I have seen some beautiful breads come from this recipe. Rustic with the wonderful characteristics of the breads you see in some of the great bakery houses. I’m really excited to have a couple basic artisan recipes to work with, each one having their own characteristics. I love the short rise version too using a pizza stone and have made a few nice loaves with that. This is a long rise recipe which gives it a great flavor and only uses 1/4 teaspoon yeast. The longer rise gives the flavors time to really develop..and using the covered pot in the oven again gives this bread a somewhat difference over the short rise method of baking. Both ways are great in their own way.
The bread shown here has a nice textured crumb with a wonderful crusty shell. So good straight from the oven. I toasted some up and paired it with a Spicy Carrot & Hummus Sandwich the other day and it was absolutely delicious! I also had some of this toasted with a chickpea salad and again, really great bread. I can’t say I have a preferred method yet as I’m just learning to play with the recipes and share my outcomes with you but I will say that the long rise is most likely going to come out ahead.
With winter coming, the soups of the season will need a good accompaniment. These breads will do just fine soaking up the juices and getting the last bits at the end. With only four ingredients and being simple to put together, making bread at home will be a pleasure. You can even make a large batch and store some dough in the fridge for up to a couple weeks, taking a grapefruit size piece at a time to make a fresh loaf while cooking dinner. You can vary the flours creating different flavors to pair with your dishes, as each flour adds a different taste and texture. I will be working on perfecting my technique of achieving that gorgeous chestnut color like Jim Lahey creates in his bakery. Adding in some herbs from time to time will also make this even more incredible. Lot’s of possibilities here! I have included a video on how to make this straight from the master himself, Jim Lahey. I highly recommend watching that before making the bread. You may also want to consult his original recipe I have included below as well. The following recipe is from The New York Times and is originally from Sullivan Street Bakery: No Knead Bread
NO KNEAD-ARTISAN BREAD: LONG RISE
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
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 5/8 cups water (1 cup + 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) (I used 1 1/2 cups)
- Cornmeal, flour or wheat bran as needed. (I also used some oats)
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 (it helps to use a rubber spatula to remove the dough, scrapping the sides down while the bowl is tilted); 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. 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. (I placed my dough on parchment paper covered with flour, sprinkled more flour on top of my dough so towel wouldn’t stick and laid a towel over for the 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; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K (Here I lifted the edges of the parchment paper with dough and placed it straight in the pot). 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.
My loaf consisted of 2 cups organic unbleached wheat bread flour & 1 cup whole wheat flour. Next time I will start the oven at 500 degrees to get it hot and reduce it to 450 or 475 after I put the bread in. I also forgot to slash the top before baking, this recipe doesn’t call for it but it really gives it that rustic feel. Using the parchment paper keeps the mess to a minimum with pretty much the same results…as with anything, the more practice, the better we get and find the little tricks that work best individually.
Youtube video with Mark Bittman & Jim Lahey for No Knead Bread…takes 5 minutes to watch and is helpful!
Here is my other recipe for No Knead Artisan Bread: Short Rise….I would suggest taking hints from both recipes and creating something unique and wonderful to suit your needs. Together these recipes will give you great fresh bread whenever you want it.Here is an article from Huffington Post about the different uses of flours you may find helpful…Flour Guide: Which Types To Use For Baking
Bring on the winter and the soups…
Happy bread baking….Enjoy!