My favourite recipe for no-knead, no-fail bread

It doesn't seem to snow like it did when I was a kid. There are no snowdrifts now that come to my waist. There are no roads so blocked you can't get out of your driveway. No days off work or school, and no empty supermarket shelves.

Maybe it's global warming, or maybe it's just drift of memory, but winters seem warmer and less precarious now. When I think back to childhood winters, there's one that sticks in my mind: snow piled up, foot on foot, that wouldn't shift. It was too thick to drive in, and my dad and brother put on thick boots and warm jackets, and yomped out to the nearest shop for supplies.

They brought back something I'd never seen in my parents' kitchen before: bread flour. While it snowed outside, we made our own bread for the first time. It was rough, brown, and yeasty - and really, really good.

Then the snow thawed, and we never made bread again. We just went back to buying the plastic supermarket sliced loaves that we always had, Mighty White and Half and Half and all that. The winters never came back, but a few years ago, I started making my own bread again.

This is my favourite everyday loaf: it takes about 5 minutes of work to make and needs no kneading Just mix it, then you can leave it to rise and go back to what you were doing. After half an hour in the oven, you'll get a rough, brown, yeasty loaf - and that's really, really good.

No fail, no knead loaf
Makes one load

400mls of lukewarm water (150mls of boiled water and 250mls of cold should do it)
1tsp of salt
450g wholemeal bread flour
7g of instant yeast
1tbsp of oil or similar
1tsp of sugar

How you do it
Grease a 1lb loaf tin.
Put your flour, yeast, oil, and sugar into a bowl and mix to combine.
Add the 1tsp of salt to your 400mls water and stir until dissolved.
Add the water to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Scrape the bread mix into the greased loaf tin.
Leave to rise until the dough makes a small dome over the tin (I leave it on a warm radiator for an hour or so)
Cook in an oven preheated to 220C (200C for fan ovens) for 30 mins.

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  1. That looks really good! I wish I could say summers seem cooler than they did when I was a kid but in my memory we sat by the pool and went to the beach which is much more of a treat these days. I am not feeling like baking because it is so hot lately but I love the look of your bread and your memory of baking during a snowy winter - isn't it amazing how bad weather can make people review their habits of a lifetime!

  2. Nice! Such a cute childhood memory! Homemade bread is so good. The only problem I have is a tendency to want to eat the whole loaf or at least a good half of it all in one go, it's so good. :-)

  3. Snow doesn't feature in my childhood memories from Australia so I can't comment on that :-) Your bread looks wonderful though!


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