Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mark Bittman's No Knead Bread

I just made Mark Bittman's No Knead bread. I realize that I am two years late in jumping on this bandwagon, but man, it is better late than never.


This bread is good.

The crust is crispy, but not overly hard. And the inside is light an fluffy. I can definitly understand the obsession that this recipe became when it was first published.


It may not be the prettiest thing I have ever seen, but it was so easy, I am really excited to try my hand at more bread recipes.

Mark Bittman's No-Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

(Source The New York Times)


Laura said...

I too am a latecomer to the famous Bittman No-Knead Bread. I made it yesterday and it worked beautifully.
2 questions--
a) I used regular yeast, the kind I used in baking other breads. What's INSTANT yeast and what's the difference?
b) Did you spray oil on your bread to make a shiny finish?

gwendolyn said...

It took me a long time to start making this as well. Now I'll never look back. So tasty!

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