Tuesday, March 13, 2012

No Knead Artisan Bread

I am a carb addict and love bread with soups, salads, casseroles, pretty much anything! :) I also love to make breads that are easy and don't take a lot of effort. This one definitely fits the bill! No kneading, just a little mixing and throw it in the fridge... Try it, seriously, it's easy! :)

No Knead Artisan Bread
(recipe found from Nourishing Hearts!)

3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees)
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (not table salt)
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white flour

Add the yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart container with a lid - not airtight but able to lift a corner for venting. Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon until uniformly moist. Don't knead! Cover loosely and allow to vent. Allow mixture to rise at room temperature (about 2 hours) until the mixture begins to flatten overall. If temperature is too low it can rest for longer rising time, up to 5 hours or overnight and this will not harm the result. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

On baking day: pull up and cut off a portion of dough (approximately the size of a large grapefruit). Hold dough in hands and add a little flour as needed so it won't stick to your hands. Gently shape the surface of the dough by pulling the bottom down on "four sides" shaping into a round loaf, rotating the ball as you go. This should take no longer then 20-40 seconds - more handling will result in a loaf that is dense. Place ball on parchment paper. Let it rest, uncovered, for about 40-90 minutes.

20-30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 (if using a baking stone, place the empty stone in at this time too) using the middle rack in your oven. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf below, trying not to interfere with the rising bread. Dust the top of the loaf with flour, which will allow the slashing, serrated knife to pass without sticking. Slash a few 1/4" deep cuts along the top of the bread. This will help with expanding. Slide the loaf and parchment paper onto the baking rack in the oven. Quickly but carefully, pour about 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the door to trap the steam. bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is browned and firm to touch. Allow the bread to cool completely.

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