No knead bread. Sound too good to be true? Well, it is possible! This recipe comes from Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery, published in the NY Times on Nov. 8, 2006.
*This photo was taken by my ever talented brother of Some Dude with a Camera...
I didn't get this recipe until recently. I thought, someday, I'll try this. Well, someday came very quickly when I went to Sam's Club with a friend.....
This beautiful, enameled cast iron pot began to speak to me. It's really dangerous when kitchen appliances start talking to me.
Look at me. Look how beautiful I am. I can cook, bake, anything you want. I can keep your foods warm for hours. I can cook candy without burning. I am only $35....
Stop! Sold! You're coming with me! Consider yourself an early birthday gift to me! I was in love. And motivated to bake this bread.
Note: You can use enamel, Pyrex or a ceramic casserole dish or removable crockpot insert (with glass lid) for this recipe.
No Knead Bread
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)
The first step is to combine your flour, yeast and salt in a bowl. It calls for instant yeast, but all I have is active dry. Let's see if it works. (update...instant yeast is the same as rapid rise. I tried it and it worked better...I got a higher rise to my bread. Remember instant yeast is only good for one rise)
You 'stir' everything together. Guess you can't call it 'kneading.'
You cover this baby and put it to bed on the counter. Overnight. For 12-18 hours. Yep, I can sleep that long. Just ask anyone in my family.
Good morning! This is what your baby should look like. All nice and bubbly.
Lightly flour your work surface and dump the dough out. It just kinda slid out. I did use a bowl scraper and get every little bit out. I hate anything going to waste.
Sprinkle some more flour on top.
Fold the dough over on itself...once or twice. I used my handy bowl scraper (only 99 cents, folks) and used it to fold the left side up and over; then the right side up and over the top. Still....no kneading....
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and walk away for about 15 minutes.
This is a good time to find a cotton (not terry cloth) towel and GENEROUSLY dust it with flour. Note to myself. Give towel more flour. Lots more. Your dough will stick to the towel!
This was the hard part. The recipe said to gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball. This is where I HAD to restrain myself from kneading. I was soooo tempted. I used my trusty bowl scraper to help me transfer this baby to the floured towel. Covered it with the towel and walked away. Again. Get busy doing something else. For 2 hours.
Update: I have found it easier to put the floured towel inside a bowl and put the dough on top of the floured towel, sprinkle with flour and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Some people have found it easier to spray parchment paper, dust with cornmeal and let the dough rise in the parchment lined bowl. All you have to do is lift the parchment and set it inside the dutch over to bake. With a floured towel, you will need to invert the dough into the dutch oven.
Fast forward 4 hours. I had to pick up my son from school, get a gift for my friend, and deposit a check at the bank. Hey, life happens.
Still looks, o.k., doesn't it? Light, bubbly, ready for the pot!
O.K. I need to be honest. I put that beautiful pot in the cold oven and set it to 450 degrees. 15 minutes later, it was ready.
My heart was pounding. How am I going to 'plop' it into the hot pan? What happens if I drop it? Stop it, I told myself. Just do it. Like the Nike commercial. Just do it.
I picked up that towel, walked over to the oven, and inverted it. It fell. Into the pot. Then, to my horror, the last little bit stuck to the towel.
What to do?
What to do?
Gotta do something!
I just peeled that sticky dough and stuck it back on the top. Remember, I can't let anything go to waste. I covered the pot and waited. Worried and waited. For 30 minutes.
When 30 minutes were up, I uncovered the pot and took a peek.
Not brown, but looks o.k.
I let it cook uncovered for 15 minutes and this is what I found...
Doesn't that look beautiful? Rustic.
See that little swirly thing on top?
That was the extra stuck dough that I rescued from the towel.
Let's take a look inside....hot steamy, full of airy holes. I couldn't wait to take a bite.
Yep. I would definitely make this again.
And I'll be more generous with the flour on the towel. I promise.