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!
NYTimes No-Knead Bread
makes one 1.5-pound boule
- 3 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (aka rapid rise or bread machine yeast)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 5/8 cups water (1 cup plus 10 tablespoons)
- 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 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 and rest for 15 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 and rest for 2 hours (the parchment will act as a sling while transporting the boule). 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.
- 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 15-30 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