The world’s #1 easy bread recipe just became that much easier. The recipe I’m referring to is already the favorite of many but due to a shortage of
fancy pots equipment it was never within my own reach. The “Secret of Great Bread” made famous by Mark Bittman in a New York Times article in 2006 has since gone viral. Bittman’s article features a spectacularly simple bread-making technique taught by Jim Lahey at his Manhattan bakery. All that’s needed is: one oven-proof pot, 4 ingredients, a few hours of patience, and about 5 minutes of mixing time. But for cooks who use Thermomix, those five minutes can easily become one… or less.
Also known as “the easiest bread you’ll ever make“, and “No Knead Bread So Easy a Four-Year Old Could Make It” — we Thermomix fans can smugly call this “One Minute Bread” because well, technically… that’s how long it will be in the machine ;-)
One Thermomix, one minute, one pot
After the minute of T-mixing is done, it’s time to pull out the other necessary equipment: your dutch oven. The traditional dutch oven is a heavy-bottom pot with solid oven-proof lid — no plastic handles or knobs. (Think Le Creuset, if you can afford to.) Until now I did not own such an oven-worthy beauty. Maybe it’s because I simply couldn’t afford such an extravagance for occasional use, or because I knew I’d never be able to heft its weight when filled. (They can be very heavy, even when empty!) Also, in this Thermomix kitchen we use the stovetop and oven infrequently at best. But everything changed last week when the the courier arrived with a box of life-altering gifts. Seriously. The good people at NordicWare are sponsoring the first ever Foodbloggers of Canada conference and have generously sent each attendee a box of gorgeous cookware for review. NordicWare’s “Pro Cast Traditions” collection is made in USA from cast aluminum, performs like cast iron but is surprisingly light (as is the price tag). The enameled cookware arrived in my favourite color, and I knew immediately what I’d be doing for the next few days!
NordicWare Dutch Oven transformed how I bake bread!
I may never use it for anything else because soon after the NordicWare landed I converted Jim Lahey’s instructions into a Thermomix bread recipe and baked the best ever loaves of my life. NordicWare’s Pro Cast 3-quart Dutch Oven is rated to 425F so was perfect for one batch of crusty artisan bread (recipe below). I used the larger braiser to re-create a childhood treat: traditional German “Brötchen”, delivered daily to my grandmother’s door whenever I visited. These were quickly followed by a batch of “Rosemary Roast Garlic and Asiago Bread” (devoured faster than the camera could say ‘click’) and a perfect rye loaf with caraway seeds.
This is the most forgiving bread recipe I have ever made and so is perfect for Thermomix beginners. All you need is patience and an oven-proof pot with lid. Don’t stress about rising times, just let it happen. If the phone rings or you need to go out and pick up a child from somewhere just leave the dough to mind itself. If you are delayed in traffic or run into an old friend and want to chat for a bit, no worries… the dough will be waiting when you get home.
In a hurry to make great bread? Wait — don’t skip this part!
Even though Thermomix is only used for one minute, we must be patient. This bread can’t be rushed. It needs 12-18 hours (hands off time) to complete! There is no kneading involved, but the bread must rise for at least 12 hours. The dough will be wet. And gooey. After the initial rise it needs to rest again for at least an hour. Longer is better. Okay, this bread needs to be plannned in advance, but the hands on time is really about one minute. I find it works best to begin the bread while putting away the kitchen after dinner. About twelve hours later, when you get up in the morning the dough is ready to be dusted with flour and rested again. This means you can enjoy fresh bread for lunch. And repeat.
Because it bakes in a “mini-oven” (the dutch oven serves to retain moisture while baking) this resulting Thermomix bread recipe makes for a gorgeously crusty loaf that is light and airy inside. Follow instructions and you will be rewarded with your own awesomeness. Then go and play: add cheese, roasted garlic, lemon zest, walnuts, dried fruit, olives, sundried tomatoes, but not all at the same time. I have replaced one third of the flour with rye flour and a sprinkling of caraway seeds as seen in the photo above. Have fun and plan to make more.
- 460 g. (16.2 oz) white flour (regular bread flour, all purpose flour, not self-raising), plus additional for dusting
- 1¾ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. dry yeast
- 330 g. (11.6 oz) water
- Add flour, salt, and yeast to Thermomix and mix 4 sec/speed 5.
- Add water and knead 56 seconds/dough speed.
- Transfer to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or silicone mat. Set aside and allow to rise for 12-16 hours. (Do not refrigerate)
- After rising the dough will be enlarged, bubbly, and sticky/wet. Prepare a sheet of baking parchment roughly larger than the size of your dutch oven. Dust the paper liberally with flour. Transfer the gooey mass of dough from your 'rising bowl' to the floured paper work surface. (Some people transfer to a second, floured bowl at this stage, but I prefer to simply transfer to parchment. The parchment isn't necessary for baking, but makes transferring dough to a hot pot much safer and easier in the next step.) Fold dough over itself so it is covered in flour and forms a loose round shape that will fit in your dutch oven. Cover dough loosely with a floured towel or silpat mat and rest for 1-2 hours. (Here I just take the large bowl from the first rising and turn it upside down to make a large dome over my dough as it rests and rises again.) If you forget about it and leave it longer, no worries.
- Place empty dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 220ºC (425ºF, GasMark 7) for about 30 minutes. (This is necessary because the baking pot must be fully hot before we add the dough and begin actual baking.)
- Being careful not to burn yourself on the edges of that HOT pot, raise the sides of the baker's parchment to lift and transfer the soft mass of dough -- lowering both gently into the hot pot. For a truly stunning loaf, dust top of dough with a light sprinkling of flour. Close the lid and return to the oven for 30 minutes at 220ºC (425ºF). After 30 minutes remove the hot lid and gasp with amazement at how beautiful you've made this bread. Continue baking without lid for a further 15-17 minutes until golden.
- Remove from oven with care and gently remove the bread by lifting the parchment or tilting the pot. Knocking on the bottom of loaf, it should sound hollow, letting you know it's done. Listen carefully to hear the crust 'sing' as it cools. Cool completely (at least an hour!) on a rack before slicing.
about quantity: recipe makes one loaf or 8 buns. This bread disappears quickly so I usually make one batch of plain dough in TMX followed immediately by one batch of herbed or cheese dough. They both rise at the same time, side by side and are then baked in sequence. While one is baking the other continues to rise, the additional rise time received by the second dough is no problem.
about cleanup: because the dough is so wet and gooey, it's best to clean the Thermomix immediately after removing the dough. It's helpful to have a good little cleaning brush at a time like this, for cleaning dough from under the blades.
Want to know more?
- read the New York Times story that began this bread craze: The Secret of Great Bread — Let Time Do the Work
- Have a question not answered above? Check the notes and comments on this popular post to learn much more
- According to my calculations, this bread costs about 80% LESS than the same loaf from a bakery. The savings are substantial. Click to see more Thermomix recipes that save on the grocery bill.
- see more Thermomix bread recipes on SuperKitchenMachine.com