No Knead Bread…I Am a Follower
Before you say "another No Knead Bread recipe? What is it with you people?", I am telling you to surrender and become a follower! Ah well, when I see a good thing I can’t leave it unattended. When I read about a good thing I know it won’t be long before I end up making it, especially when that particular item has been tried and endorsed by so many of us out there. I hate being left out of the loop! I have to admit that this is probably the first time I have followed a recipe in its entirety.
The bread is really easy to make. I made it in the evening, shaped it and let it rise again the next morning, baked it exactly according to the recipe and we had wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches Sunday at lunchtime. I truly believe that such a great result is achieved by the baking method: preheating your pan, covering the loaf 30 minutes, uncovering it for another 30. When you read such detailed instructions you know you have to respect the baker’s work and do the same. I used a 2 quart Le Creuset casserole dish and I ended up with a beautiful round loaf. I believe it is the reason why I had less air pocket than other loaves I saw on other blogs but I wanted larger slices for sandwiches….hmm…also to spread more butter!
No-Knead Bread, from The New York Times
Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
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.
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.
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.
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.