Typically I like to make homemade bread and do “cast iron cooking” while away at the cabin. However, I was given a couple medium sized cast iron pans and they needed to be seriously cleaned and seasoned. And one of the best ways to season a cast iron pan is while making homemade bread.
So the kids and I decided to do some “cabin cooking” here in the city. As you may be able to tell, I like cooking simple things – one-pot wonders. Or my newest favourite thing – the Instant Pot. And I wanted to find a way to make homemade bread that wouldn’t take a long time or make a huge mess – following my theme of one-pot wonders and simple things in the kitchen.
And then I remembered a bread recipe my mother sent me some time ago. Something like a 3 hour rustic bread. The recipe is surprisingly easy to make:
- 3 cups of flour (I used 2 white and one cup of whole wheat)
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of honey (I didn’t have any so I used maple syrup)
- 1 tsp of yeast
- 1 3/4 cups of lukewarm water
I simply mixed the dry ingredients together with a fork, and then slowly added the water and stirred it. Of course as you can see in my video, I had the kids helping me through the mixing and stirring part. I felt it was a good way for them to learn to cooperate and to pay attention to details. Even though this bread is an easy one to make, baking in general is much more of a science than an art and attention to detail is important.
We covered the bowl of dough and left it sitting on the counter while we went to swim lessons. A couple of hours later after we got home and vigorously stirred the dough (sort of like kneading it to make the gluten stretch) and then let it sit for another half hour or 45 minutes while we ate our Instant Pot spaghetti.
At that time I started to warm the oven up to 450 degrees and put the two cast iron pans into the oven with a healthy coating of grape seed oil inside them.
Once the oven (and the two pans) were all up to temperature, I took the pans out, split the dough into two (I wouldn’t split it next time – make one bigger loaf) and then put them back in the oven. I also put a baking dish of water underneath the two pans so that the crust of the bread would get a little steamed.
I set a timer for 30 minutes and then sat back to watch.
Although the loaves of homemade bread were quite a bit smaller than I would have liked, the bread itself turned out beautifully. Nice dense texture with a firm, chewy crust. I loved it. And so did the kids!