Sunday, August 25, 2013

Easy No-Knead Bread!

I have been baking up a storm since learning how to make no knead breads at home! It is much faster, easier, and more satisfying than I imagined it to be, and we are baking at least one loaf a week.

Here is what you'll need:

 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
 1/4 tsp instant yeast
 1-1/2 tsp salt
 1-1/2 cups water

 Mixing bowl
 Spoon or spatula for mixing
 Oven-safe pot with lid

Combine your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and slowly add in the water, combining it enough to make for a shaggy dough with few dry bits left over. It should look something like this:

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or pop the whole works into a grocery bag and tie it up. Let sit at room temperature for 18 hours or so. Note: if you are in a hurry, place the bowl in a warm spot and you can get it down to a 12-hour rise. If you need more time, pop it in the fridge for a few of those hours to slow down the yeast.

When the time is up, the dough should be soft and wet, pulling away from the bowl with these beautiful gluten-y strands! You'll have to flour your hands well, and try to shape the dough into a rough ball and plop it back into the bowl.

At this point, preheat your oven to 450 degrees with a heavy heat proof pot with the lid on. I use a cast iron Le Creuset dutch oven. Let that pot get hot for 15-20 minutes or so, carefully take it out and plop the ball of dough inside. Cover it with the lid and back into the oven for 45 minutes!

I usually try to flour the top of the bread and make some cuts with a serrated knife to make it look nice (it controls the seams where the bread will burst upon baking).

Here's how it looks after 45 minutes. You can then take the lid off and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on how brown you want the top to be.

Voila! Here's the finished product. Big airy holes, crunchy crust, and I know what all the ingredients are! This is a really good money-saving tip to learn too, as you get delicious fresh artisan breads at home for a small fraction of the price.

I hope you all try this recipe and let me know how it goes. By the way, this easy yeast version is the gateway drug into sourdough bread baking!
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