results, each and every time.

Tess, I would love for you to give this a try and tell us what you think.