Yesterday, because I’m always the last one to try new things, I made the viral recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen for her mother’s Best No-Knead Peasant Bread.
It is baked in Pyrex bowls and makes two loaves. You grease the bowls with a tablespoon of butter before adding the dough. Since we have a vegan here, I used regular salted butter for one bowl and Earth Balance sticks for the other. I followed the recipe exactly since I hadn’t made it before. (I’ve made bread before and have always been happy with the results.) The loaves slid from the bowls right out of the oven, and they were a smash success. Everyone loved them, even me, and ironically I’m not a big bread person.
So today I decided to make more (since yesterday’s batch was gone) and thought I’d try greasing the bowls with oil instead of butter. I used canola oil on one bowl and olive oil on the other. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Here’s where it would have been helpful if a voice had yelled “No, don’t do it”, but it didn’t, so I continued. The loaves were beautiful when I took them out of the oven, and I turned them over so that they could fall onto my cooling rack…
Let’s just say that a chisel would have been helpful. I finally got the loaves out of the bowls with the help of a long thin knife and a fish spatula. The bottom crust stuck to the bowls, and the loaves look terrible. They taste fine if you keep your eyes closed.
So I won’t make that mistake again. I should have wondered why I wasn’t able to find any versions of the recipe online that used oil instead of butter. I am a librarian and an expert researcher, but it’s always harder to believe a negative result.
I’m writing this to save any of you, tempted to make the same mistake, from the extreme frustration I’m feeling, along with two very unattractive loaves of bread. I do recommend making this bread the correct way - it’s very easy and very good .
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
I started out making bread with a bread machine. I only use the dough cycle now, but things usually turn out fine. Also I like using SAF instant yeast seems to make the results better.
I just took my Cup of Jo loaf out of the oven. It looks and smells great, so we’ll see…I hope it works because I’d rather use a loaf pan. The glass bowls, especially with the butter, are kind of slippery!
I will give it a try…I have to confess that I like making kneaded breads because I love the feel of how the dough transforms from a sticky wad of gluten into a silky ball of dough and then to a crusty warm loaf.