Alright, I admit it, I am the world’s laziest bread maker. Sure, I have countless dog-eared recipes and grandiose plans of lovely kneaded loaves with the most delicious crumb, but I don’t usually have the foresight to really make it happen. Enter the wonderful world of no-knead bread recipes!
I usually fall back on the wonderful Peasant Bread by Alexandra’s Kitchen, but demand for freshly baked bread around my house has been high this week (thanks, sick lover) and I was inspired by King Arthur Flour to make life a little easier for myself.
The greatest part of this recipe is that you quite actually dump 4 ingredients into a 6 quart container, stir, cover, and let sit until you feel like dealing with it again (at least 2 hours, up to a week). I made my dough last night and I’m already about to bake off my second loaf. The longer you leave the dough to ferment, the more complex the flavor becomes; you can get 3-4 loaves out of this recipe.
This bread is genius because it requires virtually no active time and it bakes off with a thick crust and beautiful golden color. Don’t be like me, make sure you do a significantly better job of slashing your loaf before baking, unless you like the shattered look pictured below.
Recipe for No-Knead Crusty White Bread from King Arthur Flour, inspired by the wonderful book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François.
*See King Arthur Flour post for tips and tricks
Ingredients: I used a digital scale
- 32 ounces (6.5-7.5 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1.5 tablespoons active dry (or instant) yeast
- Combine all ingredients in a 6 quart (or larger) container, an industrial style with a lid works best, I have a Rubbermaid which should run you less than $15 on Amazon. Cambro is a good brand.
- Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours (I only let mine sit out for about an hour before putting it in the fridge and going to bed at 9:30pm), then either proceed to baking or place in fridge.
- When ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough with a sprinkle of flour and use oiled hands to grab a softball sized chunk, between 15 and 19 ounces. Mine was just under 19 ounces. Use a little flour to shape dough into a ball, then place on a half sheet pan covered with oiled parchment paper, and dust with a little flour to retain moisture. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least an hour, or until the dough warms and begins to puff out (note, I didn’t say up).
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, place a metal baking dish on the bottom rack, leave the second rack in the middle of the oven. Boil some water (about a cup) and set aside.
- When ready to bake, use a sharp knife to slash the top of the loaf 2-3 times, then place sheet pan into the oven and quickly (but carefully!) dump water into metal vessel; the water will bubble and steam. Quickly close the oven, and bake about 30 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped from the bottom.
- Transfer bread to a wire rack and allow to sit until cooled. Scarf.
Until next time,