Have I mentioned that I love to cook. No? Well I do. And I have decided that Sundays should be fresh bread baking day. Why you ask. Well I don’t really know, it just sounded good.
Years ago my husband, Peter (isn’t he cute), found a recipe in the newspaper, for a no-knead bread. Needless to say I was skeptical. After all bread needs to be kneaded. I was wrong. I tried this recipe (mainly to prove him wrong) it was wonderful! So I filed the recipe away planning on making it again on a regular basis. Then life got busy and the recipe got buried among all my other recipes and was forgotten. Until yesterday. I found it, I wasn’t looking for it. But I found it. So what do you think I did? Yep.
Here it is: No-Knead Bread-Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Prep time: 1/2 hour hands on plus 14-20 hours rising
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal as needed
- In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 (1 1/2 + 1/8) cups warm 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. I left my bowl on top of my refrigerator where it is nice and warm.
- 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 your work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with cornmeal or flour (I prefer cornmeal); put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not spring back easily when poked with a finger.
- At least a half hour before dough is ready, heat over to 450 degrees. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (I have a cast Iron pot, you can use enamel, Pyrex or ceramic pots) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from over. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into the pot, seam side up: it make look like a mess, but don’t worry it will be fine. 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 15-30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on rack. As it cools you will hear crackly sounds coming from the bread. Best sound ever!! Enjoy