Monday, January 7, 2008


I've come to realize that I was still in my lost period while the no-knead bread phenomenon flew by. Since I am a relative newcomer to the blogging world, it seems like every other blog I read has something new and amazing to entice me. Last month I took part in the Menu for Hope fundraiser. In the process of investigating what to buy a ticket for, my online travels lead me to the fabled no-knead bread.
There were quite a few sites with recipes and links, but I finally came across the one that drew me in. It's writen by Morgana. She presents her recipe in conjunction with photos. I'm very visual and even though I've used this recipe several times, I still like to go back and check the pictures.

No-Knead Bread

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/2 cups water

Combine the dry ingredients, add water and stir just enough to make sure you get all the dry flour on the bottom of the bowl into the dough. Cover and let rise for about 12 hours. When you get home from work, it should be perfect.

Prepare a floured surface, and dump out your dough, it will be wet and sticky. Sprinkle the top of the blob with a little flour, with a scraper or spatula fold over all 4 sides like an envelope. Cover with a non-terry cloth towel and let rest for fifteen minutes.

Now let it rise the second time, but first, refold the dough into a rough loaf shape (it’s very fluid dough and won’t stay in a perfect loaf shape; it will be a roundish blob) and place on a 12 x 18 inch piece of parchment paper. (It was this step that sold me on this site. Every other one said to try and move the blob in a towel or by hand, this just seemed a sheer genius way to do it) Again, cover with a non-terry cloth dish towel and let rise.

After the dough has risen for 1 1/2 hours, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the baking pan and lid inside. Let the dough rise for another half hour while the oven heats for the full 3o minutes.
You want the oven and the pot extremely hot. Carefully remove the very hot pot from oven. Take the towel off the bread. Pick up the parchment paper with the dough on it and carefully lower both into the hot pot. Sprinkle with Kosher salt if desired. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. (The parchment paper won’t burn.) Remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes

Remove the pot from the oven and carefully lift up the edges of paper and place it and the bread on a cooling rack. Pull the paper out from under the bread and let the bread cool before slicing… if you can resist the aroma of warm, fresh baked bread. I like to rub butter over the top and sides.
I have made this loaf several times now and I like it more each time (as does The Don). It makes wonderful panini sandwiches, I have only one criticism. The bread itself seems to be rather bland, it tastes better if you use salted butter, or once buttered, sprinkle a little finishing salt on it.

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