Sunday, May 1, 2016

RECIPE: Bake bread with local wheat for true happiness

the famous "no knead" recipe using Pioneer Valley wheat

After eight years of collaboration .....

between growers and bakers in the Pioneer Valley, we can enjoy bread made from local grains at bakeries. For hard core locavores who want to bake their own, look for fresh milled flour from Four Star Farm of Northfield MA or from Cliff Hatch at Upinngil Farm in Gill MA. These days Four Star is milling flour from Bolted Warthog, a hard red winter wheat. Some of the bran is sifted out. This makes for a better rise of the bread. 

Baking your own bread is one of the most soulful things you will ever do. It also comes to about $2 a loaf, when you get right down to it.  Here is the world's easiest bread recipe. All you need is time, an oven, a good pan and the will to be happy. 

Bread Recipe - No Knead (Adapted from Jim Lahey of Sullivan St. Bakery)
This looks complicated but when you've made the bread several times, it will feel more like a 3 step recipe than 15 steps. 


3 cups Bolted Warthog hard red winter wheat, Four Star Farm, Northfield MA
1/2 tsp of active dry (grocery stores - check expiration date) or dry bakers yeast (natural food store - less shelf life)
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2  cup spring or filtered water (or less)
bran for dusting (not essential, flour works also)


4-1/2 or 5-1/2 quart cast iron pan with lid
oven that can go to 475
oven mitts

  1. Mix dry ingredients with hands or wooden spoon, add water and combine. Dough will be wet and shaggy. 
  2. Cover and let rest for 14 to 20 hours. This is the first rise. 
  3. To prepare for the second rise, generously flour a work surface.
  4. Generously dust your hands with flour to work with the dough. 
  5. Scape the dough gently onto the work surface and lift the edges of the dough toward the center to form a ball. 
  6. Dust a dish towel (not terrycloth) with bran or flour and place the dough on it seam side down.
  7. Wrap the dough it the dish towel and place in a warmish spot (74 to 80 degrees) for 1 to 2 hours. 
  8. The dough is ready when it springs back when you stick your finger in it.
  9. Thirty minutes before the end of the second rise, preheat oven to 500 and place empty cast iron pan with lid in the lower third of the oven.
  10. After heating pan with lid for 30 minutes, pull out rack and remove lid from pan with a pot holder.
  11. Slide the dough from the dish towel into the pan. If you have such a thing, use a razor to make your initial in the dough. Replace lid. 
  12. Bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Remove lid and bake for another 10-20 minutes for deep chestnut (but not burned) color.
  14. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Very important!
  15. Enjoy with butter and a good buddy.

Pioneer Valley Bakeries that sell bread made with local grain:

Hungry GhostNorthampton MA - 8-Grain Loaf and other loaves, as well as crackers  
Bread Euhporia, Haydenville MA - Granary Loaf