I’ve mentioned before that I’m typically quite bad at baking bread but I’ve improved of late. In fact, I’ll have an updated recipe for brown bread just as soon as I made another loaf and remember to take pictures of it before we eat all of it.
Yeast breads though – woof. I’ve gotten better over the years but the time/reward ratio never quite pays off as far as I’m concerned. I had some moderate success over the winter with making white sandwich bread, but it’s difficult to time all the proofing and rising.
I got this no-knead bread recipe in a King Arthur email late last week and decided to give it a try. I made the dough very late in the evening and put it in the refrigerator just before going to bed, pleased to see that it had indeed risen to great heights; in the morning, I grabbed a hunk of it and baked it, with very good results.
The basic process is: dump ingredients into a bowl, let sit at room temp for two hours, refrigerate anywhere from overnight to seven days, pull off a hunk, let sit again at room temp for 45-60 minutes, bake 25-35 minutes. Sound easy? It is, very easy. I halved the recipe in case it was a disaster but the next time I’ll make the full amount, especially if I need bread for a group. I think cutting off smaller hunks of dough and baking them as dinner rolls would be excellent. I’m also eager to try this as pizza dough, as a baguette shape, or flatter for a ciabatta-type loaf.
There are a lot of helpful pointers in the comments on the recipe, so I recommend reading a couple pages into them. One thing I definitely agree with is leaving the bread to cool in the oven (oven shut off and the door propped open a few inches) to get the crust as crispy as possible.
I’ll be interested to see how the next loaf tastes and looks after a few extra days in the fridge!