No-Knead Bread

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No-Knead Bread

Post  Admin on Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:28 pm

No-Knead Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1-1/4 teaspoons salt

1-5/8 cups tepid water

Cornmeal, wheat bran or flour 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 warm 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 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.

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. (Generally, the dough is more batter-like than doughy, so don't expect to be able to make it 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. (I tried this and the dough stuck to the towel. It's better to just place the dough -- it's more like a thick batter -- in a bowl sprayed with vegetable spray and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap). Let rise for about 2 hours. When it's ready, the dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. (Actually, the dough is so shaggy, you can't really tell whether it springs back or not!)

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 4- to 6-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's okay. 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. Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

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