Friday, September 26, 2008

No Knead Bread

If you haven't heard about the No Knead Bread craze, you haven't been in the food blogger world long enough! No Knead Bread became a phenomenon last year after a New York Times article was published. For the busy,the stay at home mom, or the home office employee, this is just the kind of bread that is hands off enough to make over a two day period but hands on enough to make you feel accomplished.

I have made the bread several times and each time I think that it would be even better with the addition of rosemary--but then by the time I get to the stage where I would add in the rosemary, I completely forget. Next time I will remember!

I made the bread the other day in a shortened period of time and it still turned out delicious. I had the day at home, so I thought I'd give it a shot and if it didn't work out I'd just make something different as a side for the potato soup I was making. The only thing that didn't work out was that I forgot to flour or grease the bottom of the pot I made it in and as a result the entire bottom half of the bread was impossible to extract. Luckily, I was able to salvage much of the loaf and the rest dislodged during a hot water spa soak in the sink.

I use Jaden's directions because she does it in pictures so it is easy to follow. Also, it really shows you just how the bread should look on each stage. The best part about this was that when I made it in half the time yesterday, I compared mine with hers to determine its state of readiness. I think my bread was a little flatter because of the small amount of time I let it rise, but it still tasted great!

3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel…something that can go into a 450F oven.)

-Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl
-Cover in plastic wrap and set aside on the counter for 12-20 hours or overnight (I set it aside for 8 hours)
-Later, remove dough from bowl and place on a floured surface, form into a ball folding in all sides (this is where I would add the rosemary had I remembered it)
-Flour a cotton dishtowel and place bread on towel and cover. If you put the towel in a pot, the bread will shape like the pot, if you put it on the counter it will be flatter. Let sit for 2 hours (I did 1 hour).
-With 1/2 hour left in resting time, put pot in oven (without the bread) and heat to 450. Remove the hot pot and add bread (GREASE AND FLOUR THE PAN FIRST).
-Bake covered for 30 minutes
-Remove the cover and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes until golden brown
-Cool on a wire rack, the bread will crackle as it cools, serve the same day, I have not found this bread to be as delicious the next day.

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