Crusty No-Knead Bread

I finally got around to making the no-knead bread recipe my squeeze’s mom gave me, along with the cast iron pot to make it in, for Christmas. It’s nearly identical to the bread recipe G.P. made during Cooking Club S01E01 a few weeks back, but I’ll post it here anyway. It’s a little tough to cut because it’s so crusty (it just makes a mess of crumbs) but it was DELICIOUS. (If I do say so myself).

Here’s how you make it:

ā€¢ Dissolve 1/4 t. dry active yeast in 1 1/2 c. warm water
ā€¢ Mix in 3 c. flour and 1 1/2 t. salt

The dough will be sticky and shaggy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at
room temperature (warmest area of the room if possible – not by a window!) for
12-18 hours, at least until little bubbles dot the surface of the dough. For me this was
about 15 hours.**

(**4/26/10: I just made this again only this time got super busy and let it sit for 19 hours. It was much better! Rose up to be about 7 inches tall unlike the pathetic 3 or 4 of the first time. I’ll definitely let it sit longer next time!!!)

Remove from bowl onto a floured surface (I chose a floured cookie sheet). Sprinkle dough with flower and fold over onto itself once or twice. Cover loosely with the plastic wrap (right there on the cookie sheet) and let sit for about 15 minutes.

Generously coat a clean tea towel or kitchen towel with flour, cornmeal or wheat
bran (I did a little flour and a little polenta). Place dough, seam side down, on the
towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal or wheat bran (I also added some garlic
powder in there on this step). With floured hands, gently shape dough.

Cover with another towel (or fold this one over if it’s big enough like I did) and let it sit for one to two hours. It should double in size.

You’ll know it’s ready when you can poke your finger in it and it doesn’t fill back in.
The first time I checked it, after about 2 hours, it did bounce back/fill in. Twenty
minutes later — success!

At least 20 minutes before dough is set to be ready, preheat oven to 475 and place
a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex…) in the oven as it heats. For some pots (like mine) cover handle of pot with a few thicknesses of foil.

Slide your hand under the towel and flip dough over into the pot. Shake pot gently from side to side to even it out if you need to.

Bake for 30 minutes, covered. Remove lid and bake for 15 minutes more. It came out pretty disk like, but so did G’s, so I didn’t think anything off it. It was super crusty on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside.

We paired it with Italian food one night and the next, I ate it with asparagus and Hollandaise sauce (dinner of champions). I think it would be really good as a dipping bread with olive oil and spices.

This makes me want to try different bread recipes and mess with this one too. I just can’t leave well enough alone, I guess. šŸ™‚

5 responses to “Crusty No-Knead Bread

  1. I have been making this bread for 4 years now and I haven’t found ANY OTHER RECIPE that makes me feel like a real artisan baker! Most other bread recipes come out too dense, and lack luster. Hurray for N0-Knead bread!

  2. That’s awesome, Jill! I think next time I’m going to roast some garlic ahead of time and shove them in there before backing (or maybe before the last 2-hour rising period). There’s a bakery in town that has whole cloves of garlic in there, so I think I’ll try to do it myself.

  3. Pingback: Beware: Easy Stuffed Shells May Cause Extreme Silliness « I Eat Veg

  4. Ok – this is my next project…I have gourmet olive oil and dipping spices just waiting for it!

  5. Pingback: Italian Bean Soup « I Eat Veg

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