It's bread baking season!

This time of year, when the air is crisp and cold, my thoughts turn to the most basic of comforts...the scent of fresh baked bread flowing from the kitchen.

My grandmother baked bread almost every day for her family and to help feed their many hard-working farm hands.  I have memories of her kneading the dough, for what seemed like an eternity, to achieve that perfectly smooth, soft texture.

But, baking your own bread doesn't have to be so time consuming.  There are great recipes today for no-knead bread which, for the most part, you mix and leave to rise on its own.  The best part about making your preservatives, artificial flavours or chemicals.  You control what goes in it.     

To keep her bread fresh, my grandmother would wrap her freshly baked loaves in linen and store them in the cool basement.  Linen has long been used to store bread.  It is naturally anti-microbial and the weave of the fabric allows the bread to breath, keeping the crust crispy and the inside moist.  It was this tradition that inspired my linen bread bags

Here is my go to recipe for a no-knead multigrain loaf from Chef Michael Smith.  So simple and no kneading involved!  I love the simpler 'City Bread' version as well.  It's great as a side to pasta dishes and soups.  

If you try it, I'd love to hear what you think.  Or, if you have an easy recipe of your own,  please share it in the comments.  .


3 cups (750 mL) of all-purpose or bread flour
1 cup (250 mL) of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) any multigrain mix (see variations)
1/2 heaping teaspoon (3 mL) of active dry yeast
2 teaspoons (10 mL) of salt
2 1/4 (560 mL) cups of warm water

5 cups (1.25 L) of all-purpose or bread flour
1/2 heaping teaspoon (3 mL) of active dry yeast
2 teaspoons (10 mL) of salt
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) of warm water


In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients together, evenly distributing the salt and yeast throughout the flour. Pour in the warm water and stir with the handle of a wooden spoon until a moist dough forms. Continue stirring until the dough incorporates all the loose flour in the bowl, 1 or 2 minutes in total.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 8-10 hours. The dough will double in size and bubble, and long elastic gluten strands will form without laborious kneading.

Dust the dough lightly with a bit of flour. Oil hands lightly and, with your fingertips, gather dough from the outside edges to the middle, knocking it down into a loose ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few moments until a tight ball forms. Toss the ball back in the bowl and lightly coat with a splash of vegetable oil, turning to evenly cover.

Gently roll the dough into a thin log that fits end to end in a lightly oiled 9- x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan and, without covering, rest it a second time. In 2 to 3 hours it will double in size once more.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425 °F (220 °C). When the dough is ready, bake for 45 minutes.

TIP: Sift the flour before mixing to ensure crispy crust with those classic rustic bread air holes.

 Now sit back and enjoy the scent of freshly baked bread as it fills the air.  HAPPY BAKING!

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