No Fuss No Knead Bread

I’ve always found the concept of baking bread at home intimidating.  For me, bread was always one of those items that you buy from the store (like Carrie’s bakery).  Every once in a while it’s interesting to take something that you are used to buying pre-made or packaged from the grocery store, and create it at home just so you get a feel for the process.  After hearing about this recipe from the a family friend I decided to try the no knead bread recipe that Mark Bittman raves about in the New York Times.  Frankly, it could not be easier.  The hardest part is probably remembering to budget time for the dough to rise.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (I use a combination of AP and whole wheat)
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • dutch oven or pyrex pot to bake it in

Method

1. Combine the dry ingredients.  Add the water and mix until the dough comes together.

2. Put dough in a bowl, cover with plastic, and allow to rise for 12-24 hours.  The longer the better.

4. Dump it out and fold over itself once or twice.  Then cover loosley with plastic and let rest for 15 minutes.

5.  Dump dough out onto a floured surface and fold each of the four sides into the middle.  Make sure the dough is covered in flour and place seam side down on a kitchen towel.  Cover with another towel and allow to rise and double in size for about 2 hours.

6.  Place your dutch oven in the oven about 45 minutes until the dough is ready, and preheat oven to 500.

7. Place dough seam side up in dutch oven.

8. Bake for 30 minutes at 500 degrees with lid on.

Isn't it pretty?

9.  Take lid off and bake for 15 more minutes until bread is golden brown.  Then remove from oven and allow to cool.

The family friend who turned me onto this recipe told me that she’s tried any number of alterations and the bread comes out great every time.  She has added various combinations of honey, herbs, and nuts, as well as used smaller glass pans to bake the bread.  It’s such a fun project to keep track of the rising, and it would be great recipe to experiment with!

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