Friday, May 13, 2011

RECIPE - 5 Minute, No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread Sheepherder Bread

I thought I would get this recipe out to you that I found for No Knead Bread. My family loves it. I love how easy it is.
It has a very long rise time, and the crust is just that ... wonderfully crusty, like old world bread! 

The original recipe called for the oven temperature to be 500 degrees. Let me tell you it was hot, and causes the pans to get black! I don't really love to scrub and scrub my pans, and I had no way of getting that temperature in a Solar Oven. My goal was to be able to bake the bread in a Solar Oven, and also not to have black pans from the intense heat. So, I experimented with times, and temperatures until I was able to lower it to 350 degrees. Now, it can be baked in a Solar Oven, but also in your oven in the kitchen without having a blast furnace going on in there ... OK, that may be just fine and dandy in the winter, but in the summer ... ah, not exactly what I'm looking for. I also wanted to have fresh baked bread without having to knead, and rise, and punch, and rise. Especially since I work, and don't really want to schedule my time between shifts for bread making.

I know a family who makes the bread at 500 degrees, and uses an air bake cookie sheet. Her beautiful air bake sheet was blacker than black, and warped in a bowl shape. That sure wasn't my goal. Just where do you put an air bake cookie sheet that is bowl shaped? Also, cookies, just don't bake well in a bowl shaped pan. 

I changed the temperature so it could also be baked in a regular loaf (bread) pan, or a round straight sided bowl. Like the old corning ware casseroles. I also use the bread to make pizza dough, bread sticks, etc. It's a great recipe to experiment with.

So, here is the recipe... I do hope you like it and find it works for you. Because it has such long rise times people with gluten problems find they can eat the bread.

Since you never know when we may not have electricity on a daily basis as many prophets have suggested to us, being able to bake a simple bread in a Solar Oven is a blessing. The ingredients are basic. A handy hint here for times that you may be using your food storage wheat is to get a hand crank wheat grinder, not electric; more on that later. Also, you should purchase yeast and store it in the freezer. Yeast stored in the freezer lasts almost forever. 

I know what you are saying.... Lori, if we don't have electricity, then how am I going to keep the yeast in the freezer. Well, store it in the freezer now, and then move it to the cold room in your basement, when you are without electricity and have to live like the pioneers; which is why it may be a really good idea to learn some skills that you don't possess now. Every 10 degrees below 70 degrees, doubles the storage time. So, if a item such as dried milk is good for 30 years, then every 10 degrees below 70 that you store it at doubles the time. IE: storage at 60 degrees makes the expiration date out to 60 years, get it to 50 degrees, or 40 degrees, well you get the picture... milk that lasts for generations. The same holds true for your other storage items!

Also, I'll post about gathering wild yeast soon. Yeast is all around you in the air. Who, has a plum tree? That white stuff on the plums is YEAST! But, my suggestion? Go buy yourself some yeast in those one pound cube packages that Macey's sells. Buy several packages, it's inexpensive, and you can have some peace of mind about your bread making.

5 Minute, No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread Sheepherder Bread

1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water - 100 - 110 degrees
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 18-26 hours, can be 8 hours or more, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. 
1. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes. 
2.  Place plastic cutting mats on counter, coat mats with several spoonfuls of flour.  Using a bowl scrapper, mound the dough onto the center of the floured mat.  Flour hands and pull dough into a ball, coating all surfaces of the dough. Place dough in center of floured mat and sprinkle the top with more flour. Cover the dough with a tea towel. Let the dough rest 2-5 hours.  When it’s ready, the dough will have increased in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. 
4. Cover and bake for 1 hour & 15 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 5-7 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Yield: One 1 ½ pound loaf.

* Step 3 -  You don’t have to grease the pan, I have tried both ways. The pan has to be preheated or it STICKS. I use a Corning Ware pan from the 60's, it is 8" across and about 5" high, with a glass lid.

Step 4 - By not slicing right away it keeps the bread from cracking and tearing on the bottom when you cut it. If you want it hot for dinner you can cut it or break it for serving hot with butter.


I follow all the steps up to Step 3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I now use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 4 pieces. I grease a baking / cookie sheet. I flour my hands and pick up a piece and shape the dough which is soft, flowing, and jiggly, into a personal size pizza. I put all four pieces onto the baking sheet, and bake for about 22 minutes.

I remove the crusts from the sheet and cool on a wire rack. Then add the toppings you want, and back on the oven rack for about 13 minutes at 350 degrees. Of course adjust your times according to your preferences.

I have made several pizza shells and after cooling placed them in a plastic bag to store, and always have pizza crusts ready when ever I want. 


Follow steps up to Step 3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the dough into 12 pieces using a pizza cutter. Grease the cups of a muffin pan. Drop a piece of dough into each cup, and bake for 35 - 37 minutes. Remove the rolls from the muffin pan. Serve immediately or let cool on a wire rack.

My tip to you 

I like to use four large bowls, and make four loaves of bread at one time. That way I don't have to do it every day, just a couple of times a week. Or if I'm making pizza dough, I can get all the rounds made at once, and have lots of them waiting in the cupboard for me.

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