Stupid easy and Stupid good. This recipe is a serious confidence builder for the hopeless and lazy cook. Which is where I was quickly headed in the dead of winter.
As Fall turned cold and the Holidays crept closer yet flew past, I snuggled into our new house and new projects. In the past season I also spent lots of time weeded in the kitchen, but it was not my own kitchen and I certainly was not at leisure to photograph it. I learned a lot and managed to survive the crash course as acting sous chef during peak tourist season.
Now that things are warming up ( joking!) and tall dark and handsome hit the stacks again, I have more time in the kitchen. In the past month I hosted cookie parties, won the fruitcake wars, was introduced to Bacon Jam. I also learned that, when asked, people say they want Swedish meatballs because that is the only type of party meatball they can think of. Even after all of that adventure I was in a bit of a food rut.
I had entire meals that never made it to leftovers because the hit the bin first. After much consultation (aka, a night of wine with ladies), I decided to give the no-knead bread a chance. And WoW!
Bread made without kneading! It is stupidly good and stupidly easy. Who knew?? Apparently everybody. The no-knead phenomena is nothing new. I believe it has been produced by notable chefs like Jacques Pepin, replicated in Cooks Illustrated Magazine, and all over the blogosphere. After reading multiple variations, I went with the simplest. It was so simple that I had my doubts the ‘bread’ could be edible at all, but it was ah-mazing! I was happily surprised at the rustic loaf with a chewy crust.
This is great for toast, sandwiches, french toast, bruschetta ……
- 4cups flour
- Scant 2cups room temp. water
- 1 heaping tsp salt
- 1 heaping tsp yeast (active or rapid)
Whisk together the dry. Stir in most of the water, adding enough to form a sticky batter-like dough. Let the dough rest for 90 minutes and stir a couple of times. Cover dough and let rise overnight. Bake @ 450 degrees for 40 minutes. Tip loaf from pan and allow to cool on a rack.
- Feel free to change up the flour experimenting with different ratios of white, rye, wheat, corn, and bread flours.
- This can be mixed and baked in one sturdy casserole dish. If you are worried about sticking, then mix and rest in a mixing bowl, transferring to a greased casserole to bake.
- I let the dough rise overnight in the coolest part of my house. If you live in warmer climates, you may want to let it rise in the fridge.
- When heating the oven, place a small dish of water on the bottom rack. This will help the texture of the crust
- Before baking, feel free to score the top of the loaf and season with salt, seeds, grain…