No Knead Bread
Wow, wow, wow! The Most Impressive Recipe I have Ever Had Success With
Do you really need one more person to tell you how much they love this unbelievable and simple recipe, that produces a light, fluffy, crackly-crusted irresitable white loaf of bread that no one will believe was homemade.
Ever since first reading the article about Jim Lahey's "No Knead Bread" that was published [you will need free registration to view] in the New York Times over at Luisa's The Wednesday Chef I have been desperate to make it. But since I am currently being careful with my diet and trying to lose weight I have been avoiding white bread, which I can't resist and which I can't help but slather with thick wedges of butter. Instead, every three weeks I make a hearty loaf of wholewheat bread, cut it into 30+ of the thinnest slicest imagineable and indulge one slice at a time, spread with a modest amount of avocado.
Last weekend, however, one of my closest friends, Penny, was having a birthday/houswarming potluck party in her new home. This was the perfect excuse for me to try out the No Knead Bread Recipe, like many bloggers before me, including my sister, who kindly sent me the recipe (it was inaccessible on the NYT site for a while). The bread was a hit with everyone who tried it and I can't wait to make it again. Have you experiemented with no knead bread yet?
Recipe notes: I sucessfully used fresh compressed yeast instead of instant dried as specified in the recipe. I stirred it into the 1 5/8 cups of tepid water before mixing with the flour. I did not find the amount of water to be too much (a criticism I have read on other sites). In fact I had no problems at all. I used an oval Le Creuset 'Marmite' to cook my bread in. It turned out wonderfully except next time I might try a touch more salt.
Link to New York Times Recipe [free registration required]
Link to NYT video clip of Jim Lahey making the No Knead Bread. [Watch through the advert to see the video]
PS - Other very successful brunch potluck ideas I tried last Saturday: A Bakewell Tart using marmalade instead of jam and little bite-sized pies filled with a mix of bacon, sausage, mushroom and egg.
PPS - Update Dec 30th 2006: I am in Tahoe and I have made this bread at least half a dozen times. Despite the high altitude which usually leads to baking disasters, the innacurate measuring devices we have at our disposal and different rising times tried, this bread has turned out perfectly every time. Rock Star bread recipe!
PPS - Update Jan 3rd 2007: Thanks to a suggestion from Farmgirl, I tried baking two loaves at once without the aid of a covered Le Creuset. Not even a pizza stone - I just baked them on a metal baking sheet and still they turned out impressively. No-knead to ever buy bread again, heh?
Update Jan 23rd 2007: Just tried my first loaf using wholewheat flour, 2 cups white bread flour to 1 cup wholewheat. Divided the dough into two, rolled out into mini baguette shapes, baked on a pizza stone for about 30 minutes: results - very satisfying indeed.