Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No Knead Bread

This bread is super-duper simple to make and only takes about half a day to rise.  It is especially yummy as toast and in a grilled cheese!

What You Need
3 cups white flour OR bread flour
3/4 teaspoon yeast (tape the rest of the yeast packet to save for another time)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups slightly warm water

Large bowl
Plastic wrap
Spray oil OR olive oil
Oven-safe pot with lid OR Dutch oven (should be at least 4 quarts in size)

1. Gather your ingredients!

2. A note on the yeast: The original No-Knead Bread recipe specifies instant yeast. You can use pretty much any yeast you have on hand; I have used both Quick-Rise yeast and instant active yeast. Technically these shouldn't be exchanged for each other (see this post for more info on yeast). But don't let confusion about yeast stand in the way of making this bread; just use whatever you have got. It will turn out fine.

3. Add your flour to the bowl.

4. Add the yeast and salt and stir thoroughly.

5. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of barely warm (tepid) water.

6. Pour into the bowl and stir thoroughly.

7. The dough will look rough and shaggy.

8. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, or, if you do not have cooking spray, lightly oil the top of the dough with olive oil. Spread a thin layer over top with a paper towel, then turn the dough in the bowl so the whole ball of dough is coated with the oil.

9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

10. Throw a towel over top of the bowl and set it in a warm corner. Leave it alone for 6 to 8 hours.

11. After at least 6 hours have passed the dough will have risen and will look rather bubbly and stretched out.

12. Lightly oil the countertop and turn the dough out onto it, folding it over on itself at least once.

13. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit for another hour.

14. About 20 minutes before the hour is up, turn on the oven to 450°F. Place an oven-safe Dutch oven or pot in the oven.

15. The dough will have risen and nearly doubled in size.

16. Quickly shape the dough into a round ball (see this video for basic instructions) and drop it into the pot. Even if you can't get it into a good ball, that's OK. Just try to roughly shape it.

17. Optional: Slash or cut the top of the dough with kitchen shears or a sharp knife.

18. Place the lid on the pot and put it in the oven.

19. Bake for 30 minutes.

20. Remove the lid from the pot.

21. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

22. You can be extra-sure that the bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the top or side reads 210°F.

23. Remove the bread from the oven. If you wish to keep it warm for serving, you can wrap it in a clean kitchen towel.

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