It's usually the case that when Aubrey and I are craving good bread, we have to drive to Tulsa and then freeze our loot to make it last. Even then, it's hard to find good crusty bread that breaks your teeth on the outside and then lets them have a little fun on the inside. Yes, I think chewy things are fun. When I was little, I used to chew the glue that holds credit cards to junk mail. Fortunately, my treats have become much more sophisticated these days.
In the midst of preparing our horribly ugly 3rd bedroom for its transformation from pepto pink to a lovely neutral tan, we got a hankering for good bread and a two hour drive to Tulsa was off limits. So, I finally decided to try the infamous, Sullivan Street Bakery No Knead Bread. Since I generally suck at baking, I was really nervous at investing 18-20 hours into a no-guarantee creation( actual interaction with the stuff was only about 15 minutes...pretty easy.) It turns out that even a person who chews glue can make this bread. And, if you're a real genius, you can add more yeast to cut the time down substantially.
No Knead Bread
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed
1. Mix flour, yeast, and salt together in a bowl. Add 1 5/8 cup of warmish water. Blend. Dough will be wet and shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 8-12 hours at room temperature ( I did about 14 hours and let it hang out in the bathroom...the warmest room in the house. Don't knock it!)
2. Dough is ready when it has bubbles all over the surface. Flour a work surface and fold the dough once or twice. ( The original recipe says to lightly flour the surface but I found that the dough was just too sticky at this stage. I didn't add much more and I should have.)
3. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it hang out for 15 minutes.
4. Using "just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking" ( which will probably be a lot more than I used....) work the dough into a ball and place on a cloth ( not terry) generously coated with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. ( I used more flour and when it says generously, it means generously. I lost half my dough by not using enough.)
5. Dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat brand and cover with another cloth towel and let rise for 2 hours. It is ready when it doesn't readily spring back when poked and is doubled in size.
6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees during the last 30 minutes of rising time. Place a covered casserole dish or a cool dutch oven like the one I got for Christmas in the oven to heat up, too.
7. Carefully remove dish or dutch oven and flop your dough into it. The original recipe says seam side down but I didn't end up with a seam because I didn't use enough flour.
8. Bake 30 minutes with lid on and 8-15 more minutes with lid off ( depending on how crusty you want your crust.
That's it. It was smaller than it should have been due to the stickage but overall amazing. Our awful room is now halfway to a decent color and we're half way to Paris with this recipe. Coolness.
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