|Servings||1½ pound loaf|
Famous No-Knead Bread
- This recipe has circled the Internet faster than an African get-rich-quick scam, since it appeared in the New York Times in November, 2006, and has been translated into German and Togo.
- The original recipe came from Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan. It lets time, instead of you, do the work. Simply stir together the ingredients, and let the mixture sit for 18 hours. After brief handling, it sits for 2 to 3 hours more, then bakes in a covered cast-iron pot in a 450 degree oven.
- It should result in a round, rustic loaf, with a chewy crust and an interior with irregularly shaped holes, not fine-textured, but similar to an Italian ciabatta. It's tasty and makes great crostini.
- In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, and salt.
- Add water and stir until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
- Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees F.
- When the surface is dotted with bubbles, lightly flour a work surface or silicone mat and place dough on it.
- Sprinkle it with a little more flour, and fold it over on itself once or twice.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.
- Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to the work surface and your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.
- Generously coat a lint-free linen towel with flour. Not a terrycloth towel.
- Put the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour.
- Cover with another lint-free linen towel and let rise for 2 to 3 hours. Dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
- At least half an hour before baking, place a 3 to 4 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in the oven and preheat to 450°F.
- When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven.
- Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot. seam side up. It may look like a mess, but that's okay.
- Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
- Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake 15 to 30 minutes more, until the loaf is beautifully browned.
- Remove the loaf from the pot and cool on a rack.
Tips, Notes, and VariationsEdit
- If you can't find a pot, look in a neighborhood hardware store.
- You can substitute up to 50% whole-wheat flour, but much more and the texture will suffer.
- Add herbs or other seasoning when initially mixing the dough.
- Use wheat bran or corn meal to coat the towels, if desired.
- If the pot has handles, remove them if they are not heat-resistant.
- Use sturdy oven mitts.
- Before removing the heated pot from the oven, place 2 or 3 cooling racks on the counter.
- Do not place the superheated pot on the counter or anything else you don't want to scorch.