no-knead bread

Posted: November 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

I can mark my different cultural experiences by the bread I ate there. My father, whose favorite food could be boiled down to “hot bread” always knew the closest bakery anywhere we went and at what time they opened so that he could buy their bread when they were fresh from the oven. On Fridays (Saudi’s weekend) my dad would head over to the baker down the street at eight am and order two flatbreads – one plain for him and one sugared, for us. He’d return home with the plastic that carried it steaming, the condensation brimming around the edges. In the Philippines, he’d get up at five for the a bag of a dozen pan de sal (literally “bread of salt”) for our breakfast. On a short trip to Singapore, I woke up to him at the foot of the bed already chomping on a fresh sandwich from the bread cart down the street from the hotel. When I left for college, I didn’t immediately pick up the habit until I left for my study abroad my junior year in Paris. I found a bakery at Denfert-Rocherot stop that had fresh bread at 8 am, so I’d stop by before my first class to get a loaf “coupe” just so that I could watch them feed the bread through the little machine. Jimmy introduced me to sourdough bread in Vermont. I’ve been intimidated by making bread, however – all that kneading! So imagine my surprise when I found this recipe. It’s easy, easy, easy. And the extra day’s planning ahead is little sacrifice for the Proustian madeleine experience of fresh bread on a weekend morning.


The recipe was taken from Simply so Good: Crusty bread.

3 c bread flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c water, warm



Whisk flour, yeast and salt in a 3-4 quart bowl with a tight fitting lid. I like to use my trusty Tupperware. If you don’t have a bowl w/lid use plastic wrap on a bowl. Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is mixed well. The dough will be quite sticky and shaggy looking, but that’s OK. Cover the bowl and set aside for 12-18 hours,(up to 24) overnight is fine.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a cast iron Dutch oven with the lid into the oven while preheating and heat the pot/lid for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape the risen dough from the bowl onto a heavily floured surface. (Dough will still be very sticky.) With floured hands, gently shape the dough into a round loaf, making sure there’s enough flour on the surface so dough doesn’t stick. let the dough just sit there until you’re pot is preheated.


Take the hot pot from the oven and gently place the dough into the pot. Cover with the lid and return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid at that time and return the pot to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Gently shake the loaf onto a cooling rack and enjoy the beautiful aroma. Give it a chance to cool before cutting into the loaf.


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