Don’t ever buy bread at the store again. You must make this moving forward. In fact, I’ll likely be making it every week from now on. Trust me, it’s time to add that instant yeast to your Amazon cart now.
I’ve long heard about the NY Times famous no-knead bread. It’s supposed to be incredible and oh-so-simple. But when I woke up on a recent Sunday to make it, I realized it was far more time consuming than I anticipated since it needs to rise for about 18 hours.
But then I remembered a co-worker had been raving about the no-knead bread from Life As A Strawberry and was thrilled to learn that this recipe only takes about 3 hours total.
First, mix the dough by combining 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet), 1 tsp sugar, and 1 1/4 c. warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes so the yeast gets fizzy. Add 1 1/2 tsp salt and 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 c. flour to the bowl. How do you know how much flour to add? It’s all in how lax you are with measuring. If you dip a measuring cup straight into a bag of flour and level it off in a relatively relaxed fashion, use about 2 1/2 cups. This is what I did. I don’t have a scale or any sort of precise-ness.
- Mix on the lowest speed, using a dough hook, until there’s no dry flour left. Lightly flour all sides of your dough – don’t mix the flour in; it’s just to keep the dough from sticking..
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise on the counter for 1 hour.
- Now that it’s risen, flour a cutting board. Turn the dough out onto the cutting board. It’s a sticky dough, so if you find it sticking to the bowl, wet your hand with a bit of cold water and gently pull it off the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle it with some flour and get to shaping. Stretch a piece of the dough out and fold it in, going around the circle once or twice – the recipe says you’re folding like an envelope, but it reminded me of a crunchwrap supreme. It should now be a somewhat tight ball so flip it over and get it into a round loaf shape by kinda tapping with your palms around the outside and rotating in a circle.
- Flour a medium bowl and place your loaf into it, seam-side down. Cover with a towel and let it rise another 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 460 – with your stoneware (eg, Le Creuset) inside.
- Once the oven is heated, grab that super hot baking dish and put the dough in the center. Make sure the seam side is UP so you can get those gorgeous cracks on the top of the loaf that make you swoon at bakery windows. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.
- Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes, til that crust is a lovely brown.
This is the most amazing crusty bread. I should just open up a French boulangerie because the world needs this bread. This bread is great for sandwiches. It’s great toasted with butter. It’s great torn into hunks and served on a cheese board. It’s just…great.