THE SIMPLEST, MOST
SENSATIONAL HOMEMADE BREAD
Jim Lahey’s Sullivan Street Bakery No-Knead Bread**
If you can measure, stir
and plan 21½ hours in advance, you can enjoy fabulous bread for an
everyday dinner. There’s little timing, no-kneading, no special pans
needed, and absolutely, no hassle. This is miracle bread --- and we
just had to tell you about it for Holiday time is a wonderful time
to show your family you care with warm just-from-the-oven-bread.
You’ll thank Jim Lahey (and hopefully us) for letting you in on the
secret. We encourage you with every bone in our bodies to try this
recipe. It changed our lives!
Timing: 2 seconds
mixing, 1-2 minutes folding, 20¼
hours rising, and 1 hour baking. That’s it!!!
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
1. In a large bowl
combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until
blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic
wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm
room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly
flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a
little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover
loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work
surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a
ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour,
wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust
with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel
and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more
than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450
degrees. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex
or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully
remove pot from oven. Place your hand under towel and turn dough
over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is
all right. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed;
it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30
minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until
loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on rack.
Yield: one 1½ pound
We love slices toasted
under the broiler --- and then drizzled with olive oil or spread
lightly with unsalted butter.
OUR NOTE: We have
tried this recipe successfully
with half whole wheat flour and half bread flour. We also love it
with two cups of best quality grated Parmigiano Reggiano added to
the dry ingredients before you add the water.
** As it originally
appeared in Mark
Bittman’s column in
The New York Times