No-Knead Bread

30 May

no knead after bake

I know, I know, everyone has the recipe up for no-knead bread, but I had to put it up for myself so I could stop having to search my bookmarks for it every time I wanted to make it. It’s not the favorite bread that I make, but it is one of the easiest and can have a great flavor, so I still make it pretty often. I use the recipe straight from the original NY Times article.

Notes:
I alternate the amount of all purpose and whole wheat flours I use in this bread. I find that all whole wheat makes this not quite as tasty as I’d like, so I either go exclusively all purpose or a 50/50 mixture of the two.
Also, I didn’t used to have a container large enough to hold this well that is oven safe to 450 degrees, so I used a shallow Pyrex dish and covered with aluminum foil. Thankfully, I got a larger one for my birthday earlier this year!

Makes: one loaf

Adapted from: Jim Lahey in the New York Times

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 5/8 cups water

Directions:

1) In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add water and stir with a wooden spoon until mixed. The dough will be very sticky at this point. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours. The longer it sits, the better for the flavor to develop. I usually leave the covered dough on my counter overnight. It is ready to use when the surface is coated with bubbles as shown below.
no knead after rise 1

2) Lightly flour a work surface. Your counter will work, but I usually put down a piece of wax or parchment paper for easier cleanup. Put the dough on the floured surface and lightly cover with more flour. Fold the dough, cover with plasic wrap, and let sit 15 minutes.

3) Quickly shape the dough into a ball, flouring your hands and the surface to keep from sticking. (I usually need to use a lot of flour to keep from sticking- I coat the top and bottom of the dough to manipulate.)

no knead before rise2

4) Generously coat parchment paper with flour . Put dough seam side down on towel or wax paper and dust with more flour. Cover with a cotton towel or another sheet of parchment paper and let rise for about 2 hours. The dough will be more than double in size and loose it’s spring back flexibility to a finger press.no knead after rise2

5) 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. Once the dough is finished rising, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove the top towel or paper, slide your hand under the other towel or paper, and turn the dough into the pan, pealing back the paper or towel once in the pan. The dough will end up upside down and make look misshapen, but it will even out as it bakes. It’s also helpful if you can brush off some of the excess flour. As you can see from my top picture, I didn’t and it was a wee bit floury, but still tasted great.no knead before bake

6) Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is browned. Cool on a wire rack.

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