Sunday, March 2, 2008

No Knead Bread

I decided to finally get my act together and make the No Knead Bread recipe from the New York Times. This recipe is all the rage in the country (and abroad) right now. Ethan and I watched the video of Mark Bittman last night and he got super excited when Mark said (not an exact quote): "Using this recipe, a 6-year-old can make bread better than any bakery in the country, including this one!" I thought Ethan's eyes would pop out of his head as he exclaimed, "TO THE KITCHEN!" So the boys helped me make the dough... well, they did most of the work actually. It really is THAT easy. Our dough is currently fermenting... yum, yum, yum. In a couple of hours, we get to remove the dough, fold it over and then let it rise another couple of hours before baking it for dinner tonight! I'll be back to post the results and hopefully a picture or two!

Here's the recipe:

Recipe: No-Knead Bread Published: November 8, 2006Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street BakeryTime: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough intoa ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily springback when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron,enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

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