I have always loved baking, ever since I was little.
Cookies, cakes, pies...you name it and I liked baking it.
But for some reason, bread always scared me.
It seemed like something those other, more serious bakers made
with all the kneading and punching,
which I'm not sure I know how to do.
No Knead Bread? Really? I didn't know that was possible!
Suddenly the door to homemade bread had been opened.
And I ran right through.
(Clearly I'm a little late to the game.
It seems food bloggers got a little crazy about this no-knead bread several years ago, as seen here)
The recipe was super easy.
I just involves some time for the dough to rise twice,
so make sure you start a day early.
I thought the bread turned out great and my husband loved it.
It was beautifully brown with a crunchy crust.
Next time I may try making it in more of a loaf shape to use for sandwiches.
Peasant Style Pot Bread
from A Chow Life
4 cups unbleached all purpose white flour, or white bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon instant, fast rising, or bread machine yeast
2 cups ice water, plus more if needed
oil for coating dough (corn, canola, vegetable, etc)
First Rise: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Vigorously stir the water into the bowl, scraping down the sides and mixing until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. If the mixture is too dry to incorporate all the flour, stir in more water, a little bit at a time. Use just enough to blend the ingredients. The dough should be very stiff - don't over moisten. Brush or spray the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. For best flavor, refrigerate the dough for three to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 18 to 24 hours. If you can, vigorously stir the dough once about halfway through the rise.
Second Rise: Using an oiled rubber spatula, gently lift and fold the dough in toward the center, all the way around, until mostly deflated. Don’t stir the dough, just fold it. Brush or spray the surface again with oil. Re-cover the bowl with plastic wrap that has been coated with nonstick spray. Set aside at warm room temperature to rise for 1.5 - 2.5 hours. Dough should double from its deflated size. Remove plastic wrap if you need to. See the original post for a few other rising options.
Baking: Twenty minutes before baking time, put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Heat a 3 1/2- to 4-quart heavy metal pot or Dutch oven in the oven until hot, then remove it using heavy mitts (obviously). Carefully, without burning yourself or deflating the dough, loosen it from the sides of the bowl with a spatula and invert it into the pot. Don't worry if it looks lopsided, it will even out with baking. Generously spritz or brush the top with water. Put the lid on the pot. Shake back and forth to center the dough.
Bake on the lower rack for 55 minutes. Reduce the heat to 425 and remove the lid. Bake for 15-20 minutes longer, until the crust is nicely browned. A skewer stuck in the middle should come out with just a few crumbs. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on the rack.