Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Knead Bread

I know I post a lot of bread recipes on here.  And I also know that bread is A) something that people thoroughly enjoy making, B) have no desire to make or C) have no clue how to make. I'm now in the "A" category but for a very long time I was a "B" or a "C."  My problem was fear.  I was very intimidated by kneading before I started making bread.  How do I know when to stop kneading?  Can I knead too much?  What happens if I don't knead enough? Once I finally started making bread and understanding how to "know" my dough (more on that at a later date) I stumbled onto the most brilliant recipe ever!  No Knead Bread.  Really? REALLY?  Bread that doesn't have to be manhandled on my counter or by my beloved Kitchen Aide mixer?  Could it be so?  Yes, my friends, it is so.  This bread is truly a no knead bread, and the best part is it tastes absolutely, wonderful!  I'm talking compare it to a fine restaurant, or a fancy schmancy bakery good. 

My family toasted ours, and I also used part of it for dipping in seasoned olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  But you can use it any way you want.  The method creates a wonderful crust, with a dreamy moist and chewy inside.  It makes the BEST grilled cheese sandwich and phenomenal French Toast.

After all the raving, I do have to tell you that this recipe requires more time than attention.  It is the time given to the dough that allows for the no knead process, and the wonderful flavor.  So if you are at home and need something new to try, then try this recipe.  You won't be sorry!

No Knead Bread
Recipe Source: The Internet it is everywhere!

printable version

1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. (I used 2 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat with great success!)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cornmeal for dusting

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.  I put mine in the microwave so it was out of the way.

The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. This is mine after 19 hours.

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 it rest for about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, stoneware or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK.
 Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.
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  1. So I emailed Vic this recipe because he has had a run of making bread - yummy!

  2. Let me know what he thinks. It was EASY!