No Knead Bread
Last year has overlapped into the New Year and good things continue. This bread is both the perfect recipe and theme for my first post of the year: Simplicity. Over the years, my intensity level has come way down and I’m less focused on perfection and “getting it right”. From that perspective, not much can really go wrong! Who knew how much fun relaxing could be? The first time I made this bread, it was easy, delicious and gone in a few hours. YUM. I can’t believe how good it is. The last time (which was the second time) I made it I increased the salt a bit and well, *wow*. Before I knew what was happening, I’d cut both ends off and eaten them. There’s been a lot of internet activity about this bread phenomenon since 2006. Check this one out. So, make the bread, sit back, relax and enjoy. Happy New Year.
Today was a perfect morning to crank the oven up to 450 and bake more bread. It was 7 a.m. and a whopping 18 degrees outside when I took these photos….brrrrrrr chilly!
I love how messy the first step looks. Doesn’t look like it will amount to much, does it?
Oh, but it will and it’s on the rise.
Mmmmmm…fresh from the oven.
Later today it’s hovering at about 20 degrees – not much warmer than this morning. Crusty bread and hot cocoa anyone?
No Knead Bread
Special Equipment: Dutch Oven (5 quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, enamel – needs to withstand 450 degrees and have a cover)
- 3 Cups bread flour
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon fine table salt (or 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt)
- 1 1/2 Cups warm water
Mix dough the night before: Combine the flour, yeast, salt and warm water in a big bowl or dutch oven until it’s a big, sticky, doughy mess (see photo above). Don’t try to make it pretty – it will come together. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on a countertop for 12-20 hours.
The next day: The dough will be wet and bubbly (see photo above). Using either your wet hands or a wet spatula, dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Fold the ends of the dough over into a roughly roundish shape. Generously dust a cotton (not terrycloth) dish towel and set inside a large bowl with the ends hanging out. Set the dough seam side down on top of the towel and fold over the dough. Set the bowl aside to nap for 2 hours. After about 1 ½ hours, put the covered pot into the oven (empty) and preheat to 450 degrees.
Bake: The dough should have doubled in size by now. Remove the pot from the oven (carefully – it’s screamin’ hot!) and holding the towel, dump the dough into the pot. It doesn’t matter how it lands, but should be in the center and can be nudged into place. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 – 20 minutes or until the crust is gorgeously golden and crusty. Remove to a rack, slice and eat!
Credit: Sullivan Street Bakery, Mark Bittman, Rose Levy Beranbaum and countless other devotees to No Knead Bread!