Monday, July 9, 2012

The Best Way Ever to Bake Bread {My Soy Vendetta}


I'm a lazy busy girl, you all know that about me ... but I do make it a priority to make my own bread now and then. It reminds me that slowing down is good. Getting my hands {and bench ... and clothes ... } dirty is good. And plus, the bread I make is completely 100% soy-free.

Wha?

Next time you're at the supermarket, have a look at the ingredients in your everyday loaf of bread. Soy flour? It's pretty much in all of them. Soy flour is used because it alters the colour, texture and browning of commercial breads in a way that makes them more appealing to consumers. So what's my problem with it? 

1. Soy is ubiquitous. It's in soooo many things in our modern diets - things {like bread} we wouldn't even imagine. Whenever you see 'vegetable oil' as an ingredient on something, there's a good chance it includes soybean oil. So even if you've never purchased soy flour or soybean oil or tofu or soy milk or anything, chances are you're consuming a lot of soy anyway.

2. Soy makes my cancer cells happy. If I still have any. {I err on the side of caution here.} The evidence relating soy and cancer is almost contradictory. Some research says lots of phytoestrogens, particularly early in life, can help prevent breast cancers ... but now that I've had it? According to my oncologist, my best bet is to reduce all the estrogen in my body - including plant-based mimics like those in soy.

Which brings me back to making my own scrumptious {soy-free} bread. And how to bake it. 


I hope you're not disappointed - after that whole soapbox thing and all ... but this isn't really a recipe for bread. It's a tip. 

Lately I've been using the New York Times' no-knead bread recipe, and since I can't improve upon it to speak, I'll just direct you there. It takes awhile, but you can set everything up overnight and have fresh bread by lunchtime the next day. Fresh, lazy bread. Great texture, flavour and crust - I love the recipe. 

But my favourite part? BAKING IT IN MY CAST IRON POT. That's the clincher, ladies and gents. Because I've now successfully used that little technique with all of my bread making - knead or no-knead.


All you do is heat up your cast iron pot {I use a Le Creuset dutch oven that Robbie thrifted in Belgium for $5 - I kid you not} in your oven about an hour before you're due to bake the bread. Then pop the dough into the pot, cover with the lid, and bake! The immediate heat on the surface of the dough makes a lovely browning, and the lid traps the moisture from the dough so you get a gorgeous chewy crust. 

If you're using your favourite regular bread recipe, you may have to alter the cooking time slightly. The no-knead recipe calls for 30 min in the covered pot, then 15 min with the cover off ... that seems to work well for me with other recipes, too. Keep checking.

And then? Enjoy your fresh bread with ample butter. And sunshine. 
It's good to be back!
Amanda xx

11 comments:

Sherilyn @ Wholepromise said... [Reply to comment]

Looks amazing. Problem is I wouldn’t be able to stop at one slice.. How about you?

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Sherilyn @ Wholepromise One slice? Are you kidding?! ;)

Kirsty said... [Reply to comment]

I love baking my own bread! It's the only bread I eat these days so it's nice to know I'm not the only crazy one doing it! I'm definitely going to try baking in a pot though!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@KirstyA great excuse to treat yourself to some new quality cookware, right?

Accidental Lentil... said... [Reply to comment]

i make my own bread and am having lots of fun with my sourdough starter, though i have never thought to use the chaseur...i will try it, thanks for the hot tip!
Also i am trying to limit the amount of soy we eat (we're vego so eat a lot of it). i never realised it was in bread too! gosh you could eat so much soy and corn by products without realising it.

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Accidental Lentil... I know! And don't I feel un-Iowan for my stance ... corn and soy are its two biggest products! Eeek.

On another note, I've read that fermented soy is better than straight soy ... meaning miso & tempeh are better than tofu.

Lauren said... [Reply to comment]

$5!
I'm speechless.
Why can't I ever find things like that?
Your bread looks lovely.... so much better than the quinoa/chia loaf (ahem, brick) I baked this morning. New resolution: I'm not coeliac so I may as well embrace the gluten! Next loaf will be full of real flour!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Lauren I know! I heard "Belgium", "Le Creuset" and "$5", and I was ready to marry him on the spot :)

Paula said... [Reply to comment]

I love how rustic your bread and rolls look. Great info about the soy too.

Maria said... [Reply to comment]

Oh how I love this Amanda. You put everything in such a way that makes us crave of something of the past yet with a taste of today. I'm thinking of trying this your idea first on my mother's old Dutch oven then next weekend on my red modern Batali cast iron pot. There should be a unique difference. Thanks for this very beautiful masterpiece. Very encouraging.

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you so much, Maria! What a beautiful thing to say ... I think I'm blushing :)

Hope you enjoyed the bread! xx

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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