Sunday, January 9, 2011

No Knead Bread

 I know at one point I said that John is the yeast man, in charge of all things yeast related in our house. And while he's still in charge of beer making, I have (almost) taken over making bread. You can read about my other adventures in the land of yeast here, here, here, and here. And now I'm trying one more.

For the insane, giant and amazing Christmas dinner, my sister-in-law made this delicious and deceptively easy bread. I know this recipe is on so many other food blogs that it's almost silly to add yet another post about how wonderful it is to the general blogoshpere, but I'm doing it anyway. Because this is hands down my favorite bread both to bake and to eat. I've made it at least 3 times since we've been back from the holidays. It's the perfect recipe: easy to make and easy to memorize so you can throw it together without a thought.

Seriously, make it for your next dinner party. It will impress all. Just don't tell them how ridiculously simple this is. Or just make it for yourself... that's what I'm doing right now.

No Knead Bread
Source: Smitten Kitchen, originally from Mark Bittman at the New York Times 

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 5/8 cups water

Mix flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add water and mix until combined. The dough will be wet, but never fear. This is a good thing. A very good thing. Now cover with plastic wrap and walk away. Walk away for 12-18 hours. I usually make the dough sometime the day before I want to make the bread. Then at some point the next day I continue on with the recipe. I haven't worried about the 12-18 hours timeline yet and each time I've made this it has been perfect.

Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto the surface. Quickly fold the dough twice with lightly floured hands. Cover the dough with a towel (not terrycloth) and let it sit for 15 minutes. Quickly form the dough into a ball and place it on a towel dusted with cornmeal. (Cornmeal works better, but flour will be OK in a pinch.) Cover the dough with another towel and let rise for another 2 hours.

At least 30 minutes before the dough is done rising, put a 5 quart dutch oven or a similar sized Corning Ware dish with a lid in the oven. Preheat to 450. Once the oven is preheated, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven. Carefully slide you hand under the towel with the dough and quickly turn it into the dutch oven. Shake the dutch oven a little to spread the dough out a bit. Replace the lid on the dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for 15-30 minutes until bread is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and carefully turn bread onto a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.


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