Friday, May 21, 2010


Luis Meléndez (Spanish, 1715 - 1780) 
Still Life with Bread, Bottle, and Jug 1770

Bread, brød, brot, brood, pan, pane, paine, cheleb, хлеб, パン … however you slice it it’s the staff of life.

I have been making bread for a zillion years (nearly BC at this point). After hundreds of recipes and a million successes and failures this is the one I am sticking with.

It addresses 2 problems I have with making bread. The first … well I’m cheap about some things and it always ticked me off that I have to blow nearly a buck for a yeast packet to make bread. With this recipe a packet makes 5 loaves!!! Second is flavor. Something was missing. Yup, this has it too, complex and fragrant. The secret is that it rises for 3 days. Mix it and forget it. It uses some of the techniques of Jim Lahey’s legendary No Knead –– and it was from this I started developing the recipe using the Dutch oven as my vessel. You pop it in the mixer for 8 minutes, put it in the bowl and forget it for 3 days in the fridge. The outcome is naturally sweet (yes sweet—deliciously so with no added sugar!) with a cake-like texture, a perfect crust and it is much more digestible. Wait, did I say more digestible????

Here’s the deal.

Dr Mark Sircus said “Bread was first leavened by the Egyptians around 2300 BC. They discovered that a mixture of flour and water left uncovered for several days bubbled and expanded. If mixed into unleavened dough and allowed to stand for a few hours before baking, it yields light sweet bread. This kind of natural leavening remained the basis of Western bread baking until the 20th century when bread 
made from commercially prepared yeast was introduced.”

Andrew Whitely wrote in the Guardian, “The so-called Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP), invented in 1961 and now used to make most industrial bread, has turned out to be a culinary and digestive disaster. Traditionally, most bread was fermented (allowed to rise) for many hours, often overnight. The CBP used high-energy mixers and a slew of chemicals to make a very white loaf in double-quick time.

Only if you let dough ferment for long enough can naturally occurring beneficial bacteria work to make the bread more digestible, nutritious and tasty. Most British bread is made too quickly for these bacteria to have a chance. Fermenting dough for six hours as opposed to 30 minutes removes around 80% of a potentially carcinogenic substance called acrylamide found in bread crusts, and long yeast fermentations conserve the highest levels of B vitamins in dough.”

Dr. Sircus revealed: “Most of us do not know that before the 1950’s most bakeries ran 2 shifts of workers because the dough was fermented throughout the night with a long and slow natural fermentation process. The very first things corporate bakers did to increase profits was to introduce the fast loaf (3 hours from start to finish), effectively eliminating the need for this second shift of workers. This seemingly innocuous cost-cutting decision would prove to have an incredible impact on our health as have a host of commercial processes in the food and agricultural areas… Only when wheat gluten is properly fermented is it healthy for human consumption. When not it is potentially one of the most highly allergenic foods we eat. It is similar to the controversy with soy which also can only be considered a health food if it is fermented long enough. Correctly fermented wheat contains 18 amino acids (proteins), complex carbohydrate (a super efficient source of energy), B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium, and maltase…. Sourdough [long-rise] bread rates a 68 on the glycaemic index as opposed to the rating of 100 by other breads. Foods that have low ratings on the glycaemic index are prominent in societies that tend to have lower incidence of diseases and unhealthy conditions that run rampant in our culture such as diabetes.”

I bet you didn’t know that, did you? I know I didn’t. I made this because it tasted better and found out all this remarkable stuff later. You will find that friends who can’t eat bread can eat this. Total work time is hardly 15 minutes, the rest is sit back and wait time! Enjoy!

Long Rise Bread

3 c unbleached white flour
1 ½ c rye flour *
½ c whole wheat flour
1/2 t. yeast
2 t salt (hopefully sea salt with minerals)
1 ¾ - 2 c warm water (filtered is best—no chlorine)- the dough should be a little loose
oil for the bowl
1 T flour

Put all the dry ingredients in your standing mixer with a bread hook. Start the machine and add the water slowly…what you want is a small attachment of dough twirling in the bottom. Once you have that let it mix for 8 minutes on low (or knead for 10 minutes).

Remove from the mixer and turn into a ball. Put in an oiled, covered bowl (I wash the bowl and leave the cover unwashed to keep my natural yeast going--I use one of those covered batter bowls)place the lid on the top but don't snap down and let it sit on your counter for a few hours, then stick in the fridge.

Leave this for 3 days (I do fully open the top once a day for extra air). Do not snap the top down completely. On the 3rd day, remove from the fridge and sprinkle one side with a T of flour as you peel it out of the bowl. Roll the ball in on itself (like turning the ends of a shower cap under) for a minute and put the rough end down in a parchment-lined bowl that is about the size of your Dutch oven and cover. Allow it to get to room temperature and rise for a few hours.

Put the Dutch oven in the oven at 425º for ½ an hour to heat. Put the bread in the Dutch oven using the parchment as a sling and put the lid on. Cook for 30 minutes with the top on the Dutch oven, turning it around at the 15-minute mark. Remove the top and cook another 20 minutes (internal temperature 210º). Remove from the pot, peel off the parchment and cool on a rack.

(I must tell you I tried it once without kneading or mixing at all and adding a little more water. It still worked but the texture wasn’t as perfect…your choice)

**I think you can mix up the proportions of flours and still get the same result... I accidentally used buckwheat flour and it still worked (but was denser and darker). The rye adds a nutty quality and isn't overpowering... you could go all white too but it would have less personality!

** you can do this overnight if you don't have the time but the flavor isn't as complex.  Just leave it out  overnight unless the weather is very hot -- then let it rise for a few hours till double and put it in the fridge.  Let it come to room temp the next day and proceed.


Zurin said...

WOW! I didnt know all that and I am so making this. 5 loaves is incredible from so little yeast. I have to try this.Tq so much for the great bookmarking this! :))))

Barbara said...

Never knew I had so much to learn about bread, Deana! (Which is why I love your blog! We should never stop learning, should we?)

The photo you took of YOUR bread is an excellent interpretation of Melendez's still life! And what a gorgeous knife.

Intriguing bread recipe. And yes, somewhat similar to the no-knead bread which I have been meaning to try for years. I just don't bake much bread anymore with my family gone. But your recipe has me hooked. Very dense looking. Sounds great and I'll let you know how it turns out when I try it.

Ingrid de Villiers said...

Wow, thanks for all the info! Very interesting.....and the bread looks delicious! I will have to try it! Enjoy your week-end!

Deana Sidney said...

Zurin>It is so good... give it a try!
Barbara> the texture is like cake! So soft and good. I make it, cool it and cut it into quarters then freeze 3 and take them out when I need them... that way it lasts me about 2 weeks!

Tasty Trix said...

This is genius. You know, I have had a theory that the rise in celiac and gluten intolerance is because of processed foods, and this really makes sense - I mean, even bread that doesn't seem processed or contain chemicals isn't good for you is it's not allowed to ferment long enough? This is fascinating. Well, all I need to try this is a Dutch oven. The crust and crumb of your bread look spectacular.

Stella said...

Good Morning Deana, this is such an interesting post. And I'm trying this over the weekend. My Cauldron Boy will be out of town, so I can do what I want!
By the way, I bet the combination of the loss of this natural method of letting the bread ferment and rise along with the genetic modification of wheat is likely the reason this new condition called 'celiac disease' is on the rise! I mean, we're destroying 'bread' and all that it is (or should be) from beginning to end...
Hope all is well with you. And thanks for the awesomeness!

Diane said...

This is an amazing blog with masses of information. The bread sounds wonderful and I especially like rye bread but I don't think my patience will last long enough to make it. Diane

tasteofbeirut said...

How neat! I had no idea the long rise also had health benefits! I am bookmarking this as I always want to make bread, but don't even attempt it because it seems like such a monumental task. Can't get any easier than this!

Sarah said...

This is so much like the no-knead that I love making. I'll have to try this next time. Love the idea of using parchment paper for final rise.

Linda said...

Deana this looks fabulous! This is very similar to the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day recipes...but with your own twist!
I am definitely going to try it...I have a 6 quart container that I use for the doughs I keep in the fridge that works really well...
I will most definitely be trying this soon!
Thanks for a wonderful ,educational post!
I love visiting you!

Deana Sidney said...

Trix> This all started with a baker in the midwest (I can't find the article!) and then a friend sent me the Guardian piece... I never knew any of this although the NYT just did a piece on pizza dough that addresses it... it makes a lot of sense and tastes great!
Stella> You are so right about the wheat. I want to do a post on heritage wheat that I had a hard time locating. IT DOESN'T TASTE LIKE RYE BREAD!!!!! Just so everyone knows... it has a nutty quality but you could change the's the rise that counts!
FoodFun>It really takes no time.. it's the waiting for the rise.
TasteofBeirut> I just made a new batch today... while doing 3 other things... mixer just went to town... boom done!
AllOurFIngers>I think you will like it, Sarah. The parchment paper idea I read somewhere... can't remember where???
Linda> Thanks... it is a little like so many.. I just mixed it up a little.... you should try it at least once and taste the difference.

Anonymous said...

The really long rise time seems like it would make it very easy to fit this recipe into my schedule - its hard to do the no-knead 18 hour rise during a work week!
It makes sense to me too that the changes to our diet that came with processing and industrializing would result in foods that are harder on our bodies. Its good to see some reasons for this! thanks.

Lazaro Cooks said...


Another fabulous post. Thank you for sharing this information. My all-time favorite bread I make is brioche. It would be my electric chair bread!

I will incorporate this bread into my repertoire. Actually, I am hosting a dinner party Sunday night, and I might just lay it out on the table.


SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I've made a lot of the no knead recipes in the past two years so I am excited to try this one! As usual, such an interesting post!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Mmmm... I can smell that loaf rising in my kitchen now!


Emily said...

Like Barbara, I love coming here and learning so much. As much as I adore home made bread, I rarely make it myself which is a pity. Your photos are so beautiful and congratulations on your perfect loaves.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a perfectly lovely loaf of bread. Better still was the information you collected to share with us. I really appreciated this post. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Tanya said...

Awesome, I was thinking I wanted to get your Rye recipe. Thank you for writing it up, D.

Deana Sidney said...

Innbrooklyn> You can really make it whenever you want. It is very forgiving. Although I like the 3 day, you could go more or less should schedule demand. I was really shocked to find out about digestibility and rising times!
Lazaro>Better hurry... Sunday is only 2 days away! I love the idea of last meal brioche!
Savoring> this is just a little different!
Butteryum> It has a divine smell... nutty and sweet.
Vanessa>You are most kind. This is sooo simple. Make it and forget it!
Mary> It really was a lovely batch...the texture is surprisingly light.
Tanya> A blogger!!! good for you girl... glad you got the recipe! Let me know what you think!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Deana, I'm fascainted by this 3 day rise bread. I've made and loved the No Knead bread but this one looks quite different. I'm going to give this a go-thankyou! :)

Anonymous said...

Very informative post for me as I have not yet made a bread at home! Your bread loaf is gorgeous!

Deanna said...

I just bought a jar of yeast because I was spending too much on packets, and I haven't made anything since I bought it. That is about to change.

Janean said...

i like recipes that i can *forget about...* that's why i never marinade...i forget to do it, so this mix & forget bread recipe sounds perfect for me!!! yay!

2 Stews said...

This just looks and sounds wonderful in every way. Like Barbara, I don't keep much bread in the house anymore. My son comes home from college today and LOVES bread and there you go...perfect timing. Thanks!!! And I am in love with your pics :-))


Deana Sidney said...

5star> Dr Lostpast teases me about my bread all the time... why won't you eat store bought anymore??? reason? this is better! Go for it!
Deanna> even in the jar, traditional recipes run through yeast, this doesn't.
Janean>Thanks for the visit! It really is simple and as I said so forgiving. If you can't get to it, another few hours won't be a game changer!
2 Stews> It freezes like a charm... i just take out a chunk every few days.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh dearest, you are speaking my language here...BREAD is my absolute favorite thing to put in my mouth. When I was in France, I ate all the bread I wanted and was pencil thin. I still am small, but here in the states, you must take great caution, at least I do, or else I won't be able to fit into those "wasp" waist gowns! I have been making my own pizza dough for years and it is so silken smooth; a friend asked me for the recipe, but you have to have the FEEL for it, n'est-ce pas? Just like any good cook, there is not distinct formula...just FEEL IT!

Thank you for your visit and kind comments; it was a lovely affair, and while some people went ultra casual, honey, I went à la Audrey Hepburn with my black dress and pearls. Sorry, but I just have to take every and any opportunity to go in STYLE!

Lovely post, love the painting by the marvelous Spanish artist....cheers dear one, Anita

Unknown said...

I think bread is my favourite food in the world. I am a total carb addict. I think there is no more delicious perfume ever than the smell of fresh baked bread. I have only done it a few times, but when its been successful, it feels so rewarding.
Just as an aside, if you want to know where you can get yeast super cheap, restaurant catering stores sometimes sell it in big jars. You will save a bundle if you make bread often.
Have a wonderful weekend.
*kisses* HH

Pavel said...

Any tips on modifying this recipe to use sourdough starter rather than packaged yeast?

I think some experimenting is in order...

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

That's a nice looking loaf. I've had some great luck with various "no-knead" breads, but I like to get my hands moving with the kneadable variety from time to time.

Trissa said...

Like most all great things, it takes time but the wait is always worth it! Thanks for sharing your bread recipe. I always like getting recipes from people I know who have been making it for a long time and have found something that works for them!

Deana Sidney said...

CastlesCrowns>Good bread isn't bad for you... in moderation! Glad you liked the spanish painting... it took me a while to find a good bread painting but this artist had so many really stellar still lifes.. it was a real find since I never knew of him before!
HH>I have gotten larger sizes of yeast before... great tip about restaurant supply!
Pavel> I started this recipe with a that I began with a silvery red cabbage leaf as per an Alaskan blogger. The feeding got me down after a few months since I only make the bread every 2-3 weeks... I hated throwing all that flour away! It was delicious but in the end I stuck with this...
TW>I haven't hand kneaded in a while... there is something very satisfying about doing it though... perhaps next time... when I get one of those antique bread kneading boards (hint hint friends?)
Trissa> I know what you mean, something that has been tested and retested feels more comfortable,, doesn't it?
Ingrid> sorry I missed you! It is a favorite recipe.. hope you can try it!

tasteofbeirut said...

Yum! To have a loaf like this waiting for me at the breakfast table! Dream come true; however my laziness prevents me from putting desires into deeds. This technique sounds simple and I will try it as soon as possible...

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Yes, long rise bread definitely tastes more complex! That is one wonderful loaf! I love bread.



Faith said...

You must spend so much time writing and researching each post. I love the info on how ancient Egyptians made the first leavend bread!

citronetvanille said...

Beautiful loaf with a golden crust! I love breads of all kidns and your recipe is a great one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post.

I don't have a Dutch oven and my children like to have loaf shaped bread for making sandwiches. Do you think this recipe will work in loaf pans?

p.s. I buy my yeast at the bulk store in 1 pound packages. Very inexpensive.


Ken Albala said...

Deana, It looks delicious! But I do dare you to take the next step. Forget about the yeast packet altogether. Either save a batch of dough from each batch to start the next or keep a bowl of flour and water on the counter permanently and feed it every day. Works wonders. IT was actually the first thing I thought of when I saw Melendez's covered jug. Starter???

Deana Sidney said...

Rosa> I love bread too, and this one is soooo tasty
Faith> it was probably a lazy baker that discovered the secret... how cool is that?
Citron> I think the rye makes it special.. but they do come out picture perfect!
Anon> I think you could do it if you could fit your loaf pan into another pot... it's the steam from the covered pot that is the secret.
Ken> DOn't you love that painting? As I said above, I did try it but don't make it enough to make a starter feasible!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Marvelous information in this post! It definitely is new information to me that dough left o ferment longer is more nutritious.

Joanne said...

Well if you tried hundreds of recipes and ended up on this one, then it must be worth making! I am adding it to my bread-baking queue. It looks like it has the perfect crumb and great texture!

Needful Things said...

There's always so much to learn on your blog. Love it!
Your bread looks wonderful, gorgeous photos. I will bookmark this one to try later.

The Cooking Photographer said...

OK that's about the prettiest bread ever. I'm due to make more bread around here and I think I'll go pick up some rye flour.

This is going to be amazing.


Deana Sidney said...

FreshLocal>Longer is better!
Joanne> I really have tried everything...the texture is sooo soft!
Grapefruit>Thanks so much, I was going for the still life look...which foodgawker hated... oh well
cookingphotographer>thanks... rye was new for me... it adds a lot!

Ravenous Couple said...

we going to get a mixer and start to bake..thanks for the education here!

Unknown said...

made this tonight w/ smashing results! many thanks for the inspiration:)

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

A unique bread recipe that sounds and looks absolutely delicious! Very informative post!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I posted earlier about trying to bake this in a loaf pan. Well Dutch ovens were on sale, so I mixed up the dough. It actually sat in my fridge for an extra 2 days. The bread is fantastic, the best tasting I have ever had. My teenagers kept asking for more!

Thank you,