This is an oldie but a goodie. This recipe hit the big time when the New York Times published an article – and the recipe – in November of 2006 about Jim Lahey and the Sullivan Street Bakery’s bread baking sans kneading. The secret here is letting time do the work for you, and this make this bread super easy to make! If you haven’t yet given this a try, I encourage you to do so. It’s a very easy way to impress dinner guests with home-baked bread, plus the bread is quite delicious!
The recipe calls for four simple ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, and water. And presto! Bread dough!
One thing about this dough is that it’s very, very sticky. It can be a bit tricky to work with once you’re ready to bake it, but it’s worth it! I allowed the dough to sit and ferment for about 18 hours (the recipe recommends 12, even better if you can go 18).
Once the dough is ready for baking, you should see lots of bubbles on the surface. If you tilt the bowl the dough should form stringy globs that cling to the side of the bowl. It’s ready!
But not so fast! The dough has to do a little more sitting and waiting before it’s ready to bake. USE LOTS OF FLOUR! This dough is super sticky, so the more flour you use the less issues you’ll have with dough sticking to your hands or work surface.
I also used a bit of corn meal to keep the dough from sticking to the kitchen towel while it rises for another 2 hours.
The dough is plopped into a piping hot cast iron pot and bakes for 30 minutes with the lid on, and about another 15-20 minutes without the lid to allow the crust to brown. Mmmm….
Give it a try the next time you host a dinner party!
No-Knead Bread – serves 8-10
From the recipe by Sullivan Street Bakery in New York
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.
Nutrition Information (Approximate Values): 115 Calories, 0.3g Fat, 0.8g Fiber, 3.2g Protein, 24g Carbohydrates