No-Knead Bread – With Sourdough Option.
This one is really easy, and the bread is as close to artisan as you can get. A sourdough adaptation follows the recipe.
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising
Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf
Clay Coyote No-Knead Bread Bowl
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1 teaspoon yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt (may take a hair more)
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. This can be done in the Clay Coyote No-Knead Bread baking bowl to save washing up an extra bowl.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap or put the lid on. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. If your thermostat cuts back at night, place on stovetop, set oven to minimal temp (probably 150-170) and place a dish towel over the covered bowl on the stove top (not in the oven).
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. Clean up bowl, if used for rising, while bread rises under cloths
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 400-425 degrees. Put your Clay Coyote No-Knead Bread bowl with lid in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, use pot holders to carefully remove pot from oven and set on a cooling rack or cloth surface. Slide your hand under the towel and bread 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.
5. 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.
SOURDOUGH OPTION (added by Tom Wirt)
If you’ve got a true sourdough starter, instead of yeast, put a 1/2 cup of starter in initial batter. Decrease water by 1/4 cup to 1-3/8 c. Then follow the rest of the directions. Be sure to give it the full 18 hours or more. You’ll get a tangy sourdough loaf. (Do not use one of the friendship bread starters for this – they are not a true sourdough starter).
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Originally published Nov. 8th, 2006 New York Times (copyright)