One of the silver linings of “sheltering at home” during the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a bit more time to have some fun with cooking.
I have always liked to make bread and decided to experiment. The thought of a no-knead bread was appealing. Most descriptions and recipes I found credit Jim Lahey’s (owner of Sullivan Street Bakery) original recipe first published in the New York Times.
The first time I made it I used all-purpose flour and the towel technique described in the original Time Recipe.
The second time I made it (picture above) I used bread flour and parchment paper. I felt the second method had a better rise and was much easier to transfer to the Dutch Oven.
I mixed the dough late morning, covered tightly with the plastic wrap, and then let sit on the counter until the next morning. As described, it has many nice small bubbles on the top and was very wet.
Generously dust the parament paper, scrape the dough out and quickly form into a ball. You don’t want to knead it. Cover with the plastic wrap and let sit for another 30 minutes.
I took the hot Dutch oven out of the oven, grabbed the paper, and plopped the dough into the Dutch oven. I did cut a bit of the paper so it would not interfere with the lid and put it immediately back into the oven.
The picture was taken about 5 minutes after taking out of the oven. This is a very easy recipe to follow and creates a very crusty and tasty bread.
- 3 cups bread or all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1.5 cups warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees F)
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt and yeast until well mixed. Pour in warm water and use a wooden spoon to stir until a shaggy dough forms. The mixture will be very wet and very sticky to the touch.
- Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place, 8 to 18 hours until dough rises, bubbles and flattens on top.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Once oven is preheated, place a 6-quart Dutch oven (with cover) in oven 30 minutes before ready to bake.
- Punch down dough. Generously flour a sheet of parchment paper. Scrap dough onto parchment and, with floured hands, quickly shape into a ball.
- Place dough in the middle of the parchment paper and sprinkle top lightly with flour. Top with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
- Remove Dutch oven from oven. Uncover dough and carefully transfer to Dutch oven, by holding the parchment paper and carefully dropping into the Dutch oven. Put the lid back on the Dutch oven and return to oven.
- Bake bread 45 minutes covered, then another 10 to 15 minutes uncovered until dough is baked through and golden brown on top. Watch carefully so the top does not get burned. Cool slightly before slicing.