RECIPE: Wonderful Rustic No-Knead Bread

cookingrvcNovember 29, 2006

This recipe appeared in the New York Times a few weeks ago. I am NOT a bread maker, having missed out on the baking gene, but this came out wonderful.

It was crusty, and chewy, and had a great taste. I recommend it to anyone who wants to turn out a nice crusty bread with virtually no margin for error.



Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

¼ teaspoon instant yeast

1¼ teaspoons salt

Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

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Hi all --

Sue -- glad this worked for you. Over at the cooking forum a number of us tried this with somewhat mixed feelings / results. Here are the links to those threads...


    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 2:38PM
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Thanks Emily. I am on my way over there right now!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 4:21PM
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I have tried this twice. The bread comes out wonderful, with a hard crispy crust and an almost sourdough flavor. I use a LeCruset 5 qt caserrole to bake it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 10:25AM
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Thanks Sue im gonna give this a try!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 11:39AM
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