No Knead Bread
No Knead Bread is the perfect easy bread for new bakers. No Knead Bread has a short ingredients list and requires only a few baking tools.
My love for my dutch oven (Dutchie) is well documented, and frankly bordering on weird. I long for the day that Congress allows marriage between a person and their kitchen tools. Dutchie and I would be so happy together.
Dutchie is a Martha Stewart dutch oven because well, that was the only company that had the exact blue color that I wanted. I’m brand “loyal” like that…but you can get a less expensive version if you buy a Lodge dutch oven. Lodge is a brand that is built to last, and still made in America. You can find them on Amazon (ack, all the colors!), at Target, stores like Home Goods, Wal-Mart, I’ve even seen them at Costco. I’m guessing it would be a long hunt at Goodwill to track one of these down. With the holidays coming up, a dutch oven would be a great item to have on your wishlist.
Anyhoo, Dutchie and I decided to make some No Knead Bread years ago. Apparently ten years ago (2007? 2008?), the NY Times ran an article on making artisan bread at home without a $10k fancy bread oven. This recipe has been making its way around the interwebs ever since. And for good reason! It’s wickedly easy, and the result is fantastic. I now make No Knead Bread at least twice a month year-round as my church uses it for communion bread.
No Knead Bread is the perfect dish to gift to someone in need of comforting food. It is perfect for dinner parties when you want to wow your guest. And then you can even take this bread next level and serve it with flavored butters. Flavored (or compound) butters are so easy. If you want to go the sweet route, simply blend cool chunks of butter and honey in a food processor. You can also do butter and fresh herbs like chives, garlic, and parsley for a savory version.
- ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups of warm water I usually aim for about 110 degrees
- 3 1/2 cups of bread flour
- 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 tsp of salt
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add 1 cup of bread flour and the whole wheat flour. Stir. Add the salt and the rest of the flour. Stir the ingredients until just combined. It will look ugly and shaggy. That's ok.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the bowl sit for a minimum of 8 hours, but 12-18 are preferable. I start this process the night before I want to eat the bread.
Flour a work surface and your hands. Sprinkle a bit of flour around the inside of the bowl, and remove the dough from the bowl. Sprinkle the dough with flour, and fold it over itself once or twice. Cover loosely with the plastic wrap from the bowl, and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Flour your hands, and shape the dough into a ball. I gently work the dough until there are no sticky parts left. Generously coat a towel with flour and put the seam of the dough down on the towel, dust with more flour, and cover with the rest of the towel. Allow to rise for 1-2 hours.
At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment inside your dutch oven and put the lid on it. Place the dutch oven in the oven while it is preheating.
After the oven comes to the proper temperature, remove your baking dish and uncover. Then, slide your hand under the towel in the dough bowl, and carefully put the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid, and then bake another 15 ish minutes until the top is browned and crusty. Remove the bread without burning your hands on the pot that is the temperature of lava, and let the loaf cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Allow to fully cool before slicing.
Courtesy of Mother Earth News, adaptations by me.
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