Hey there folks! How was everyone’s Valentine’s weekend? Hope you all enjoyed yourselves! I had a wonderful weekend, despite the fact that most of it was spent ripping out the BHK! Yes, a new kitchen is in the works! YAY! If you have ever demo’d your own kitchen, you can just imagine how much love we were sharin’….all weekend long! Lots of loud noise, dirt, dust and heavy labor! Perfect romantic weekend, right? Ugh! I’m totally pooped and my back is killing me!
It also happened to be under 20 degrees here at the beach all weekend. It was crazy cold! So before I said my final farewell to my old cabinets, counter tops and appliances I decided I needed to squeeze in one more recipe. I decided on this Rustic No-Knead Bread because when it’s cold outside there’s just something so comforting and warm about the smell of fresh bread baking. I also needed something easy because there was so much going on.
I know, can you believe it? I said easy AND homemade bread in the same sentence! If you follow the blog, you know I am somewhat challenged when it comes to bread making. Frankly, I have had more fails than I have had successes. But this Rustic No-Knead bread is different. The recipe is from Jim Lahey’s book, My Bread. I love his book because his recipes aren’t complicated at all, even for the novice bread baker. The secret to his bread is slow-rise fermentation. Four ingredients, five minutes of labor, no kneading necessary and then 12-18 hours of rising time. I make the dough after dinner and then cover it and let it rise overnight. The next morning I form the dough into a round, cover it with a linen tea towel and let it rise a second time for 1-2 hours, then it’s into the oven to bake.
When you see your finished loaf you won’t believe your eyes! So gorgeous, with so little effort. The bread comes out incredibly airy and light with a beautiful crackling crust. Slice it up, slather it with some butter and you’ll be in heaven! Hope you enjoy it friends! Stay warm and have a great week!
- 3 cups bread flour, plus additional flour for dusting
- 1 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 1/3 cups cool water (55-65 degrees F)
- Stir together flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Add the water using a wooden spoon and mix for 30 seconds. It should be very sticky to the touch. If it isn't, add another tablespoon or two of water.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (about 72 degrees) out of the sunlight, until the surface is bubbly and more than doubled in size, at least 12 hours, preferably 18. This is the key to the flavor, so don't rush it.
- After the first fermentation, dust a work surface with flour. Using a rubber spatula scrape the dough onto your prepared board in one piece. It will be very loose and sticky. Do not add more flour. Flour your hands and pull the edges of the dough into the center and make into a round.
- Place a linen tea towel (not terry cloth) dusted with flour on your work surface. Lift the dough, seam side down onto the towel. Lightly dust the top of the round with flour if dough is tacky.
- Loosely cover the dough with another tea towel. Place in warm, draft-free place for second rise, 1-2 hours.
- Dough is ready when size is doubled and holds impression when poked with your finger 1/4 inch deep.
- Place oven rack in lower third position. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees 30 minutes before the end of the second rise with a 4 1/2-5 1/2 quart cast iron pot in the center of the rack.
- Carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven. Remove lid. Unfold tea towel and lightly dust the dough with flour.
- Lift dough up on the towel or in your hand and invert quickly and carefully (the pot is extremely HOT) into the pot seam side up.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cover and continue to bake for 15 more minutes or until lightly browned.
- Using a heatproof spatula carefully remove bread from pot and place on wire rack to cool, about one hour.
- Use sharp knife to slice.
Adapted from Jim Lahey’s, My Bread, The Basic No-Knead Bread recipe