I have a confession. I have an EXTREME fear of working with yeast. AND I am intimidated with kneading doughs. Both are somewhat problematic since I LOVE carbs!
So when my sister recommended I try a No-Knead bread recipe she saw through the NY Times–I was ALL about it! Upon scanning the recipe, I was a tad skeptical of how simple it sounded but I was up to giving it a try.
True to form, it was easy to do. It just took A LONG time for the dough to rise and I’ll be honest–I am not always known to be patient. But the end results were delicious and you just can’t beat the amazing aromas of fresh baked bread as it fills your home.The bread does have a yummy flavor, great-crunchy crust, and wonderful air pockets when you cut into it.
Word to the wise, you need a lot of flour on the dough to ensure it doesn’t stick. However, you will need a heavy duty pastry brush to dust it all off when it’s finished cooling.
This recipe has made a believer out of me. 🙂
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising
3 Cups All-Purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ Teaspoon Instant Yeast
1¼ Teaspoons Salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
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 towel and dust with more flour, 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 a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or 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 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.