On the heels of yesterday's post about dutch ovens, and by request, here is a re-post about no-knead bread (originally posted March 31, 2009)
Bread Heights is where you will be residing when you follow this simple recipe and make your own bread. Crunchy, crackly, chewy, sweet-tasting, B R E A D. Rustic, round, simple. Yummy with a capital Y. Soul satisfying. Your arguments: "Bread is difficult. Bread is too time consuming. I don't have a dough mixer. I don't have the arm strength to knead it sufficiently. I don't have a good recipe. I have never baked bread."
[Post Edit: "I can't tolerate gluten." Well, that I cannot help you with on this recipe...but you could try substituting your favorite blend of gluten-free flours and give it a whirl!]
My answer: This bread is easy. This bread takes very little of your time. You don't need any fancy equipment. You don't have to knead this dough! For a complete tutorial BY A 4-YEAR-OLD and the history of this recipe, go to Steamy Kitchen.com. I had seen this bread floating around Blogdom for a while, but I was a skeptic. Now I have made two loaves, and this week am making 4 more.
This bread requires 3 cups of flour, 1 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp yeast, and 1 1/2 C water. That is all. Nothing else! Your labor is required for five minutes of initial mixing. The dough sits for 12 to 20 hours by itself in time out. Your labor is required for five minutes of folding the edges and placing in bowl on floured towel. The dough sits for 2 hours to nap and rise. Your labor is required for preheating the oven, placing in baking receptacle, placing in oven. Bakes for 30 minutes with lid on (25 minutes in my oven) and 15-20 minutes with lid off. (11 minutes in my oven.) Your labor is required to remove from oven. Easy peasy. My first two loaves were made with organic, unbleached bread flour. I baked mine in a cast iron dutch oven. The loaf yield is 1.5 lbs. We ate the first loaf in about 2.5 hours. Mr. Nature used some of the second loaf to make french toast. It was thick and hearty, and we ate it with pure maple syrup. Another Yummy with a capital Y.
This week, I am making one loaf with organic unbleached bread flour, one with organic whole wheat bread flour, one with organic rye flour, and one with organic spelt flour. Even the gluten intolerant can make bread if using Rye, Amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, or rice flour.
Visit the tutorial link, watch the four-year-old make it, then try it yourself. I will never spend $4.00 or more on a store or bakery loaf of bread EVER AGAIN. [Post Edit: I think I emphatically announced something in my bread-delirium that was impossible to achieve! Forgive me when I tell you that I have, since, purchased bakery and even store loaves of bread at $3.99 and even higher...but I wanted to believe that I would always make bread. Like clockwork. Every week. The reality is that I sometimes make the bread, but sometimes I just forget to time it just right, and the bread doesn't get made here...the baker then supplies the bread. Maybe you will do better.] This bread is better, fresher, and so satisfying. Cost about $1.00 to $1.50/loaf - - maybe $2.00 if you count the electricity involved.
Enjoy your trip to Bread Heights!