I remember when I was working at the Early Years one winter I overheard a mom and her 4 year old son chatting while they were getting ready to leave:
"Mom, what are we gonna do when we get home?"
"Well today we're going to go home and bake some bread."
I remember thinking "This woman makes bread? With her kid?!" That is super cool. I totally wanted to be that kind of person!
So a few years back I came across no-knead bread. I think at the time it was one of those trendy food things, like cronuts, or bacon in desserts. It was everywhere. But it promised amazing bread without kneading (hence the name).
Here's the recipe from the NY Times that I use.
No Knead Bread
- 3 cups of flour
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- warm water
- 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.
My brother who doesn't own any kind of large lidded pot actually made one out of tin foil and baked the bread in that and the bread still turned out amazing! It really is fool proof, you should give it a go!