I should have titled this “No, you NEED Bread”
A friend sent me this recipe [you NEED to check out her blog – the photos of her son baking this bread are great and you can get the history/adaptations there as well] & I have had it sitting and ready to go for a while (“it” not being the bread, but the recipe)! There are SO MANY great bread cookbooks out there and although I love fresh bread – I do not want to get into baking bread because of my waist line (I know I will fall in love with it and eat way too much bread & gain more weight than I have just through cooking so much great food for someone who enjoys eating it so much) If you want to learn a lot about bread & the history & bake ovens – check out Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm on a Saturday over the summer: Lou is an expert and the 1800’s brick bake oven is amazing (and the place is awesome and I’m not just saying that because I practically grew up there & working there and am now on the board, I love Quiet Valley with all of my heart)
ANYWAYS ~ You must prepare for this the night before (like after you are done with dinner the night before you want it) and then do the stuff in Step 2 when you get home from work the evening you are planning to eat this, OR plan two nights in advance & just reheat it when you want it!
No Knead Bread Recipe
- 3 cups [bread] flour
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 t table salt)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel… something that can go into a 450F oven.)
1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.
2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula (OR wet hands), dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times (with the spatula) and nudge it into a ball shape. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it set/nap for 2 hours. When there is about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.
3. Bake: Dough should have almost doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Holding towel, turn over and dump wobbly dough into pot, using your hands to get the dough off the towel. Doesn’t matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden [and middle of loaf is 210F]. Remove and let cool [15 minutes?] on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes.
This bread is one of those breads with a nice crusty crust but so light and airy that you are afraid to crush it when you cut it! Perfect bread for… fresh butter, fondue (see above), soaking up homemade soup, paninis/grilled cheese, french onion soup, basically anything!