Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rustic Artisanal No-knead Bread



Nothing is more inviting than the scent of bread baking in the oven, especially when you come in from the cold during these chilly winter months. I'm sure there are plenty of would be bread makers out there, still too afraid to go anywhere near yeast. Well fear no more, this recipe is quick to prepare and almost impossible to mess up.  There is no need to proof the yeast, nor is there any kneading involved. The only thing this recipe takes is plenty of patience to allow the yeast to do its magic.  Believe it or not, it actually takes at least twelve hours for the dough to rise, so it does require some planning ahead, but that's about it. While the dough is rising to its wonderful glory get a good night's sleep because the very the next day, you will be ready to bake some of the best country bread you've ever tasted!  My mom reminded me that back in her day they would always start the dough the night before, and then the next day bring it to the village oven for baking. Today unfortunately, we can't rely on communal wood burning ovens, but can obtain the same wonderful crust by baking it at a very high temperature in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven with a cover.  Even if you're an old hand at making bread, I'm sure you will love trying out this recipe. I can tell you from experience that I now think twice about buying a loaf of bread from the bakers even though Montreal has some of the best bread.
For those of you familiar with my blog, you will notice that I'm still using the same an adapted recipe posted in March 2010,  from the New York Times by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York. The only changes I made were to slightly reduce the amount of water, add a touch more salt, and lower the oven temperature for the last part of the baking.  The updated post also has more detailed photos of the whole bread making process to better guide you.

Suggestions: 
                    You can also alter the recipe to make whole wheat bread by using 1/2 all purpose flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour
                      The recipe also make great focaccia by adding 3 tablespoons of light extra virgin olive oil to the original recipe and baking as you would a pizza


Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup water

METHOD

In a mixing bowl add the flour, the yeast and the salt. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, blend the dry ingredients.



Pour in 1 1/2 cup of water and mix. Pull together the dough using your hands or a wooden spoon. 




Scrape any excess flour from the bottom and sides of the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well incorporated and form into a ball.  The dough will have a stringy texture.



Place a piece of plastic wrap on the bowl to avoid the dough from drying out. Allow to rise in a warm dry, and draft free place for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. The photo to the right is dough that has risen overnight.



Dust a large piece of parchment paper, measuring about 24 inches with flour to prevent the dough from sticking during its second rising. Scrape the risen dough onto the floured parchment paper.


Sprinkle some flour on the dough to prevent it from sticking to your hands
 



Lightly pat down the dough with your hands to form a piece of dough measuring approximately 10x10 inches




     
      Fold the both side edges to the center of the dough.take the top edge and fold into the center, doing the same with the bottom edge of the dough


 Turn the dough and place the folded side of the dough on the parchment paper and dust with flour to prevent sticking
 Loosely wrap the dough in the parchment paper and place  on a baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel

Transfer to a warm and dry place and allow to rise a second time for 2 hours.


Place the cast iron Dutch oven with its cover, on the second rack from the bottom of your stove's oven.   Preheat the oven to 500ºF .  Dust the smooth side of the risen dough with flower to prevent it from sticking to the bottom while baking.


Once the oven reaches the required temperature.  Remove the pot from the oven and take the cover off. Place the dough, folded sides up and cover. Bake for 30 minutes at 500ºF


Remove the cover and continue baking at 375º F an additional 15-30 minutes.


Fully baked bread following an additional 15 minutes of baking at 375ºF, for a darker loaf  bake longer


Any thoughts on the recipe posts? I would love to see your comments and suggestions. It's always fun to connect.

67 comments:

  1. What a beautiful loaf of bread. It has all the right "holes" in the texture. Yeah for homemade bread!!!

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  2. Kristen, Thanks and I'll second your "Yeah" for homemade bread!

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  3. This is my winter "go to" bread because I am home more. It has never disappointed and always delights. Kudos to you and your bread - it looks so wonderful I can smell the aroma.

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  4. Absolutely fantastic! This is one perfect recipe if you ask me, it truly does look like artisan bread with minimal effort. Excellent!

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  5. Claudia, I love this recipe because it is so easy and the results always amazing.

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  6. Susie, this is similar to all the ones we saw last year on the Food network. Everyone seemed to be into no-knead bread. This recipe is a keeper for me. I rarely but bread anymore.

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  7. Ever since I got the Kitchen Aid mixer, I never sweated about kneading as the dough hook does all the work, but I like this recipe even more, it's just that much simpler. The results are amazing, so rustic. Looks so crusty on the outside and soft and doughy in the middle. Bring on the butter, I bet it's so good slathered warm from the oven.

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  8. Unfortunately Ava,I have no room in my tiny kitchen to accommodate the Cadillac of mixers, so as they say, "necessity is the mother of invention". There really is no kneading involved with this recipe, and this hearty bread seems to turn out great all the time. How could I forget to mention(just for you) how good it is with butter? (LOL)

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  9. What a beautiful loaf of bread! looks perfect!

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  10. Here is the perfect recipe for my new cast iron pot! I will be trying this as soon as I get organized enough to prepare a day ahead. Thanks

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  11. I've never tried Lahey's method - but that gorgeous crumb is making me think maybe I should? That is a beautiful loaf. Beautiful enough for me to go get an iron pot....

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  12. Interesting! I've used Lahey's method numerous times but the photos of your bread looks far better than mine ever did! I can't wait to try your version -thanks for posting this!

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  13. I just love bread. Yours looks so good - I can almost taste it!

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  14. Can't wait to try this recipe this weekend! It looks so delicious. Thank you for taking the time to show how you made it. My only question is the 1 and 1/2 cups of water you used. Should it be warm or cold?

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  16. Anna C said...

    Hi, Happy to hear you're going to give the recipe a try. I believe the original Sullivan Bros.Bakery recipe (Lahey) called for 1 5/8 cups but reducing it slightly to 1 1/2 works better....less gooey dough. Using room temperature water works best, especially in our winter climate where tap water tends to be cold. Yeast likes to nestle in a cosy environment.

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  17. Can you cook it in anything other than the dutch oven? I dont have one.

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    1. Hey,

      I'm putting mine in a cast iron pan with a high temp pot lid...but Suzie the Foodie put hers in a casserole dish:
      http://suziethefoodie.blogspot.com/2011/01/annas-rustic-no-knead-artisan-bread.html

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  18. I was curious about the same thing about baking it in something other than a dutch oven? Could I form it and put on a baking sheet? It looks beautiful! Thinking of making focaccia bread too for a book club I'm going to :-)

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    1. Hi Mandy,

      from what I understand from my bread baking friends (who swear by dutch ovens) is that the dutch oven allows the break to bake in a moist and warm environment, thus allowing it to expand and rise before the crust hardens. However, my brother has had success (and I have too after trying it upon his suggestion) with just putting a pan of water in the bottom of the oven to keep the oven moist. however I think the crust "artisan" look of this bread is specific to the dutch oven/casserole dish baking that Anna and Suzie (http://suziethefoodie.blogspot.com/2011/01/annas-rustic-no-knead-artisan-bread.html) have done.

      good luck!

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  19. I would really like to try this recipe. But first I would like to know what you mean by "Dutch oven"? Is it the same as the pot inside my slow cooker? I am wondering if I could use my slow cooker pot in the oven. Thanks for your great idea.

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  20. Beautiful loaf of bread! I would love to make it. But I have a question regarding the Dutch oven instructions. I have a Le Creuset round Dutch Oven. It can be used in the oven, yes. However, Le Creuset's website specifies that the handle on the lid can only be used in up to 375F oven. Your recipe states 500F for the first 30 minutes. This means I can't use the lid, because I don't want to take the risk of the handle starting to melt on me. Will the bread still come out all right if I don't cover the Dutch oven or maybe use foil instead of the lid? Thank you so much!
    Nadia

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    1. Nadia, I used a Le Creuset dutch oven for this recipe as well. You'll need to buy one of Le Creuset's stainless steel knobs (http://cookware.lecreuset.com/cookware/product_Stainless-Steel-Knob_10151_-1_20002_10130_10028), which you can swap with the plastic one for high-temperature cooking.

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    2. Nadia, I use a Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven which is similar to the Le Creuset. (less expensive) The rating from one Baker I read said Lodge is better due to the handle being able to better withstand the high heat. They are made to be rugged. I love my Dutch Oven!

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  21. I found this recipe on Pinterest and mixed the dough together immediately. I ended up adding too much water and only have an enameled steel dutch oven but I followed all the other directions and it turned out perfect. It was so amazing with our supper tonight that I already mixed up a double batch for tomorrow night. Thanks for the great easy recipe. Can't wait until we have fresh tomatoes so I can make the focaccia!

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  22. I can't wait to try this recipe! I was just considering trying the artisan bread in Hertzberg's book (the kind you leave in the fridge). Do you think this recipe would work that way? I like that you use so little yeast. Hertzberg uses a lot of yeast.

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  23. We made this and it was excellent! I'm going to post about it but I will link back to your blog for the recipe. Your step by step photos are excellent. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. This is a phenomenal recipe. Turned out excellent!

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  25. Can I use a Dutch oven dish that isn't cast iron?

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  26. Hi Michelle,
    I believe that the cast iron Dutch oven is best as it replicates a stone hearth oven by retaining its high heat. The cover is also essential to ensure that you have moisture while the bread is baking at such a high temperature. Given the high temperature and moisture, you have steam which provides the best cooking environment for the yeast to expand and do its magic.
    However, I should mention that in the past I did use the same no-knead recipe to make whole wheat bread in a loaf pan. The temperature should be lowered to 425 degrees F and baked for 45 minutes. Although not the same crust the bread was delicious.

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  28. HI Deb, Thanks for dropping by. Whole wheat flour definitely works in the recipe. Check out my post(Tuesday, May 18, 2010
    Whole Wheat No Knead Bread)by using the search engine on the blog from or by going to http://annastable.blogspot.com/2010/05/whole-wheat-no-knead-bread.html. Let me know how the recipe turns out. have a great week-end.

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  29. I tried the recipe. I have never baked bread before and put the amount of ingredients on the recipe but it ended up so very wet. We were having high humidity. Being baking ignorant, can you give me advice on how I adjust the water properly depending on how humid it is at the time?
    Thanks so much!

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  30. Deb, sorry to hear about the problems with your dough. Although it's not recommended to toy with the measurements, I suggest you reduce the water by just a fraction. The dough is rather moist compared to other recipes. That is why I started using parchment paper with quite a bit of flour to prevent the dough from sticking while it rises. Vicki,(see comment above) also ended up with "quite wet dough" but was pleased with the end results. In case your interested into investigating further, may I suggest the Breadtopia site at http://www.breadtopia.com/basic-no-knead-method/
    Hope this was helpful. Let me know how things turn out...best of luck

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  31. Deb, I’m sorry to hear about your problems with the dough. Although it is not recommended to toy with bread recipes, you might try reducing the water by a fraction. The Breadtopia at http://www.breadtopia.com/basic-no-knead-method/also suggests reducing the time you allow the dough to rise. I prefer going for the longer fermentation period as I find this is what gives the bread a more complex flavour.
    Vicki (see comment above) also ended up using too much water but was pleased with the results. The moist dough is one reason I ended up using parchment paper, rather than a tea towel on its own during the rising process. The parchment paper dusted generously with flour prevents the dough from sticking.

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  32. This looks so beautiful! Can't wait to try it this weekend :)

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  33. Thanks,Erin. Let me know how your bread turns out. Best of luck with the recipe.

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  34. Looking forward to making this bread. I worked in a bakery and was the morning bread person. Discovered during that time that I am intolerant to gluten. Stopped working at the bakery, eating anything made with flour and making anything with flour. My family would love this easy bread that I can make with little effort and no trouble for me. Kim

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  35. I made this dough yesterday and cooked it today. Eating it with my organic Lime infused olive oil and lemon balsamic vinegar. YUM

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    1. Hi,
      Sorry for not responding sooner...taking some time out from blogging. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I am happy to hear that the recipe was a success. The lime infused oil and lemon balsamic vinegar sounds amazing.

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  36. Do you not put grease (spray) on the dutch oven?

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    1. Hi,
      I know it's hard to believe but you do not need to grease the dutch oven. Good luck with the recipe. Let me know how it turns out.

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  37. This was fantastic! I didn't need to bake it the extra minutes, probably because I was using an iron Staub. It was the wildest thing, I pulled it out of the pan and it was hard as a rock, and I was so sad. Lo and behold, I'm sitting doing homework and I hear a cracking sound. The bread was cracking as it cooled and the crust cracked and the bread was soooo soft.

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  38. I have been wanting to try out this recipe for quite a while now, so finally last night I mixed up the dough. It was very wet as I expected so I didn't worry too much and let it rise overnight. I scraped it out of the bowl onto heavily floured wax paper today...and I am afraid I must have done something wrong. This dough isn't just wet...it is sopping wet! Once I floured it and pressed it out to the 10 x 10 and folded all of the sides in...it had completely soaked through the flour and was sticking terribly to the wax paper!! I used very exact amounts on my measurements, I just don't know where I could have gone wrong...

    I have still continued on with it. I allowed it to rise in the wax paper as per the instructions but unfortunately instead of rising, it was just spreading out everywhere!! LOL. Regardless, I preheated my cast iron dutch oven and put it in anyway and it is currently in the oven. I will keep you updated on the results...wish me luck!

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    1. Same damn thing. It was Sopping, I coated it in flour, but it sticks to everything. I lost most of the rise scraping it off the wax paper, then utterly destroyed it trying to get it out of the pot. Again, I covered it in flour, but the dough is just way too wet. Terrible Terrible experience

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  39. i realize this is a relaly old post, but im wondering about the kind of yeast you used. w only 1/4 tsp yeast and that amount of flour - im assuming its instant or rapid rise, yes? thanks for your response in advance :)

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  40. Hi Anna,

    I made this bread the first time and it turned out great! I actually doubled the recipe and it was fantastic. It lasted us all week and the family did not feel like they were eating stale bread at the end of the week. I guess that's the difference between fresh and store bought ;) I made a second batch today of the original amounts the dough was more wet and actually ended up sticking to my dutch over despite the flour :( any advice on how to free the bread.... I've been trying to pry it out by working on the sides with a spoon and then a spatula... but I think the bottom is stuck as well. Should I just give up now and add water to soak it out :(

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  41. I was wondering if we should grease the dutch oven?

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  42. Just saw your response above about no need to grease the dutch oven! Will look forward to trying this....

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  43. I didn't read all the replies but this works great in a non-enameled cast iron Dutch oven also and the baking time is reduced. I also made this with a half cup of sugar added and it came out amazing.

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  44. Hi, I know this post is older, but I just saw it and was hoping to try it out this week. You didn't specify what kind of yeast. I was hoping you could tell me which one.
    Thanks for posting this great looking recipe!

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  45. Is there any way to make this recipe without a cast iron Dutch oven? I am a college student who, unfortunately, does not own one.

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  46. I am making this today as it looks AMAZING! However, being in the UK I used a converter to get the quantities into grams and mls (we don't use cups here) and came across a difference between US cups and Canadian, which are you using? My dough looks very sloppy so I'm not sure I got it right! Also which type of yeast did you use?
    Big thank you from London!

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  47. I have it in the oven, made it in Corning Ware per your instructions and dropped the temp from 375 (highest) to 325 and it cooked just fine. It has been 15 minutes on the lower temp and is a light brown and I don't want it very dark, as I like my bread softer than most. How does one determine when it is done, for sure? I touched it and it seems firm but I think it needs another 5 minutes to put just the right crisp on the crust. It is really a pretty loaf and it has been very easy to prepare, even with the change of the baking utensil. Right now, it's trial and error. Does anyone have any suggestions to test bread to know when it's done?

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    1. Insert an instant read thermometer into center of the loaf. Most breads are finished baking at about 190°. Breads enriched with butter, eggs, or milk are finished when the internal temperature is closer to 200°. Or you can do the thump test, thump it, and if it sounds hollow it's done!

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  48. I am just trying this recipe for the first time and I'm excited to see how it turns out! I have a thought for some of the people wondering if you can use something other than a cast iron dutch oven...I should have thought to try this myself but instead I put mine in just a regular casserole dish but I have a pampered chef covered baker, and I plan to try using that instead next time I make it. It is stoneware so it should hold its heat well like cast iron does and it is safe up to 450 or 500 degrees if I'm not mistaken. The lid is also stoneware so the whole thing is oven safe and it is more of an oval square shape so if using this bread for sandwiches it will give it a more traditional loaf of bread shape as well...just a thought:)

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  49. wondering what size dutch oven did you use?? 2qt, 6Qt? cannot tell from the pic and perhaps I missed it, but didnt see it posted anywhere. I have a rather large oval cast iron pot that I suspect will be much too big for this recipe

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  50. OMG! This was absolutely delicious. I don't have an enameled dutch oven, but I did use a heavy non-stick steel dutch oven. The bottom crust was a bit overdone, so I will shorten the baking time a bit next time. My family is devouring the entire loaf as I write this. I can't wait to try the part whole wheat recipe version.

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  51. I'm trying this recipe today! I'm excited to see the results. I'm using an enameled cast iron 6qt Lodge Dutch Oven. Yay for homemade bread!

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  52. I had the same issue as many that after it had risen it was super tacky and wet, I even tried more flour/less water. I dusted a ton at the second rise and it still stuck. Know what though, dust that dutch oven after you heat it, dust the bread before plop it in and just turn it upside down into the dutch oven and cook it. Turns out perfect every time. Mess around with the ingredients for some nice results to0 (eg. add an egg and a tsp of EVOO with some rosemary for some slightly flatter but wonderful rosemary bread).

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  53. This is fantastic. I don't understand why so many of you have questions or problems. I have never baked bread in my whole life and this came out perfect. I did EXACTLY as stated in the recipe....don't add, don't spray, just follow the recipe step by step. Unscrew the knob if you have a Le Creuset Dutch oven...put the screw back in from the top.....don't loose it!
    This bread is to die for!

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  54. I don't have a cast iron dutch oven, but can i use my all clad stainless steel pot? or do i need to buy a cast iron?

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  55. Perfect. Followed it till the end, then eyeballed the cooking time. Great crust, inside, the wholes, yummy!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. It so nice to hear you were pleased with the results.

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  56. My daughter wanted to use the olive oil variation and make pizza dough. I am assuming most of the instructions are the same, but how long would you cook it?

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  57. Please check out my No-Knead Tomato Focaccia post from Monday, January 31, 2011 in which I adapted the bread recipe to make focaccia or pizza dough. Best of luck

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  58. I make this recipe a lot. Love it. Got it from a Pampered Chef demonstator several years ago. She cooked in one of their pots and I did too, but most of the time I just use a regular bread pan. Don't think it matters what you bake it in. It still tastes great! I've added grated cheese before baking, too. Very good!

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