Hands down, easiest bread recipe….ever. No special tools, no kneading and no fancy techniques or ingredients, this bread recipe inspired by Jim Lahey’s popular pugliese sold at his Sullivan Street Bakery, is life-changing. I never dreamed that I could make bread this good.
I said good riddance to grocery store bakery bread after making my very first loaf of Lahey’s No-Knead, bread. The loaf comes crackling out of the oven with a golden crust and super moist interior. One loaf lasts just shy of one week in my house, so I try to make it once a week, I almost feel like a professional bakerette!
As easy as the recipe is, it does take a bit of planning. The mixing takes no time at all, but the first rise requires 12 – 18 hours. It’s this long, slow fermentation that gives the bread its rich flavour, so keep in mind, the longer the rise, the richer your bread will be.
Then you’ll need to shape the dough and let it rise for another 1 – 2 hours. Finally, it’s ready for the oven! Are you ready to try this revolutionary bread recipe?
Recipe from Jim Lahey via The New York Times Cooking
Yield: One 1 1/2-pound loaf
3 cups (400 grams) all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon (1 gram) instant yeast
1 ¼ (8 grams) teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
- In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups (383 milliters) water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
- Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
- Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
- At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.Note: Don’t tear into your bread until it has completely cooled, this usually takes at least an hour.