Recipe Idiot Bread

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by ditch witch, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    So named because even an idiot can make it. ;) Basically the same as my no-knead beer bread but you get to drink the beer instead.

    You need:
    2 cups warm water
    1 teaspoon dry active yeast
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 cups flour

    Get a cookie sheet and cover it with foil. Sprinkle cornmeal on top. That'll keep the bread from sticking and make the bottom crunchy.

    Get a big bowl. Put 2 cups of warm water in it. Toss in 1 teaspoon of dry active yeast. Toss in a half a cup of flour. Give it an easy stir. Now throw in another half cup of flour and a teaspoon of salt. Mix that in. Now while you're mixin with your big wooden spoon, add in another 3 cups of flour. Stir it until it's all mixed in. It's gonna be a wet dough.

    Now cover it, stick it somewhere sorta warm (75-80 or so) and let it rise for 3-4 hours.

    Put oven on 500. Yes, 500F. Run your fingers around the edge of the bowl to gather up your rather messy dough, make a bit of a ball, and put it on a floured work surface. Push and tuck it a bit to form something of a bread shape and then place it on a cookie sheet that you put foil on and sprinkled with cornflour. Don't overwork it. You don't want to push the gas out of the dough.

    At this point I slice down the top and added a couple of criss cross slashes too for expansion, but that's optional really.

    Put it on the second to bottom rack. On the bottom rack, put a pan full of water. Now bake it anywhere from 30-50 minutes. This is a crunchy crust bread. The center will be done around 30 minutes but you can leave it in longer if you want a deeper, darker crust.

    It's not pretty, but you won't care when you're om nom noming on it. Oh, I put it on the rack there after it was done, just so it'd cool easier. Don't go bakin it like that! :)
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Okay... so I'm reading and re-reading. 500 degrees for 30-50 and (even with water) it doesn't burn or otherwise get ruined?

  3. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I promise it'll be fine. :) That photo is of the bread I made today, and it was in there at 500F for about 40 minutes.

    The original recipe doesn't even proof the yeast. You just mix the dry ingredients, add the water, stir it up and then let it sit for 4 hours. I've never done it that way but my grandmother did.

    I just snapped a pic of the inside here. See you get a nice hard crust to it but the inside is light and airy.
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Okay... I'll just have to give it a try. Thanks!

    I've been looking for an easy bread recipe since I gave away my bread machine. I figured if I didn't get it out of my house; I'd end up looking like a loaf of bread! ;)
  5. gmt48

    gmt48 Monkey+

    ditch witch:

    Your recipe for "Idiot Bread" bears a striking resemblance to the King Arthur Four company's Hearth Bread recipe that I got from the back of a bag of King Arthur Flour. There are several differences, however. The King Arthur Hearth Bread recipe can be found at:

    King Arthur Flour company has been in business since 1790. I've been making their King Arthur Hearth Bread recipe it for about the past 10 or so years and can vouch for it being awesome; in fact, it's the only bread I make and everyone who tries it gives it rave reviews.
  6. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    The King Arthur's mix calls for sugar and 5.5 to 6 cups of flour instead of just 4 so it will be a much drier dough. It also requires kneading, which mine doesn't. And it gets punched down and a shorter rise time.

    I HATE kneading dough.

    The final result looks the same though.
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    This looks great. Thanks for sharing
    ditch witch likes this.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Looks easy enough that I might even try it. Saying that, you have to realize when someone gets asked who's not a cook, they point at me.
  9. gmt48

    gmt48 Monkey+

    Like I said in my original post, several differences between yours and theirs. I start with 4 cups of flour and then add a little more at a time until I'm able to get a smooth, satiny finish to the dough, Believe me when I say by no means does this bread end up dry. I'm sure your recipe is very good though.
  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I must have a hotter 500 F oven. At 10 minutes, the crust was starting to get a little too brown already.
    I've just shut the oven off and am going to let it sit until 30 minutes is up.

    I preheated my oven to 500 - should I have let the bread come up with the oven instead of pre-heating?

    Should know how it tastes in 12 minutes.
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Came out great. My 5 year old had 6 pieces with butter ;)
    I think that I'll start with a cold oven (no pre heat) next time.

    I used 4 cups of wheat flour this time but will try half white and half wheat next time. Might try to add some herbs, cloves of garlic and seeds too. I'm pretty impressed that I can say that I can make (edible) bread now.

    Will post my further bread exploits as they occur.
    ditch witch likes this.
  12. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    gmt48, didn't mean your bread was dry, just that it would be a dryer dough. My dough is really, really wet. It makes a mess getting it out of the bowl.

    melbo, I always preheat BUT I suspect my oven is a little off on it's temp. I've ruined more than my share of zucchini and banana bread in that thing... crispy outside and soup inside. Moving to the second bottom rack fixed most of my problems though. The 500 is what my grandmother had on her original recipe that she gave me, and I've always worked off of that.
  13. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I wonder if the wheat flour had an effect on your's browning faster? I always use white flour just because I always have a 5 gallon bucketful next to the mixer. Picked up some wheat today to make some wheat bread with pumpkin seeds& cheddar in it this week, will have to be sure to keep an eye on it.
  14. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member


    We have a pretty modern oven and I let it get right up to 500 before placing the loaf inside. I've read tonight about people baking bread like this from cold oven. I'll try that next time. If I wouldn't have turned the oven off when I did, I think it would have blackened.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ditch witch likes this.
  15. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

  16. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    ditch witch likes this.
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Tried the idiot bread today, looks very much like melbo's try. Went 40 minutes, just 'cause I had no idea what I was doing. Jury is out on flavor, but texture and crust just fine. (First bread of any kind I've ever made, the learning curve for this recipe is short.)
    melbo likes this.
  18. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Me too. I feel good for having done it. Now I'm thinking of ways to add to the flavor a bit.
    Was definitely edible and could fill hungry bellies for a long time.
  19. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    The good thing about it is that it's so simple and takes very little "hands on" time. I can mix it up and then just leave it to rise while I do other things. Then when it's risen enough (and 4 hours is just a guide, I've let it go anywhere from 3-6 hours) you can just dump it out, shape it a tad, and bake it.

    Another bonus, for me anyway, is that the crust it forms makes it sturdy enough to wrap up and toss in a pack for travel, and it won't get mushed all to pieces. I've done it and the no-knead beer bread one I posted and instead of making one big loaf, made lots of little sub sized loafs, then wrapped them up for camping trips. It doesn't have a lot of flavor, granted, but with a spot of butter or a piece of bacon it's great.

    I tried making this same recipe with whole wheat flour and pumpkin seeds, and I made a brick. I am not sure if it was the wheat flour or maybe I shoulda proofed that yeast but it was HEAVY. Our Czech exchange student loved it, but I was pretty meh about it.
  20. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yep. Thinking onion flakes, or cinnamon, or seeds of some kind. Plain, well, that's a no go by itself unless that's all there is. Tried some with honey, made it a bit soggy, but vastly improved flavor. Next up is (maybe) grilled cheese. There's a test lump in the freezer, too, to see how it holds up.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the yeast imparts a flavor, and a different yeast might make a huge difference. Fleischmann's got used here.
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