Some call it flu season, I call it soup season. The fact is I make soup all year long, but during the cold months my family respects it as an appropriate meal. One of my daughter’s previous boyfriends said that he was coming to visit the soup kitchen, when he ate dinner at our house. Since he consumed my ham and potato soup in multiple large bowls I am calling this a compliment.
And we all know that nothing goes better with a bowl of soup, than a large hunk of crusty bread. I decided that I needed to expand my bread horizons and try some new recipes and the best place to go for a bread ideas is the King Arthur website. The recipe options are endless there and they feature cake, cookies and other goodies, too.
I chose a hearty egg bread titled, Italian Easter Cheese Bread. If you own a Kitchen Aid Mixer this is about the easiest bread you can possibly make. No kneading. You won’t even see the word in my recipe one time. Punch down? Yes. Turn over and shape? Yes. But no kneading. Due to how incredibly easy it is to make and how well it goes with a large bowl of soup, I have renamed my version of this recipe – No Knead Kitchen Aid Mixer Egg Bread. Sound simple enough?
Changes I made: Eliminated cheese as I didn’t have any on hand. Next time I may include it, though. Added garlic, rosemary and dried onions. If you’d rather follow the original recipe, click here.
Here is my version…oh and don’t let the braid intimidate you. It was easy enough to do, but if you have the new-to-bread-making jitters just follow the round loaf instructions.
No Knead Kitchen Aid Mixer Egg Bread
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3 large eggs – recipe says at room temperature…I didn’t do this. You can decide what works best for you.
- 1 large egg yolk – keep the white you’ll need it later
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 4 tablespoons softened butter – 1/2 stick (leave out on counter for 45 minutes or cut into small pieces)
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper – use white if your kids (or you) object to black specks in their food
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary (use up to 1 teaspoon if you enjoy this herb)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
Combine all the ingredients in the mixer bowl. Yep, you read that correctly. No special order on this…just add and mix. When well combined and formed into a ball remove from bowl and place in greased bowl. Flip so all sides are oiled. Cover with wet cloth and allow to rise for 1 – 1/2 hours. It will not double in size. If after one hour you think it hasn’t risen enough, allow to sit for another 30 minutes. After that, punch down, flip over and cover with wet cloth for another hour. Make sure that the cloth stays wet. I put my dough near the fire to keep it warm as the house was cold, but the towel can dry out easily this way. You don’t wan that to happen!
After two rises create a round loaf:
Punch down (you may need to grease your hands) and shape into ball and place into greased 6-7 inch soufflé dish.
or to create a braided loaf:
Punch down and divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll (with greased hands, if needed) into logs the length of your loaf pan. Braid and tuck into greased loaf pan.
Whichever way you choose to create your loaf, cover with wet cloth and allow to rise 1.5 hours.
Whisk the egg white you saved from earlier with 2 tablespoons cold water. Brush over top of loaf just before placing in the oven. This will give your loaf a beautiful shine and a crusty layer.
Bake at 425F – 15 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 350F and tent with foil. Do not seal the loaf. Just place gently over the top to keep it from burning.
Bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, or until it has a deep golden brown top. If you braided your loaf it will take less time.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for five minutes. If the loaf is stuck to the sides use a knife to go around the edges. Place on rack to cool.
Note: This bread is so easy to make that my twelve year old baked it for me while I was away from the house. I had preheated the oven and brushed it with the egg white mixture. Don’t doubt yourself just use common sense as you tent it and watch it brown.
Enjoy with your favorite soup and mix up the flavors with different herbs and cheeses!
Just make sure and come back to tell me what you did, so I can try it, too.