This is probably the easiest bread I’ve ever made. And I’ve never made bread before! I’m talking crusty, crunchy, yeasty, beautiful and delicious bread. Made from scratch, right in your own kitchen. Nothing fancy about it. No kneading, no starters, nothing. You just need to plan in advance, mix a few things together, and wait. Patience is a virtue, my friends, and your patience will be greatly rewarded.
I have been a kick for making quick breads lately, but I decided it was high time to try and make some plain old yeasty-type bread. And I started out easy with this no-knead bread. You can find the recipe in a number of places online and I really didn’t change anything.
First thing you do is mix up the ingredients. And then you let it sit in that bowl for 12-24 hours. See? You have to plan in advance.
After that time period, you have a bowl of goop that looks like this:
You liberally put a bunch of flour down. Wet your hands and scoop out all of that lovely dough. The water on your hands helps it to not stick!
Smooth out that lovely dough and place it into a bowl with a floured cotton cloth (something it won’t stick to) and let it rise again for another 2 hours.
Preheat your oven. Stick a dutch oven in there to pre-heat, too. Plop your dough in, stick the lid on and let it bake. You uncover it and let it bake a little longer. Then you get this golden piece of perfection:
It’s so crunchy! And delicious! And you made it all from scratch with your own two hands!
It makes life just a little bit better. Especially when you eat it with butter. Mmm.
Make some! You can be proud of yourself, too.
3 cups bread flour (I like Harvest King bread flour)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine table salt (or 3/4 tablespoon of kosher salt)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1. Mix all of the above ingredients together until it just comes together. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit on your counter for 12-24 hours.
2. Lightly flour your surface. Wet your hands with water and scoop the dough out of the bowl (you can also use a spoon or something, but I just used my wet hands to get every bit out). Keeping your hands wet (so the dough doesn’t stick to you), smooth out the dough in a nice round ball with the seam on one side. Generously flour a cotton cloth or tea towel (not terry cloth, it will stick to that) and place the floured towel into a bowl. Plop your dough, seam side down, into the floured towel. Cover with another towel and let rise for 2 hours. It should double in size!
3. After 1 1/2 hours, crank up your oven to 450 degrees. Get our your largest dutch oven ( should be a 6-8 quart heavy pot with lid, cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic pot) and with the lid on, stick it into the oven while it preheats.
4. Once the oven is ready (takes about a half hour), take out your hot dutch oven (be careful!) and take the lid off. Take your dough of the bowl and plop it into the dutch oven. It’ll probably look weird and messy, but that’s okay. Shake the pot (with potholders!) so the dough is in the center. Place the lid back on and pop it into the oven. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
5. Uncover that sucker! It’ll look like it’s ready, but it’s not yet. Bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Cool and the consume (with butter, of course)!