Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Test of Time (aka Best Artisan No-Knead Bread Ever)

Some recipes definitely stand the test of time and become staples in your home. Last year, I found a number of amazing recipes for no-knead artisan bread. You can find that post here. Over the past year, one of those recipes has clearly stood out as my staple, go-to recipe for no-knead artisan bread. I make it, minimum, twice a month. It is so easy. I wanted to share the recipe that has stood out from the pack and give it the spotlight it deserves.

So, without further ado...

Above: This is the equivalent of two loaves. It's great with butter, or dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or made into sandwiches.

No-Knead Bread, recipe by Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery


3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed, optional


In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt.  Add 1 5/8 cup water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 (and as long as 24), at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface 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 about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from 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 is okay. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15-30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1 1/2 pound loaf.

Source: New York Times. You can find the recipe here.

Notes: Best no-knead artisan-style bread recipe ever. Period. The only change I make is that I use wax paper or parchment paper instead of a cotton towel coated with flour when I let the dough rise. There is just less sticking (and less laundry) that way.

No comments:

Post a Comment