“We are not gluten intolerant, we are intolerant to the haste of modern life.” Clive Lawler, fermenter and bread-maker
The following amazing stuff about bread is one of the reasons why this blog is called ‘Slow Food’
I recently went to a fascinating talk by Clive Lawler about bread making – the ‘slow’ way and all about glutamates (umami) – the savoury taste in food – bread has it, along with a multitude of other foods that we enjoy, especially when they are cooked slowly.
He shows that traditionally bread, in the past, was left to prove for a longer period than it is now – 12 hours instead of 2-3 and this process not only adds nutritionally to the bread but eliminates the problems associated with gluten intolerance.
I have been making this bread for a while now – a) because it tastes so good and b) because it is so easy! Everyone who tries it wants the recipe – always a good sign. Use a large non-reactive pan that has a lid.
For one loaf you will need the following:
500g unbleached white ‘strong’ flour
Good pinch of dried yeast
Good pinch of powdered ginger
1level tsp sea salt
1 desert spoon molasses
2 tablespoons olive oil
350ml filtered/rain water, approx.
- Sift flour
- Mix dry ingredients together
- Add oil, molasses and water until you get a ‘beatable’ consistency.
- It should be pliable, but not sloppy.
- Beat it for a minute or so until all ingredients are combined and the dough becomes elastic.
- Here is the good news IT DOES NOT NEED KNEADING!
- Put the lid on and leave for 12 hours – overnight.
After 12 hours of being left in a draught-free warm spot (I use my laundry). Note the bubbles.
Transfer to a pan of your choice. I was using a 28cm spring-form pan because I wanted a largish/flattish loaf to go with a Greek meal.
Lightly oil the pan and sprinkle with polenta/sesame seed/ poppy seed/ dried herbs etc – not oil, or it will stick
Leave to rise for another 2 hours in the same warm place, lightly covered. Turn oven on!
After rising for another 2 hours in the pan, place in heated oven. on 190oC for 35-40 mins. until bread sounds like a drum when you knock it with your knuckle.
TIP: Always turn bread out straight away onto a cooling rack. If you leave it in the pan condensation forms on the bottom and makes it go soggy.
TIP: If you want the crust to be crispy, spray water into the oven a couple of times while it is cooking.