Sunday, October 30, 2011

No Knead Bread

This is a great bread recipe - you don't need a bread machine, there is no need to knead, and it comes out of the oven crispy and delicious.  In other words, it's the perfect bread recipe for someone who is lazy.  Well, I like to call it "busy".  Either way, make this bread and people will be very impressed and never suspect that you mostly just let it rise, then threw it in the oven.

3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast 
1 teaspoon table salt 
1 1/2 cups warm water
An oven safe pot with a five-quart or larger capacity
The night before, mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together.  It will be a shaggy, sticky mess.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12-20 hours.

When ready to get started, dump the dough on a floured surface.  It will be sticky and bubbly.  With a wet spatula, fold the ends of dough over a few times.  Use wet hands to nudge it into a ball shape.  Dust a towel with flour.  Set the dough down on top of the towel and fold the towel over the dough.  Let the dough sit like that for about 2 hours.  Once it has been sitting there for about an hour and 1/2, place the pot you plan to cook it in into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  I used a large ceramic serving dish that is oven safe.

Next, it's time to bake the dough!  The dough should have doubled in size.  Remove the hot pot from the oven.  Carefully dump the wobbly dough into the pot and shake to even dough out.  Bake for 30 minutes, then brush with butter and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden and the middle of loaf is 210 degrees.
Once the bread is fully cooked, remove from the oven and let it cool before serving.  If desired, you can brush a bit more melted butter over the top.
Tips:  If you won't be eating this right away, you can reheat it and keep it crisp by placing it back in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Also, you could easily make alterations to this by adding additional seasonings (garlic and cheddar cheese come to mind! or maybe a sweet version with cinnamon...).  Enjoy!
Here is a picture of Kyle, looking rather surly and stuffing himself with an enormous piece of this bread.  This outfit will make more sense later, when I post pictures from the Oktoberfest party I had.  All you need to know now is that Kyle really, really enjoyed the bread.

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