Fresh made bread was always a big part of my life growing up. My Grandma was the queen of making molasses bread. She served it every time I came over to visit because she knew how much I loved it. And she was always (humbly) bragging about how she would make a few dozen loaves of bread for various church charity functions, and that they would sell for $5 each!
In my parents household, we used the bread machine. My dad would make bread every Sunday night so that we could have fresh bread for our school sandwiches for the rest of the week. It was a great ritual to have. Pulling out the machine, tossing in all of the ingredients, and then programming it to be ready by 6 am the following morning. As a kid, I appreciated how delicious and fresh the bread was–but was always a bit embarrassed to bring a seedy whole grain bread to school, while all the other kids had lunch bags filled with crustless Wonder Bread. It’s funny how perspectives change.
With all of those memories in hand, we went ahead and made a No-Knead Bread in our test kitchen. It’s something that’s been made numerous times in our kitchen, and it’s even made it onto the Cook Culture blog a few times (that’s how you know it’s good).
After we made the bread we decided to make our own butter, because what elevates bread more than homemade butter? We had seen this Vitamix recipe online claiming that you could make butter in your Vitamix, so we gave it a go. We were not disappointed by the results, and we started to question why we hadn’t made our own butter before. Using the Vitamix made making our butter a breeze, and we can’t wait to make more.
A big benefit of making butter yourself, other than the taste, is the cost. We bought a 1 liter of cream, which costs $5.20 right now, and with that cream, we were able to make some Buttermilk worth about $2.50 and Butter worth about $6.00. Plus the buttermilk is a great excuse to make some really delicious buttermilk pancakes.
After the two recipes, there are some detailed progress photos to give you a better idea of what to expect when making the bread and butter!
24 Hour No Knead Bread
from the original New York Times recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
- Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
- Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
- At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Fresh Butter with Vitamix
from the Vitamix website
- 3 cups (720 ml) heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Place cream and salt into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
- Blend until mixture is thick and you hear a change in the sound of the machine.
- Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula to bring ingredients into the center of the container.
- Reset machine to Variable 5.
- Turn machine on and blend for 5 seconds, stop and scrape sides again.
- Repeat this process several times until you see mixture start to flow easier and fluid appears.
- Blend for a few more seconds until solid butter sets up in center of container on top of blades.
- Place butter in a fine strainer to drain. Work butter with a spatula to remove as much liquid as possible. (all that liquid is actually buttermilk)
- Store in an airtight container.
What’s your favourite way to make bread? Let us know on our Facebook page.