Martha Stewart Just Used This Instagram Hack for Perfect Peasant Bread Loaves
Martha Stewart has high standards—she only settles for the absolute creamiest scrambled eggs, and her grilled cheese recipe is even complex and decadent. So when Martha signs off on a simple recipe, you know you have to put it on your to-do list. That means the fluffy, golden country loaves baked in glass mixing bowls she made this weekend might just be our next baking project.
Stewart was inspired by a reel from Alexandra Stafford, the blogger behind @alexandracooks on Instagram, who posted about her mother's recipe for peasant bread. The simple, no-knead dough requires just four ingredients—not counting salt and lukewarm water—and you probably have everything you need in your kitchen right now.
Stafford starts with combining flour, kosher salt, sugar and instant yeast in a large bowl, then mixing in the water. (While Stafford recommends instant yeast, you can use active dry yeast in its place—just combine the yeast, sugar and water for 10 or 15 minutes beforehand. You can even swap in whole-wheat flour for all-purpose if you'd like, though you won't want to use more than 3 cups out of the four in the recipe.) Next, Stafford says to let the dough rise in the bowl for an hour, buttering two smaller glass bowls while you wait.
After the first rise, she says to punch down the dough and split it in two portions, putting each half in a buttered bowl. Let the portioned dough rise again for 30 minutes, then bake the bread for about 30 minutes. That means that unlike some no-knead bread recipes, this one is a quick afternoon affair. The result is two orb-like loaves that we'd want to build Chickpea Salad or Veggie & Hummus Sandwiches on all week.
You won't need much equipment for this bake, but a set of oven-proof mixing bowls, like this Pyrex set (buy it: $20, was $43; Macy's) is a must. Stafford recommends using 1- or 1.5-quart bowls for the baking and whatever large bowl you have for mixing and the first rise. You could also use your Dutch oven to make this recipe—you'll just preheat the Dutch oven and let the dough do its second rise on parchment paper.