09 February, 2008

Ultra-Easy No Knead Bread

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
  • Cornmeal

1. In a large bowl, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100°F). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and pinch off a grapefruit-size piece. Carefully turn dough in your hands to form a round; the bottom will be bumpy. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal and let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and quickly shut oven to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Makes 3-4 loaves.

From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François.

Each batch makes three or four loaves of crusty bread, but you don’t need to bake it all at once. The unused dough can sit in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and you pull off a portion and bake it when you want.