I’ve been meaning to make this no-knead bread for weeks by now. I finally got around to it this week. The basic idea of this recipe (which was originally published in the New York Times) is that time does the work for you. Instead of kneading the bread so that it rises, you can just allow the bread to rise on its own for a long period of time. Ideally the dough needs 16-20 hours at room temperature to rise. So if you make the dough on Tuesday night, you can have fresh baked bread with Wednesday’s dinner. Its a beautiful thing.
SIMPLE WHITE BREAD
3 cups all purpose flour |||| 1/4 teaspoon instant, dry yeast |||| 1 1/4 teaspoons salt |||| cornmeal, for dusting the pan
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and stir until dough is shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and then in a kitchen towel.. Let dough rest for 16 to 20 hours at warm room temperature. (Note: since it’s winter time and we are not very rich, the house is pretty cold. You might want to allow more rising time if your room temperature is colder than usual.)
2. When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a bread pan and dust with cornmeal. Add the dough to the pan and sprinkle more cornmeal on top. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown.
I wish I had better pictures of the bread, but we were just to anxious to eat it with some tomato soup. One word of advice: Do not leave out the cornmeal! It gives the loaf a nice crispy crust and keeps it from sticking to the pan. I’ve only made this bread once, but it turned out really well. I want to make some variations. Maybe some gorgonzola cheese and green onions. Or maybe some whole wheat flour with raisins and cinnamon. The possibilities are endless!