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Simple No-Knead Bread

Simple No-Knead Bread


Alicia from Culinary Bliss had a baby!  Woohoo!  So, when she needed a guest post for her Simple Lives Thursday, I knew that a no-knead bread would be a fun contribution because, really, it doesn't get much simpler than that.  You literally just throw ingredients together, forget about them for 18 hours, and then cook them.  Check it out!

I’ve made this bread a few times in the past, and it has always worked out well. Until, of course, this past week when I promised Alicia that I would write a blog post and experienced dead yeast (that sounds so gruesome), a too-cold kitchen, and – uhhh – forgetting that the bread is done rising. Did I mention that I have a one-year-old? She’s a bit distracting. But fear not! 9 cups of wasted flour later, I finally made a delicious, warm loaf of bread. I can assure you that this bread really isn’t as difficult as I made it! I’m looking forward to trying the speedy no-knead bread, too. That one takes less time, but this one is nice because you can prep it right before bed and have it for dinner the next day. It does most of the rising while you’re at work – how convenient!

No-Knead Bread

3 cups flour 1.5 teaspoons salt ¼ teaspoon instant yeast 1 ½ - 1 5/8 cups lukewarm water

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Add another 1-2 tablespoons water if necessary. 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 (I used a dutch oven) 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.

Source: Mark Bittman, originally from Jim Lahey

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