There are few recipes as simple, fundamental, and satisfying as bread. If your bread has more than 5 ingredients in it, there’s something terribly wrong with that loaf. I tend to associate recipes that take more than 4 hours as the perfect ones to make during fall and winter months. Nothing passes the time better than snuggling up inside on a cold day and following a recipe that produces great results. This is definitely one of them. Little prep time, long proofing process, no kneading, and a crusty loaf to top it off.
Yield: 1 Loaf Time: 15 m active, 24 h total
3 cups bread of all purpose flour
1 tsp dry active yeast
2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups warm (110 F) water
Step 1 Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl, preferably a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Mix to combine, then add water and mix until a shaggy cohesive dough forms, about 3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 18-24 hours.
Step 2 Generously flour work surface and turn dough mixture out onto surface. Dough will be very sticky, use flour to avoid sticking to your hands and work surface as necessary. Fold dough in half then shape into a ball by stretching the dough and tucking the edges underneath. Cover with a towel and let rise for an additional 2 hours
Step 3 Place a Dutch oven, large cast iron, or some other non-stick heavy bottomed pan in the oven and preheat to 450 F. Once oven comes up to temperature, carefully remove pan from the oven and place your dough mixture inside. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid after 30 mins and continue to cook for an additional 15-20 mins or until crusty and golden brown.
Step 4 Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack. Serve warm or store in a cool dry place for up to a week.
Tips: This no-knead method produces a more wet and sticky dough compared to typical bread recipes. You want to handle the dough as little as possible to retain the bubbles inside while at the same time forming it into a ball. Try not to stress about the shape before going into the oven, the heat will be the great equalizer.
Not sure if the bread is done? Giving it a tap on the bottom of the loaf will help determine if it’s ready. When given a hard tap, the bread should sound and feel hollow on the inside while strong and crusty on the outside. Mmmm crusty…