No-Knead Crusty Bread.

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.

photo-4I 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!photo 1-2

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