I’m one of those persons who just love bread. I eat it even when I’m on a diet. I just love it soo much! I love all kinds of breads but especially those with a crunchy crust and with an airy and light inside.
I like making my own bread and people often say to me “Why bother” or “Who has time to bake bread”. My usual answer is that it’s easier than you might think and it take literally a few minutes to make it.
So, what is a No-Knead Bread? The recipe for this bread was published in The New York Times more than 4 years ago and it became one of the most popular bread recipes among bread bakers. The bread is really easy to make. It’s a hands-off bread so you won’t get your hands sticky and messy (and your kitchen as well) and there is no kneading.
So, let’s start. The list of ingredients is very short and it includes:
- 3 cups of all-purpose or bread flour (you will need a little bit more for dusting),
- ¼ teaspoon of instant yeast,
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water.
In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast. Add the warm water and then stir until the mixture is blended. The dough should be sticky and shaggy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest at warm room temperature for at least 12 hours (even better 18 hours). I usually make it in the afternoon and bake it the next morning.
You can see that the dough is ready when its surface is covered with bubbles.
Lightly flour a work surface and pour the dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour and fold over all ends towards the middle. Before doing all this remember to wet you hands! With wet hands the dough won’t stick on your hands and you’ll keep the water and flour ratio even (since more flour is added from the working surface). This bread is so light, airy and crispy because it has a high amount of water in it. So you want to keep it that way.
Cover loosely the dough with a plastic wrap and let it rest for some 15 minutes. After that shape the dough into a ball. Gently move the dough in a floured cotton towel, cover it and let it rest for about 2 hours. The dough will double in size.
Before your dough has finished resting preheat the oven at 450 degrees. Then put the covered pot you’ll be using for baking your bread in the oven. Choose a cast iron, enamel, ceramic or Pyrex pot. I use my enamel cast iron Dutch ovens because they can withstand high temperatures (450F). The pot you choose must be tall enough (at least 4″ tall).
When your dough is ready remove the preheated pot from the oven. By sliding your hand under the towel, turn over the dough into the pot, with the seam side up. Take the pan and shake it once or twice. Cover the pot with the lid and bake it covered for 30 minutes. After that, remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack. And that’s it! You just got a nice and fresh 1½-pound loaf.