No-Knead Bread

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During Lent, we often are limited on time. Often I want to make homemade bread, but I just don’t have time to do the mixing, kneading, raising, etc. This recipe is the perfect answer to this problem: minimal hands-on time, versatile and easy to make, while still giving you an artisan-style loaf of bread. Jump to Recipe

Mark Bittman from the New York Times popularized this no-knead style of bread. This video is great at showing the method of cooking. It’s easy enough to do with small children as well. šŸ™‚

Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

Course: Bread
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature water

Instructions

  • Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together until mixed. Stir in the water. A thick, shaggy dough will form. If the dough is not incorporated, add a few additional teaspoons of water.
  • Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Let it rest at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
  • After the dough rests (it should be big, puffy and loose), carefully remove the dough from the bowl to a well-floured surface. Shape it into a ball (don’t knead) with flour on the outside. Set it on a piece of parchment paper.
  • Optionally, cover with a cotton towel and let rise for about 2 additional hours. 
    When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees *. Preheat a 6-quart dutch oven for about 30 minutes.  Once the pan is heated, remove it from the oven. Lift the dough (on the parchment paper) and place it in the dutch oven pan. The parchment paper should line the bottom of the pan.  If desired, make a cross slash at the top with a sharp knife.
  • Bake with the dutch oven lid on for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 10-15 minutes. This will give you a golden crunchy crust. 

Notes

  • While the original video calls for 500 degree heat, most enameled pot manufacturers warn consumers to not bake with enameled cookware in ovens higher than 450 degrees.  Baking the bread at 450 degrees works well, so I recommend sticking with that temperature.  If your dutch oven is not enameled and is cast iron, feel free to try out the 500 degree temperature.  Always go by the heat rating for your pot.
  • The video says to use 1/4 teaspoon yeast, but I find that 1/2 teaspoon works better in our region, especially in the cooler months.  Both versions work, but I recommend a longer rising time if you only use 1/4 teaspoon.  Room temperature is about 70 degrees.  If your house is cooler than that, just look for bubbles and well-developed gluten ā€” the long strands that cling to the sides of the bowl when you tilt it ā€” before proceeding.
  • The additional two hour rise is optional. The original recipe does not include that step, but a later recipe from Mark Bittman includes it.
  • You can increase the salt if you want.  The salt on the recipe matches the original Jim Lahey recipe, but some variations go all the way up to a little under a tablespoon.
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