Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No Knead Bread

Today I am posting a recipe that I got of another blogger's page. It is a recipe that she tried a long time ago, but it intrigued me. Imagine, all of the flavor and none of the work...could it be? My grandmother also tried it and her results were much the same as mine. I loved this bread and had none of the problems that others seem to have. It turned out to be a beautiful loaf and had a wonderful flavor. It made great toast!

No Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 5/8 cups water

Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

[Adapted from a recipe by Jim Lahey written up by Mark Bittman in the New York Times on November 8, 2006.]

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Pour in the water, and mix with your hand or a wooden spoon until combined. The dough should feel wetter than ordinary bread doughs, but it should come together into a shaggy ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) for 12 to 18 hours (some extend that time to 20 or even 24 hours with good results). The dough is ready when it has roughly doubled in size and the surface is covered with little bubbles. When you tip the bowl gently to one side, the dough should slide slowly and have a stringy consistency.

Turn the dough out on a well-floured surface. Pull gently on both sides and gather the flaps one over the other to fold the dough in three. Give it a quarter of a turn and fold it in three again. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes as you clean the mixing-bowl and grease it lightly. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the greased mixing-bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for another 2 hours.

Place a medium cast-iron pot in the oven and preheat to 450°F at least 30 minutes before baking. When the dough has finished its second rise, remove the pot from the oven, remove the lid, and sprinkle flour or cornmeal over the bottom of the pot. Transfer the dough into the pot, sprinkle the top with flour or cornmeal, cover with the lid, and return to the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes with the lid, remove the (hot) lid, and bake for another 15 minutes, until beautiful and golden and irresistible. Transfer to a rack to cool for about 45 minutes before slicing (the water content needs to settle evenly throughout the loaf: if you slice it too soon, the crumb may be rubbery).

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