No-Knead Bread

9 03 2010

I’ve discovered that The New York Times is a gold mine for amazing recipes. I had no idea! I stumbled on a recipe for no knead bread about a year ago and tucked it away. I always forgot to pull it out and when I remembered I needed a fresh loaf that day. Well, I magically remembered on Saturday that I wanted a loaf to go with my Sunday soup. So I started the loaf. As a disclaimer, the bread takes about 20 hours to make, but the hands on time is virtually nothing. It’s no knead bread!

No-Knead Bread
recipe courtesy of New York Times

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 5/8 cups (or 1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp) water

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until blended; dough will be shabby and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, or better for 18 hours, at warm room temperature, about 70°.

Dough is ready when dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle with a little more flour and fold over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 15 minutes (don’t skip this step – your dough will be ridiculously sticky and will struggle to not be super dense bread).

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 a towel and dust with more flour, wheat 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 30 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 450°. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready carefully remove pot from the oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough under into pot; seam side up. It may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once, 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 15-30 minutes until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack. (it should pop RIGHT out of your pan).

Yield: One 1 1/2 pound loaf

I used cornmeal to coat mine and wish I had used flour. I don’t care for corn meal coated bread – or pizza dough for that matter :). The bread is still absolutely delicious. It’s light and fluffy with a good basic flavor. It’s a pretty loaf too.

no knead bread!





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