No Brainer Bread

In 18 hours you could have delicious French-esque bread right out of your oven. Don’t believe it? We couldn’t either! Since it sounded too good to be true, we had to give the recipe a go, and it’s become our go-to breakfast bread recipe. It is also fantastic as a sandwich bread, dinner bread, bread and butter pudding bread, or any bread really. We have ours going on Friday night to have nice and warm for breakfast on Saturday.

The name of this recipe is No Knead Bread, as you barely have to touch the dough. To omit the kneading, you leave the dough to develop for at least 8 hours, and up to 20. The longer you leave the dough to develop, the softer and more crumpet-like it will become. This style of dough was developed by Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery and adapted by Mark Bittman of the New York Times. Our recipe has been adapted from The Steamy Kitchen.

Ok, let’s go!

    No Knead Bread
    Makes 4 serves.

    Ingredients
    3 cups of bread flour
    1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (make sure it says instant on the packet)
    3/4 tablespoon sea salt
    1 1/2 cups of warm water (the water should be the same temperature as a very warm bath)

    You will also need an oven-proof (approx. 5 litre) pot with a lid. We use our stainless steel Ikea pot, but if you have a ceramic or cast iron pot you can use that instead.

    Method
    1. Into a big glass bowl add the flour, yeast and salt. Give it a bit of a mix with a fork.

    2. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the warm water all at once. Mix, mix, mix and stop when it all comes together (ie. little to no flour on the bottom of the bowl), the dough will look shaggy. That’s how it’s meant to look. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it sit in a warm place or on a table for anywhere between 8-20 hours.

    3. The dough will have more doubled in size and you will be able to see bubbles on the top of the dough. Flour a countertop or a clean cutting board with some bread flour. With a wet spatula or hands, spoon the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Fold the ends of the dough into itself making it into a ball shape. Line a clean bowl with parchment paper and flour the bottom generously. Place the dough ball inside the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave to rise for 1-2 hours. We have let it rise for this second rise overnight and that made the dough unbelievably soft and almost crumpet-like, but generally we leave it to rise for 1 hour.

    4. When your dough has half an hour left to rise, preheat the oven to 220 deg C with the covered pot inside.

    5. The dough should have doubled in size. Take the hot pot out of the oven and place a piece of circle parchment paper the size of the pot lid on the bottom of the pot. Then take your risen dough out of the bowl and into the pot. Put the lid on and bake for 30 minutes.

    6. After 30 minutes, take the lid off and bake for another 20 minutes or more, until the crust of the bread is golden brown. Take it out of the pot, peel the parchment paper off the bottom of the bread and let it cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then dig in! We love ours with butter and jam, or boiled eggs with salt, pepper and truffle oil. Either way, it is delish!

    7. To re-heat the next day, place the bread in a 200 deg C oven for 15 minutes. It will heat up and crust up again beautifully.