*Easy Bread "No Knead"*
By: Stella
29 January 2007

I came across an article about "no knead bread" and it looked too easy and good to be true so I had to try it. The main reason I wanted to test it out is because we love homemade bread and our alt. energy set-up just isn't big enough to run the bread machine- even for kneading only. For some reason I just hate kneading the dough by hand and a situation without power would be a little less stressful to have warm, fresh bread, with very little effort, just time.

3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon rapid rise yeast

Mix until dough looks "shaggy" and pretty moist. Then cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit about 18 hours in 70 degree room. It should be kind of bubbly and puffy. Then dump dough out on a floured surface (or cornmeal) and fold sides in once to the middle, then the top and bottom to the middle and flip seam side down and put some more flour or cornmeal on top and cover. Let rise a few hours.

Preheat oven and cast iron Dutch oven to 500 degrees and dump the dough carefully into hot Dutch oven and cover.

Bake for 25 minutes then uncover and bake for 10 more. The steam generated during the first phase is supposed to give you a great crust. Naturally I didn't follow directions so I just plopped it on a cookie sheet and shoved it in uncovered for 25 minutes, then about 5 more. It came out really good, I was very surprised. It did stick to the cookie sheet at the bottom so next time I'll oil it.

My crust came out nice and crusty, the inside is soft and the taste is good (and I don't usually like white bread). The original recipe called for all purpose flour and less salt but looking around through blogs I saw that most people had success with the bread whether they changed the recipe or not. Don't be afraid to try it or think you need special pans for this to work.

Many comments I read on blogs about this were about the "Lodge enameled Dutch ovens" on backorder because of this bread. Hmmmm... well I used a cheap grocery store cookie sheet, my gas oven and it really worked great. The next time we BBQ I'll try it in the Dutch oven on the pit.

Enjoy!
Stella



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