No-Knead Bread

I recently celebrated my 28th birthday, and luckily my family and friends know me well, as I received many kitchen-related gifts. I have been wanting a french oven for the longest time, and when I saw the no-knead bread recipe going around the blogging community, it only solidified my desire. My mother-in-law, Teresa, surprised me with a beautiful, red, 7-qt. cast iron pot, and I finally got to break it in today, when at long last, I made the infamous bread.

I could not believe how easy this bread is to make. There are only four ingredients, and you literally mix them together, let them sit overnight, and make the bread the next day. Amazing. The crust is nice and crunchy, and the interior is so soft and light. One of the easiest and best bread recipes I have ever seen; my new pot is going to be put to great use!

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Draney Photography

No-Knead Bread, revisited
from Steamy Kitchen
adapted from Mark Bittman of NY Times, who got it from Sullivan Street Bakery. When the recipe first came out, it was the blogging community who took the bread to new heights, especially Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Bread Bible.

Yield: one 1½ lb loaf
3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
1 1/2 cups warm water
Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel…something that can go into a 450F oven.)

1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.

2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you’ve got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Holding towel, dump wobbly dough into pot. Doesn’t matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes.

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Draney Photography


ARLENE said...

I have the same LeCreuset and made this bread about a month ago. It was wonderful. There's lots of other wonderful dishes to make with a Dutch oven. I use mine as often as possible.

TonyM said...

Can it really be that simple? I can't wait to try this - bread (like pastry) has not been one of my most successful areas to date.