FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Adapted from New York Times
TOTAL TIME: about 20-24 hours
MAKES: 1 loaf
I made bread for the very first time exactly one month ago today with a recipe a good friend of mine recommended. Thanks to my friend, Laila, I am no longer a virgin to baking bread! The recipe she recommended is a no-knead homemade bread from New York Times. So far, I’ve made this bread exactly four times in one single month because it was that good. I needed a recipe that I couldn’t miss up since baking is not my forte, but every time, the bread bakes beautifully with a rich, crispy golden-brown exterior and airy, but filling interior. I followed the recipe fairly closely because I was a little nervous to change it up since baking tends to be an exact science. With my cast iron pot, also a wedding gift from Laila, I’ve made this bread to go alongside the Gambas al Ajillo and even more recently with a simple herb, garlic and olive oil dipping sauce. No-Knead homemade bread, it’s a good thing.
3 cups flour, all-purpose or bread
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water + 2 tablespoons
flour for dusting
1. Make the dough. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt and water until well blended. The dough will be a little shaggy and sticky. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let it rest in a relatively warm room for a recommended 14-18 hours. *I’ve let the dough rest overnight for 24-hours and it was fine too!
2. 15-minute rest. After the first long rest, little bubbles will form on top of the dough. Lightly flour a work surface. Using a spatula, scrape the dough from the bowl onto the floured surface. Flour the top of the dough lightly and fold the dough over itself 2-3 times forming a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.
3. 2-hour rest. Get a cotton cloth ready and heavily flour one side of the towel. Lightly flour your hands to pick up the dough and shape it quickly into a ball. Place the ball onto the floured cloth. Add a little more flour on top and fold the towel over to cover the dough. Allow it to rest for 2 hours.
4. Bake the dough. At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450°. As the oven heats, place a 6-8 quart cast iron covered pot in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the hot pot from the oven and place the dough in the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it in the oven for 30 minutes, and then remove the lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes to brown the top of the bread. Remove from oven and place the bread on a rack to cool.
Bread doesn’t stick to the pot at all. Just use a spatula to remove the dough and allow it to rest on a baking rack.
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