Thursday, April 23, 2020

Breaking Bread by Laura Ashwood

Did you know that the phrase "to break bread" originates in the bible? It refers to when Jesus would eat with His Disciples, they would break the bread and pass out pieces to be shared amongst themselves. Breaking bread means more than just eating - it is sharing a sense of fellowship with someone or a group of people.

Right now there are many of us that aren't able to share that fellowship because we are in quarantine or have fallen under Safer at Home recommendations. It's a difficult time, especially for those that really crave that connection and fellowship. But I think there are ways to still "break bread" with people in a virtual world.

We have been using Facebook video and FaceTime to stay connected with our families. It's not the same as seeing them in person, but it's better than a phone call because you still get a higher level of personal connection. I'm sharing a recipe here that I got from a friend during quarantine and I think it would be great fun to make it a "breaking bread" sort of challenge. A fellowship of bread baking. Try it and let me know in the comments or in the Facebook group. Let's break bread together!

The ingredients are simple, there are only 4. I used all purpose flour because I can't find bread flour in my store and I honestly think it makes the bread lighter, so I will always use all purpose flour from now on. You can make recipes with one package of yeast, which is also harder to find right now. I measure out what I need from the packet and then tape it shut and stick it in my fridge until I need another loaf. AND this bread makes the best toast. Seriously.

Rustic No Knead Bread - uses cast iron dutch oven

3 cups flour
13 ounces lukewarm water (not hot)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt

Start the bread the night before you want to bake or very early in the morning. If I'm baking in the early afternoon, I will make the bread dough right before I go to bed. Otherwise, I get up early (5 am) and will start it then. You need to plan for 10-12 hours of resting time before you bake the bread.

In large bowl measure dry ingredients. Use the scoop and shake method for the flour, it's a very forgiving recipe. Mix the dry ingredients to disperse the yeast and salt throughout the flour. Add the water and stir just until mixed. Now if you've made traditional bread, you're going to think it's all wrong at this point. It's not. It's a very wet dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let set for 8-12 hours.

Prepare work surface by dusting with flour. Dump dough out of bowl and fold each side into the middle. Get a 10" skillet and spray with no-stick spray. Using a scraper or spatula, lift the dough into the skillet and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let set for 2 hours.

When there is 45 minutes left of your 2 hour wait time, preheat your oven to 450°. Place dutch oven in oven while oven is preheating. Let oven preheat for 45 minutes (it takes the cast iron pan additional time to get fully heated). CAREFULLY remove hot dutch oven and dump the dough from the skillet into the hot vessel. You can sprinkle with flour and make a couple cross cuts on the dough if you want, but you don't have to.

Cover, return to oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake 5 additional minutes. Remove from oven and dump bread onto a cooling rack. Cool 1-2 hours before slicing.

I hope you try this. I was a little nervous about the high temp because I am sort of a klutz in the kitchen, but I have made many loaves of this and haven't burned myself once. It's my husband's favorite bread.

Take care and be safe.
xo, Laura


  1. Thank you for the bread recipe, Laura. It looks great! I baked whole wheat-oatmeal muffins yesterday, to have with my morning coffee.

  2. Thanks for the recipe, Laura!

  3. The bread turned out perfect! It looks so delicious.

  4. I've been meaning to bake bread. I'll have to give this a try.