Peasant’s Bread

The smell of bread baking is the one of the most heartwarming aromas in the world !!


What do you do when people at home refuse to eat store bought bread? KJ refuses to buy bread anymore. If he had his way i’ll only be baking this bread day in and day out.. 
Bread, good bread is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect when you need your shot of carbs !! 



 “If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” – Robert Browning



I’ve been on a bread-high these days and was completely sold on the looks of this beauty. It looks as good as it tastes, but then isn’t that the key to well cooked food. It should look as good as it should taste.
This  is a simple recipe, actually the easiest so far. Soft and porous inside and crispy outside. 
As the name suggests, it is a simple Peasant’s bread with just 4 ingredients. Peasant’s bread also known as Farmer’s Bread is a basic bread with minimal ingredients but fantastic taste. 



KJ has spent many years in Sri Lanka,  and swears that it tastes like their local bread which  was sold on carts, wrapped in old newspaper.It’s the unsophistication and rustic charm of the countryside which lends to its aroma. 



I recently served this for a dinner and this bread beautifully complimented my Shepherd’s Pie, a Garden Salad and Spagetti Aglio-o-lio with Pesto. I had friends going gaga over the bread …the humble accompaniment was actually the star of my dinner spread. Even friends who were not so much bread people loved it….and probably more loved the fact that it was homemade bread ! 

For sandwiches, for butter toasts or for an accompaniment, I can safely say this bread has been by far my best….thanks to Alexandra of Alexandra’s Kitchen

Peasant’s Bread – Recipe


Ingredients

4 cups All-purpose flour


2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups lukewarm water

1 tbsp Sugar

2 tsp Active-dry yeast

Room temperature butter, about 2 tbsp


Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour and the salt. Set aside. Grease a separate large bowl with butter or olive oil and set this aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast over top. There is no reason to stir it up. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and/or bubbling just a bit — this step is just to ensure that the yeast is active. Now, gently stir it up, and add to the flour bowl. Stir this mixture up with a spatula or wooden spoon. Mixture will be wet. Scrape this mixture into prepared greased bowl from step 1.
3. Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour. (If you have the time to let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours, do so — this will help the second rise go more quickly.) If you feel the temperature where you stay is not too high, you could always preheat the oven at 180C for one minute. Turn it off and keep the dough in it. The trapped heat will help the dough to rise.

4. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Grease two oven-safe bowls (such as the pyrex bowls) with about a tablespoon of butter each. Using two forks, punch down your dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl, which it will be clinging to. As you scrape it down try to turn the dough up onto itself if that makes sense. You want to loosen the dough entirely from the sides of the bowl, and you want to make sure you’ve punched it down. Take your two forks and divide the dough into two equal portions — eye the center of the mass of dough, and starting from the center and working out, pull the dough apart with the two forks. Then scoop up each half and place into your prepared bowls. This part can be a little messy — the dough is very wet and will slip all over the place. It’s best to scoop it up fast and plop it in the bowl in one fell swoop. Let the dough rise for about 30 minutes or until it has risen to just below or above (depending on what size bowl you are using) the top of the bowls.
5. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 190º and bake for 22 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks. If you’ve greased the bowls well, the loaves should fall right out onto the cooling racks. If the loaves look a little pale and soft when you’ve turned them out onto your cooling racks, place the loaves into the oven (outside of their bowls) and let them bake for about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Thank you Alexandra for this awesome bread recipe !!

Happy Baking !!

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