I finally made the famous “No-Knead Bread” from the New York Times, and I must say it was fantastic! It was SOOO easy to make and tasted fantastic. We both took one bite and fell in love with it.
This bread literally takes less than 5 minutes of hands-on time and absolutely no kneading. That means no sticky hands and no doughy mess – love that!! The bread was nice and crusty on the outside, and light and airy in the middle. It tasted great warm out of the oven with butter slathered on it. I also made cinnamon toast for breakfast with the bread. I used the Vanilla Honey Butter from my Cinnamon Roll Pulls – fabulous! I can’t believe I was intimidated by this bread. It was so easy, and I can’t wait to make it again.
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed (I forgot this and it turned out fine)
- 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic)
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 ⅝ 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.
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 (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.