My friend Nick over at Macheesmo is always raving about No Knead Bread. So I decided to look it up. It is a simple recipe with just four ingredients. Flour, salt, water and yeast. No Knead Bread was devised by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. He devised a method that takes little effort and produces a superior product. I have been unable to partake as it requires a Cast Iron Dutch Oven to make perfectly. Luckily my Mother and Father love me and bought me an enameled cast iron pan for Christmas. So I decided to make a loaf of No Knead Bread.
The bread came out crusty and delicious. I still can’t believe the flavor.
No Knead Bread – Jim Lahey via NYT
- 3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
- 2 teaspoons salt (depends on your taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water
Mix the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl. Remember, that a packet of yeast is actually 2 1/4 tsp. So you only need 1/9th of the packet. I know that it sounds weird, but you do not need any more yeast than that. You can store the remaining yeast in the refrigerator.
Mix in the water into the dough. You want to add enough water to just get the flour moist. You may need a little more, or a little less water depending on the humidity in your house. For the most part, 1 1/2 cups of water works perfectly.
Once you have the water mixed in, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-18 hours at room temperature. This works great if you want fresh bread in the morning.
After 12-18 hours the dough will have doubled and gotten all bubbly.
Flour the counter and turn the dough out on to the counter. Make sure to heavily flour the counter as the dough is quite sticky. Fold the dough into thirds. Take the left side and fold it into the middle. Then take the right side and fold it into the middle. Then take the top and fold it over the bottom.
Next using cornmeal, semolina or wheat bran, dust the inside of a cotton towel. Make sure to not skimp out on dusting. Form the dough into a round or oval loaf. My dutch oven is oval, so a football shaped loaf is what I made. Place the bread dough seem side down on the towel. Dust the top of the dough and wrap it up in the towel. Let it rest for about 2 hours.
With about 30 minutes left in the resting period, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the dutch oven in the oven to preheat. If you don’t have a dutch oven, I have heard that a 5 quart pyrex bowl with a pyrex pie plate as a lid can be used instead.
Once the dutch oven has heated for 30 minutes, open the oven and remove the dutch oven lid. Be careful, it is 500 degrees. Next plop the dough from the towel into the dutch oven. Once again, be careful. Place the cover back on the pot and place it into the oven for 30 minutes.
When the 30 minutes is up, remove the lid and turn the oven down to 450 degrees. Cook for another 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and place the bread onto a rack to cool for an hour or two before cutting.
This was some of the tastiest bread I have ever tasted.
The long proofing period allowed the bread to create a depth of flavor that is unmatched in any type of homemade bread recipe I have tried so far.
You have to try this bread.