I love to bake bread! Through the years I've tried just about every good sounding recipe I've come across with varying results. I learned that we all have different ideas about what makes a good loaf of bread. Many bakers insist upon special ingredients and thermometers and baskets etc. Recently, in my effort to find a bread that did not make my blood sugar spike, I came across some interesting reasoning which goes thus: very little yeast and a slow rise forces the yeast to use the starch found in the flour for food and this will produce a product that will cause less of a spike in blood sugar. Well, that sounded promising. I decided to give it a try. Yes, my blood sugar does spike less but it does still spike, even with plenty of butter to slow down the absorption rate. The really great discovery is that it takes few ingredients, no special equipment (only a bowl, spoon and towel) and it tastes wonderful, at least to us. So here it is. Let me know what you think.
Slow Rise Bread
1 1/2 c warm water
1/2 t yeast (really, only 1/2 teaspoon)
4 c flour (can use all white or a mix of whole wheat and white)
Add yeast to warm water and let bloom. Add 2 c flour, salt and mix. (I have discovered that, unlike many recipes, it is not necessary to mix vigorously.) Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto board and knead, adding flour as needed. This is a softer dough than many recipes. Let rise in well oiled bowl until doubled, about 4-6 hours. Punch down. Shape. You can make a loaf for a loaf pan or a ball for a dutch oven. Cover (if a dutch oven just use the lid) with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise until doubled again, this will take less time than the first rising. (Once, I went to town and it rose up and over the top of the loaf pan so I punched it down, clean and oiled the pan again and let it rise for a 3rd time and it was great. A very forgiving recipe.) Bake 350 degrees (with lid if using dutch oven for 30 min then and additional 15 without the lid) or for 40 min for a loaf pan.
The ease of this recipe is fantastic. I can leave the dough for hours, I don't have to haul out the heavy mixer and it really comes out great every time. Plus, it makes great toast! Have fun.