For years I've wanted a Kitchen Aid mixer with the idea that I'd finally start making bread, pastas, and many of the baked goodies that are hard or impossible to mix with your average hand mixer. Ironically after finally buying myself a mixer and researching bread recipes online the first recipe that I wanted to try was an recipe that Mark Bittman made popular over a year ago with a New York Times article, a recipe that you don't need any sort of mixer what so ever to make. Apparently everyone and their dog has tried it with much success so this weekend it was my turn, and now I'll add to the many bloggers who have posted pictures and the recipe for the No-Knead Bread.
First off I've got to say that this is an easy recipe, worth making and very delicious, but it's also a recipe that takes up to 15-16 hours to make. So, if you want to have it ready for dinner at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday evening you'll want to start it by at least 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. on Friday.
No-Knead Bread (Yields one 1 1/2 lb loaf)
3 cups all-purpose or bread flower, more for dusting
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups 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 room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle with a little more flour and fold it over once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. 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 town 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.
4. 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. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes.
5. Remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a wire rack.
It is a delicious bread -- perfect for soups or buttered up for any meal.