While I love my bread machine (and seriously, it makes life so much easier), having a few tricks for quick bread, that doesn’t need a machine is a must. I have a basic no-knead bread recipe I have used for quite some time. And as a bonus? It fits into a quart mason jar, so you can prep a number of batches ahead of time.
Awhile back, Kirk had picked up one of the Ball Pour & Measure Cap sets, and I finally got around to using it.
It makes an interesting cap to a mason jar. For this maybe not the best use, however if it was a mason jar of rice, it would be great.
You can bake this bread up various ways, two ways I have used are parchment paper lined cast iron, which helps produce a tidy loaf. It is my favorite method. That and it is simple to pop out after baking.
The other method is directly baking it in the cast iron skillet. I found the dough spread a lot more. My dough was having a temperamental day, and I should have worked in a bit more flour.
While it was equally delicious in taste, it left it with the appearance of a soda bread, rather than yeast bread. I also had to chisel it out a bit from the pan. Personally, the parchment paper method is a lot better.
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp quick rising dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1½ cups warm water
If prepping in advance, pack the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a quart mason jar, seal tightly. You will need to use a canning funnel, tapping the jar as you add in the flour, and most likely tamping it with a wooden spoon handle.
In a large mixing bowl add in dry ingredients. Add vinegar and warm water. Stir until combined. A dough whisk helps pull it together quickly.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, let rise for 1½ hours.
Punch dough down and form into a ball. Place on sheet of parchment paper, and if using, place into a cast iron skillet with paper. Let rest and rise for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450° for at least 10 minutes. Bake bread for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden and it smells done (you can also check with a digital thermometer for being above 190°) Take out and let rest for a few, then transfer bread to a cooling rack. Store tightly wrapped once cooled.
You can bake the bread on a baking sheet or shape it fit a bread pan.
Humidity and brand of flour can affect how much water you need. The dough once mixed should resemble a traditional bread dough, where it is minimally sticky, and holds shape. You may need to adjust the amount of water, a little less or more. The worst is you add in a bit more flour if needed.
If you do bake directly in cast iron, be sure to lightly oil the skillet beforehand.