Hi Everybody! I have been looking for the perfect bread recipe over the past couple of months, trying out different versions and baking techniques to find the best one. There have been several disasters along the way, as well as some successes (one of my favorites being THIS Easy Homemade Artisan Bread), with this bread being one of my favorites so far. I had heard a lot about THIS New York Times recipe and wanted to try it out, and here are the results! This recipe does take a little bit of patience to make, since the preparation, rising and baking time can add up to almost 24 hour, but it is actually extremely simple to make, and the dough does most of the work on its own! I loved the texture and consistency of this bread, and loved how beautifully golden brown the crust turned in the oven. Here’s how the bread is made and some of my notes on the recipe…
THE NY TIMES NO-KNEAD BREAD
(Recipe from The NY Times)
*Makes 1 loaf*
YOU WILL NEED
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 5/8 cup water
Cornmeal and extra flour for dusting
1. Combine the all-purpose flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl (*Note: I would increase the salt amount a little bit next time, so if you prefer a saltier bread, add a little more. Also, the small amount of yeast worked great and the bread rose well, but if you like a stronger yeast taste in your bread, I would add a little more). Add in all the water (I think I would reduce the amount to 1 1/2 cups next time), and stir with a wooden spoon until a super sticky dough begins to form. Then, cover the bowl with some plastic wrap (I also placed a cloth kitchen towel over the plastic wrap) and let it sit in a warm spot (I placed mine in the microwave – I didn’t turn the microwave on, obviously!) for 12 – 20 hours! (I let mine sit for about 12 hours, I prepared the dough mixture in the evening so it would be ready to work with the following morning).
2. Check on the dough once the 12 hours or however many hours you are letting it sit are up, and you should be seeing lots of bubbles on its surface. Take the (very sticky at this point!) dough out of the bowl and place it on a floured surface and gently try to shape it a little bit, and sprinkle more flour over it. Then, place the piece of plastic wrap over it again and let it rest for 15 minutes.
3. Next, form the dough into a ball (you can use more flour if you need to) and place it on a floured cloth kitchen towel (make sure it’s seam down), then sprinkle the bread with more flour and cover it with another towel, and let it sit and rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
4. Preheat your oven to 450 deg F, and place a Dutch oven or covered casserole dish inside it as it heats up (I used a covered casserole dish, make sure it’s at least a 3 quart dish). Once the oven is ready, remove the dish from the oven, and carefully place your dough ball inside it and cover it with the lid. Bake for about 30 minutes covered, then take the lid off and bake for another 15 – 30 minutes, until golden brown on top! Let the bread rest and cool before slicing. (*Note: the original recipe said you could use cornmeal for dusting, but I found that flour worked fine.)
Happy Baking, Everyone!