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LivingFood and DrinkNo-Knead Bread

No-Knead Bread

by Susan Hanna

I’m not much of a baker, but this recipe from NYT Cooking, based on the recipe by Jim Lahey, turned out a lovely loaf of bread with minimal effort. Combine flour, yeast, salt and water in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at warm room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. Place dough on a floured surface and fold it a few times; let rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a cotton towel and let it rise for two hours. Then place the dough in a pre-heated heavy pot and bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Cook’s note: I used all-purpose flour and let the dough rise for 18 hours in the first step. I used flour instead of cornmeal to dust the dough and baked it in a large enamelled cast iron Dutch oven.

Makes one 1.5 lb (680 g) loaf.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use unbleached flour. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ⅓ cups (430 g) all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • Generous ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) instant yeast
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) kosher salt
  • Cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1.5 cups (345 g) warm 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 F (21 C).
  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 into a 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 spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Put a 6- to 8-quart (6-8 L) 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 OK. 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.

From NYT Cooking

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