Diary of a Lazy Bread Maker

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Process:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Transfer bread to a wire rack and allow to sit until cooled. Scarf.

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Until next time,

Dretta

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One thought on “Diary of a Lazy Bread Maker

  1. Nicely done, Alexandra! Especially the pictures that show what will happen when the loaves aren’t slashed – and it’s still beautiful and delicious. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

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