Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread

The disadvantage of having started a blog this late in the game is that I'm so behind everyone else in the food blogosphere in the matter of food trends. Case in point: the No Knead Bread phenomenon. I had read about a little while back but didn't have the opportunity to try it until... Last night I wanted to bake bread again (really I want to make bread every day) after the failure of the earthy (and not in a good way) tasting Anadama bread I made yesterday. I was scrolling through my recipe file and remembered this recipe. Perfect. Throwing together, literally, the flour, salt, yeast and water was so easy. I woke up this morning to a very well risen sponge like batter/dough. With minimal handling, I gave it a "fold", allowed it to rest and then "shaped" and set it to proof. I preheated a Le Creuset (genius) and baked the bread inside. I think this was the easiest bread I have ever made. And oh the rewards! My loaf was dark golden brown! My first to look this dark! I was so proud! Better yet, it sang!! It crackled for a good few minutes. I was overjoyed. And then, when I cut it open it had the most irregular holes I had ever seen in a loaf I baked. I nearly died. Such yummy bread!! I already have my eye on a couple of variations, so you'll be hearing about them one of these posts. The only thing I can say that I dislike about this method is the lack of tactile involvement. I like to feel, handle, and lovingly knead the dough with my own hands. But I'm glad I gave it a try and will try a couple more before this chapter of my bread baking closes. You should too (if you haven't already).

Just 3 cups of flour, 1 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp instant yeast.

Add 1 cup water + 10 tbsp water to the party and you get..
..a shaggy little dough.
Leave it to rest overnight at room temperature and wake up to this bubbly creature.

The dough with a minor fold and then catching some R & R.

The dough rising in a bed of flour.
Beautifully baked!!
Sliced.. Can you catch the crumb?? All those glorious holes?? I can!

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