I’ve been in a bread baking mood these past few weeks, and I happened to chance upon this No-Knead Bread recipe from New York Times. As the name implies, there’s no kneading required to make the bread. And as an added bonus, it’s a 3-ingredient bread (excluding water, of course!)! I’ve made this many times these past few weeks, and never have I had any failures, so I would like to think of this as a foolproof bread recipe. It does require 12-18 hours of room temperature incubation. And it also requires something which I don’t have in my kitchen, which is a dutch oven casserole. I can, however, make a substitution for that, so it could still come out perfectly. I’ve also made some small changes to the recipe based on what other people have told me.
- 3 cups AP flour
- 3/4 tsp yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups water (lukewarm)
Sugar is completely optional. The original recipe and most recipe you’ll likely found online don’t require sugar, but I prefer to add a little bit of sweetness to the bread.
Whisk all the dry ingredients together.
Take 1 1/2 cup of lukewarm water (I just used warm tap water), and stir that together into the dry mixture.
It will look wet and very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and let it rise at room temperature for about 12-18 hours.
After the incubation time, the dough should have risen and will look bubbly. Sprinkle some flour to the dough, then shape the dough into a ball. Place the shaped dough onto a parchment paper, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rest for about 30 minutes. The parchment paper helps to move the rested and risen dough to the hot pan, and also prevents the bottom of the bread from browing too soon.
While the dough is resting, pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Inside the pre-heating oven, put a dutch oven casserole or any pan you’re using inside. The pan also needs to be pre-heated.
Ideally, a dutch oven casserole or a cast iron pot would be better. I don’t have any of those, but I do have this:
This is a cast aluminum cookware which is pretty sturdy and oven safe. I thought it would be a good substitute for cast iron or an enamel pot.
Let the pan (including cover) pre-heat in the pre-heating oven for about 30 minutes while the dough rests.
After the 30 minute rest, take the preheated pan from the oven, then place the parchment paper with the dough on top inside the pan. Cover the pan, then place it back into the oven and let it bake for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the cover, and let it continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes or so, until the bread has beautfiully browned and makes a hollow sound.
You are now left with this gorgeous rustic bread which is tasty and chewy in the inside, and with such a wonderful crust outside. It’s simply good as it is (especially while warm), but much better with a good quality butter!
There’s just no way any one could ever go wrong with this bread. It’s very easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Not to mention, I would like to think of this as a pretty healty bread (definitely much healthier than the store-bought white loaf!).