Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread
Disclaimer: Despite what the rest of the world says, including Mark Bittman who claims even a 6 year old could make this bread… It took me several tries to get this right.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I was not able to execute this ‘fool-proof’ recipe.
I can however tell you that once you DO get it right, it is so rewarding to make your own bread. I feel like this may be the dawn of a new era.
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
- In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and stir just until blended; the dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest 12-18 hours, at warm room temperature.
- 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.
- 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 towel 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.
- 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; it may look like a mess, but it's fine.
- 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.