Yes, we call it a miracle! Take a look at this gorgeous loaf of bread. This rustic and hearty artisan style bread has a crispy golden exterior with beautiful ridges and a chewy soft center. You will want to gobble it fresh out of the oven with a good blob of butter! All this with minimal efforts and just 4 ingredients. Miracle, right?
Covid-19 times, crazy and unprecedented times. Empty stores and limited supplies of the most basic things you want and need… But I have some good news for you. In these times of “NO BREAD” I am coming with this extremely easy, no fuss, no-knead bread! This one gets me excited. This one will get you excited, everyone gets excited at the prospect of baking it, from beginner bakers to bread connoisseurs.
What is no-knead bread?
This recipe is the brainchild of Jim Lahey, baker at Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan. Everybody fell in love with this fastest, easiest and best way to make that loaf of bread, with only flour, yeast, salt and water. No fancy equipment or gadgets required. This no-knead method is highly flexible and forgiving. And it gives you such a perfect loaf that you will wonder why you ever spend all that time and effort kneading in the past.You basically throw everything in a bowl, mix it up, let it sit for a few hours letting yeast do its work, and then bake it in a pan with a lid. Your dutch oven works best, as it holds the heat well for creating a nice crispy crust.
Depending upon how quick you want to bite into this crusty loaf, you can either do a slow or fast rise. Using the slow method, you use active dry yeast and let your dough rise overnight, 12-18 hours. If you want your bread quicker, use instant yeast and rise 3 hours. We make it both ways. We’ll give you some tips and techniques and it will turn out great every single time!
Here is the easy and small ingredient list:
- Flour – Good old fashioned all purpose flour will give you spectacular bread. Saying that, you can use bread flour or even make variations by mixing in some whole wheat flour.
- Yeast – Instant for fast rise, active dry for overnight.
- Salt – Don’t skip it, it’s so important.
- Water – Use room temperature water for overnight fermentation or warm (up to 130°F) for faster rise.
Here is why you will love making this loaf:
MAKE A WET SLOPPY DOUGH : In a big bowl, mix flour, salt and yeast. Then pour in water and, with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until it is fully incorporated. This dough will be wet and sloppy, that’s what you want, you are not going to knead this one.
RISE : Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter top for the prescribed time. If you go a little over that is fine, it’s very forgiving. The dough will increase in volume double or more, and it’s surface would be bubbly and feel wobbly.
Once the dough has risen, you can immediately bake it or refrigerate up to one week, it only enhances the flavor. See… flexibility!! If you do refrigerate it, be sure to let it come to room temperature before baking.
PREHEAT THE OVEN AND POT : Place your pot in the oven (with lid) and pre heat to 450°F. Use oven mitts and use extreme caution while handling the pot.
SCRAPE THE DOUGH OUT AND SHAPE IT : Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. Remember, it’s going to be wet and sticky, that’s what you want. Again, no kneading. You are just going to roughly shape it into the ball. Add a little extra flour to the surface and fold the sides in. Don’t get too worried about making a perfect round ball, anything that resembles disc or oval shape is fine. Remember, it’s rustic looking to begin with, a scruffier ball will develop awesome beautiful crispy edges later. Place the ball on parchment paper, place it in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel until your oven is preheated.
BAKE : Remove the hot pot from the oven. We love our large Dutch oven for this bread. Open the lid and place the bread, along with the parchment paper, in the pot. Put the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes. This creates the the steam effect for that crusty looking bread.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes until it gets that golden brown color… just like that artisan bread you see in your local bakeries.
Wait at least 15 minutes before slicing it, to allow the center to finish cooking. This will test your patience, as the sight and smell of freshly baked bread is one of the most difficult thing to resist!
Oh, that yeast…
Some important tips:
- Once you open the yeast packet or jar, you must either refrigerate it or freeze it in airtight container. If you freeze it, you should bring it to room temperature by taking it out an hour before using it.
- One thing to keep in mind is that yeast is a living organism and and over time will lose its activity, even if you have never opened the jar. So if you are not a frequent baker, it’s better to buy smaller packets.
- Always check the expiration date. You wouldn’t want to use expired yeast, your dough won’t rise properly.
What if I don’t have a dutch oven? You can still make this loaf of bread, you just need to recreate the steamy condition. Keep some water in a pan on lower rack of the oven and bake the bread on a baking tray on the upper rack.
How flexible are the resting times? This bread is very forgiving. With the fast rise method you can get away with up to six hours and with the slow rise up to 24 hours.
Can I prepare my dough ahead of time? Absolutely! You can refrigerate the dough in a plastic container with a lid up to 1 week. You can even freeze the dough up to 3 months. Simply bring it to room temperature by keeping it on your counter for 3-4 hours or thaw overnight in your refrigerator.
How do I store this bread? This bread dries out faster than store bought bread. Wrap it in cling wrap and store on your counter for a couple of days or freeze for up to 2 months. After thawing, heat it up in the oven at 350°F for 5-8 minutes.
Try these awesome variations!
- You can make this amazing bread using half whole wheat flour and half white flour.
- Add Italian seasoning or fresh herbs like, rosemary or parsley.
- Add chopped garlic or roast the garlic head and add whole roasted cloves.
- Add jalapenõs and cheddar or parmesan cheese.
Make sandwiches… bruschettas… or just gobble it with butter and a glass of red! I have a feeling it’s going to be a regular affair in your home. When these crazy times are behind us and you have access to plenty of bread, you will already be hooked. There is no turning back from this freshly baked loaf! Ahhmmm… GET BAKING!!
Miracle No-Knead Bread, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups water
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add water and mix until you have an even consistency.
- Cover bowl and rest on counter 3 hours.
- Place large (mine is 7 quart) dutch oven in oven and pre heat to 450°F.
- Dust flour on work surface and scrape dough onto surface. Dust more flour atop dough. Fold in the edges and work the dough into a rough ball shape.
- Place ball onto parchment paper and transfer to bowl. If oven is not yet preheated, place dish towel over bowl.
- When oven is pre heated, remove dutch oven. Place dough, along with parchment paper, inside. Cover and return to oven. Bake 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and bake another 20 minutes, until bread has a nice golden color.
- Set bread on rack and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.
If using active yeast (as opposed to instant) let dough rise 12-18 hours.
You may refrigerate uncooked dough up to one week.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 174Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 585mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 2gSugar 0gProtein 5g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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