Nancy Bagett is
a baking expert, food journalist, and
best-selling cookbook author whose
thirteen titles include the IACP Award-winning
International Chocolate Cookbook, The All-American Cookie Book,
a James Beard Foundation and IACP best baking book nominee, and The All-American Dessert Book.
She contributes to Eating Well, the Washington Post, and many other leading food magazines
and newspapers, and is an occasional commentator for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.
Baggett appears frequently at culinary and food writing workshops, classes, and demonstrations
around the country, and has been interviewed on many national TV and radio shows.
An Excerpt from the Introduction of Kneadlessly Simple
I've loved making homemade yeast bread since my mother first let me "help" prepare her cinnamon buns when I was five. I was lulled by the peaceful, calming nature of the process and amazed and proud of what wondrously good food--fresh, warm, irresistible bread--we could create from such ordinary kitchen supplies. Until I was a teenager, my mother was a stay-at-home mom, so she gave me the gift of many leisurely hours of baking by her side. My memories of those quiet times in our farmhouse kitchen are still vivid...
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For years, countless home cooks have shied away from baking their own bread because they were intimidated by all the mess, the experience, and of course, all the kneading required. Now, with Nancy Baggett's revolutionary new Kneadlessly Simple method, even complete novices can bake bread quickly and easily in their own homes, with no kneading and more...
Bread Kit Mix Recipe
This appealing bread mix looks like the layered sand art creations of the 1970s and is reminiscent of the bars-in-jars cookie mixes found in some gourmet shops. It makes a great gift from the kitchen, especially for bread fans who also love chocolate.
Yield: 1 quart of mix, yielding 1 large loaf
KS QUOTIENT—Easy: Easy mix,
readied with few ingredients. Makes a great gift.
2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) unbleached white bread flour or all-purpose white flour, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
3 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels, divided
1 packet instant, fast-rising, or bread machine yeast
Set out a completely dry clear glass or transparent plastic 1-quart or 1 -liter jar, along with its lid. Set out a square of heavy-duty aluminum foil to use as a funnel. (Or use a funnel, if you have one.)
Place 2 1/4 cups (11.25 ounces) of the flour on the foil, then use it as a funnel to add the flour to the jar. Rap the jar on the counter to even the layer. In a food processor, combine the remaining 1/4 cup flour (1.25 ounces), 1/4 cup of the sugar, the cocoa powder, salt, and 1/2 cup chocolate morsels. Process until the chocolate morsels are ground to a powder, about 2 minutes. Turn out onto the foil and add to the jar. Rap the jar to even the layer. Add the remaining 1 cup chocolate morsels to the jar in an even layer. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small plastic bag and close tightly. Push the bag of sugar and the yeast packet into the neck of the jar. If it will be shipped, stuff any empty space in the top with crumpled wax paper. Attach a sheet or card with the instructions for making the bread to the jar.
STORAGE: The unopened mix will keep for up to 1 1/2 months unrefrigerated, 3 months refrigerated.
Don't forget to give the following recipe along with your gift:
Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Bread Recipe (Using Mix)
Just mix together this kit following the easy instructions. The reward
is a moist, chewy-crusty loaf studded with chocolate chips and bursting with chocolate flavor.
Yield: 1 large loaf, 12 to 14 slices
1 small bag granulated sugar (from the kit)
1 teaspoon yeast (measure it out from the kit packet)
1 jar Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Mix
Scant 1 1/4 cups ice water (add ice cubes to cold water and stir for 30 seconds before measuring), plus more if needed
3 tablespoons corn oil, canola oil, or safflower oil, plus more for coating pan and dough top
FIRST RISE: Remove the bag of garnishing sugar and the yeast packet from the jar; set aside. Turn out the jar of dry mix into a large bowl. Measure out and thoroughly stir in 1 teaspoon yeast. In a medium bowl, measure out a scant 1 1/4 cups ice cold water and whisk the oil into it. Vigorously stir the water mixture into the dry ingredients, scrape down the bowl sides, and continue stirring until thoroughly blended and smooth. If the mixture is too dry to incorporate all the flour, a bit at a time, stir in just enough more ice water to blend the ingredients: don't over-moisten, as the dough should be very stiff. Brush the top with a little oil. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If desired, for best flavor or for convenience, refrigerate the dough for 3 to 8 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature (about 70°F) for 12 to 18 hours.
SECOND RISE: Turn out the dough into a well-oiled 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Brush the top lightly with oil, then smooth and press out evenly in the pan with an oiled rubber spatula (or fingertips). Cut a 1/2-inch-deep slash down the dough center using oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife. Cover with nonstick spray--coated plastic wrap.
LET RISE USING EITHER OF THESE METHODS: For a 2 1/2- to 4-hour regular rise, let stand at warm (74° to 75°F) room temperature; for a 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned-off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling-hot water. Let rise until the dough doubles from its deflated size or nears the pan rim, then remove the plastic and continue until the dough extends just above the rim. Sprinkle over the sugar from the plastic bag.
BAKING PRELIMINARIES: 15 minutes before baking time, place a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350°F.
BAKING: Bake on the lower rack for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is puffed and well browned and a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with only a few moist particles at the end. Then bake for 10 to 15 minutes more to ensure that the center is done. If the top browns too rapidly, cover it with foil. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf to the rack and cool completely.
SERVING AND STORING: The loaf slices best when cool, but the bread is good served warm or at room temperature. Cool completely before storing. To maintain the crisp crust, store draped with a clean kitchen towel; or to prevent the loaf from drying out, store airtight in plastic or foil. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days; freeze, airtight, for up to 2 months, then thaw, unwrapped, at room temperature. When thawed, re-crisp the crust in a 375°F oven for a few minutes.
Copyright © 2009 by Nancy Baggett. Photographs copyright © 2009 by Alexandra Grablewski. Reprinted From Kneadlessly Simple with permission from John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Click here to download these recipes.
Other cookbooks by Nancy Baggett:
International Chocolate and
International Chocolate (paper)