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Making bread as activism.

Posted by Claudia Tormey on March 13, 2020 at 05:17 PM

Bread

ALMOST NO-KNEAD BREAD (this is a doubled recipe, halve to make single)

Oana Marian is a writer and activist living in Dublin, who makes beautiful bread and brings it to almost every activist and community get together. Every activist gathering should involve beautifully baked bread.

"This recipe was shared with me by a woman named Rosa, a French-Puerto Rican visual artist. One of the first things she did when she came to visit was make bread, and then taught us how to make bread. It was an amazing show of hospitality on the part of the guest and has thus set the bar impossibly high for all subsequent guests!

Making this bread is incredibly forgiving for the baker and an amazing social binder. No matter how many times you tell people how easy it is to make, they are always impressed. I think it’s something deep in us. It feeds a deeper hunger than just the one in our stomachs."

What you need:
2 loaves/ 2 cast iron pots, or Dutch oven, or Pyrex/ oven-safe dish
6 cups white (or wholemeal) flour (16oz x 3, or 1 cup flour = 125g)
1/2 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
3 teaspoons table salt
1 3/4 cups water (14 oz) at room temp (I usually mix cold + water from kettle)
3/4 cup lager beer (room temp, can be flat, can be cheap)
2 tablespoons white vinegar

To shorten preparation time use 2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast. Let rise for minimum of 4 hours (or less if rushing) Proceed to step 2.

  1. Whisk dry ingredients in large Bowl. Add water, beer and vinegar. Fold with rubber spatula. Cover and let rest for 8 to 18 hours in a warm place (overnight -- if it's very cold, I place the bowl over a hot water bottle).
  2. Knead dough 10 to 15 times on lightly floured work surface. Shape dough into ball pulling edges into middle. Oil surface of bread and cover loosely with a tea towel for around 2 hours.
  3. 30 minutes before baking, adjust rack to lowest position, place on heavy Dutch pots with lids and heat at 500 degrees. (cast iron or glass pans also work). Lightly flour top of doughs and make a long slit 1/2 inch deep. Remove pans, place doughs inside each pan and cover (or not, if you don't have lids, you can put a cookie sheet or tray with water under the baking bread -- the moisture is what creates a good crust)
  4. Place rack in mid-position. Reduce heat to 425 degrees. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lids and continue baking until brown and/or thermometer registers 210 degrees, about 20 to 30 minutes longer.  Remove bread and cool on rack

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