This recipes is so incredibly easy, it can be made by anyone and I can prove it. See the bread pictured above? It was made entirely without my help by a 16 year old who has never baked bread before.
Here's how she did it - she mixed the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon, then allowed the dough to rise for 14-20 hours, shaped it into a boule, then baked it in a preheated covered dutch oven. Total hands-on time was about 3 minutes - that's all! The resulting bread is nothing short of amazing. A lovely boule that is gloriously crispy on the outside and satisfyingly chewy on the inside. The recipe and technique were developed by Jim Lahey of the famed Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. I urge everyone to give this recipe a try - you will not be disappointed, I promise!
Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Add the water.
Switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon and mix, mix, mix.
Here we are just a minute or two later - how easy was that?
Cover with plastic and rise at room temperature overnight.
Fast forward to the next day.
Dust the counter with flour.
Dump out the risen dough.
It's going to be a little sticky...
So flour your hands too.
Shape the dough into a ball or "boule" (bool) as they say in France.
Tuck the edges under, turn, repeat - just a few turns is all it takes.
Prepare a long strip of parchment paper - it will act as a sling making it easy to move the dough around. It'll also make remove the bread from the hot pan easy too.
Gently place the dough on the parchment paper.
Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
Use a serrated knife to cut an "X" into the top of the dough.
Recover the dough with an upside down bowl and allow it to rise for 2 hours.
After 1 1/2 hours, place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven and casserole to 450F for a full 3o minutes.
Open the searing hot oven and carefully pull out the preheated dutch oven (see note in the recipe below for alternate cooking vessels).
Very, very carefully remove the extremely hot lid.
Using the parchment strip as a sling, carefully lower the bread dough into the preheated dutch oven.
That was easy!
Carefully cover the dutch oven and close the oven door. Don't worry about the excess parchment paper hanging over the edges of the dutch oven.
Bake for 30 minutes.
relax on the couch and cuddle with the kitty.
After 30 minutes, uncover the dutch oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
Carefully remove from oven.
Use the parchment sling to remove the bread from the hot dutch oven.
Place bread on a cooling rack.
Slide the parchment out and allow bread to cool completely before slicing.
Here's a safety tip used in professional kitchens - place a towel (or in my case, oven mitts) on the handles of the dutch oven to let others know the pot is hot.
Don't forget to do the same for the lid too.
When the bread has cooled completely, slice and enjoy!
Items used to make this recipe:
- digital scale http://amzn.to/2udKZBR
- oven thermometer http://amzn.to/2vgYZYw
- very good quality dutch oven http://amzn.to/2t7OUjZ
- parchment paper http://amzn.to/2t7fb1S
- serrated knife http://amzn.to/2vhkrwy
- digital timer http://amzn.to/2udHM58
- cooling rack http://amzn.to/2vgZHFh
- oven gloves http://amzn.to/2vh4bf3
- magnetic measuring spoons http://amzn.to/2ungJ8b
NYTimes No-Knead Bread
makes one 1.5-pound boule
- 3 cups unbleached bread flour (12 3/4 ounces by weight)
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (aka rapid rise or bread machine yeast)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 16-inch long strip of parchment paper
- In a medium bowl, stir together ingredients until all the flour is moistened and it looks like a shaggy mass. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 14-20 hours (18 hours being ideal).
- Have a strip of parchment paper approx 6x16-inches ready and waiting (I cut a half sheet size piece of parchment paper in half lengthwise).
- Lightly flour a work surface and with floured hands, fold the dough over itself twice. Cover loosely with plastic or an upside down bowl and rest for 20 minutes.
- Lightly flour your hands and shape the risen dough into a ball and place it on the center of the parchment strip, cover loosely with cotton tea towel or upside down bowl and rest for 2 hours (the parchment will act as a sling while transporting the dough). If you like, cut an "X" on top of the dough with a serrated knife.
- A half hour before baking, preheat oven and a 6 to 8-quart dutch oven to 450F (see note below for alternate baking vessels).
- When ready to bake, open oven door and remove lid from preheated dutch oven and carefully lower bread dough with its parchment sling into the vessel (it's ok if parchment paper hangs over edges).
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes until well browned.
- Cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife.
Note: According to the original article, the bread can be baked in a covered 6 to 8-quart heavy cast iron, enamel over cast iron, pyrex, or ceramic cooking vessel.
adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery