Filed under: Breads, Food and Recipes | Tags: homemade bread, Jim Lahey, Mark Bittman, no knead bread
I’m quite aware that I have been bombarding you with recipes the past few days. This is partly due to the fact that I have been making so many good things lately and partly due to being sick on the couch and leaving me plenty of time for blogging.
I’m a little late on the trend, but I came across this recipe about a month ago, and have been wanting to make it ever since. I am now officially sorry that I have not made it sooner, and I am officially sorry that I have not shared it with until now.
I have been baking my own bread for quite some time. I find it relaxing, and I love the thought of my own bread coming from my own oven. I also feel as though bread is an artistic venture. Not one loaf from person to person is the same. That is to say that my bread, is my bread, and none other. It gives me a certain sense of pride in what I create. That said, I have been on the search for a rustic sourdough like loaf, wanting a yield of crisp crust, fluffy interior, and something of an artisan nature.
Folks, this is it. And, for the effort, you can’t beat it.
I have spent the past two days largely ignoring a bowl of fermenting yeast and it has given me the best bread that has ever exited my oven. This recipe originates from Jim Lahey, and is a recipe for a no knead bread. There’s no fuss to it, there’s hardly any ingredients, and by baking it in a dutch oven, you get bakery like results. It is amazing. Hey you…go bake this now. I’m serious. You’ll want to start it the night before you actually want it!
Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread
Recipe courtesy of Jim Lahey, of Sullivan Street Bakery, and Mark Bittman, New York Times food writer
Do better visually? Here’s a video of how to make the bread here.
Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups 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, about 70 degrees.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) 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.
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