No Need to Knead Bread

Is there anything better than loaf of homemade bread? I have huge sweet tooth but homemade bread trumps pies and cakes any time. I don't like to knead -wondering if I've done it long or hard enough. I don't have a warm place to raise the bread so I'm never sure I've let it rise enough.

A few years ago the NY Times ran a recipe for 18 hour bread here that required no kneading and no warm "rising closet". I made it for awhile but could never get my act in gear 18 hours ahead of time. The next year the Times ran another bread recipe here that only needed 2 hours. I liked the second recipe but preferred the directions of the first so I combined them.

1 1/2 Tablespoons dried yeast (1 and 1/2 packets)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (although I've found any flour or combination work)
3 cups hot tap (100 degrees) water
corn meal

large bowl
2 - 1 quart saucepan and lids (although any saucepan works - small ones will result in tall loaves; large ones, shallow loaves.)

You can cook this bread anyway you want; as a pizza dough, rolls or rectangular pan loaves. I like the artisanal look of round ones.

Dissolve yeast and salt in 3 cups of hot tap water in a large bowl. Stir in 6 1/2 cups of flour until there is no dry flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Half an hour before you wish to cook your bread, heat your oven to 450 degrees and place your 2 saucepans in the oven with lids on. Allow to heat for 1/2 hour. Take your pans out of the oven, remove lids and sprinkle with corn meal. Cut the bread dough in half, gently form into loose balls. Drop into the pans and shake to distribute the dough. *note - the Times calls for a second rising but I've never found it necessary.

Cover the pans with the lids and bake (at 450) for 30 minutes. Remove the lids and cook (450) for another 20 minutes.

My pans are a tiny bit narrower at the top making removing the bread a challenge. I wait until the bread cools to coax the bread out with my hands.

This recipe makes 2 loaves, but if you want a larger loaf, use the whole recipe in a dutch oven or soup pan.

Isn't this beautiful?

The bread has a crunchy crust and a heavy body filled with holes, like a rustic french bread.

Wrap in cellophane, tie with a ribbon and believe me, this will be the best hostess gift EVER.


Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Martha Stewart usues this recipe, too. I just heard her talking about it on her radio show. So of course I went out and bought a big old black lidded pot like she uses (at goodwill) so that I can make some too! It sounds delish!

Gail said...

The Times recipe used a heavy pot too but as you can see I was able to use an ordinary saucepan. No need for special pots.

Leslie said...

Love the look of this bread. I can't wait to try it. What is the size of the saucepan you used when you made two loaves? And when you put the lid on, does the loaf not rise high enough to hit the lid? Sorry for all the questions. I just like to understand what I'm doing before I begin! Thanks for sharing!

Sarah Krouse said...

my mother used this recipe for all her breadmaking and it was delicious. but the way you bake yours turns out beautifully! can't wait to make my own artisianal bread. thanks for sharing! :)

Feral Turtle said...

We have been using the no knead pizza recipe for years! Makes the best dough ever!

Gülce Korkmaz said...

Cute! What a fun card. Thanks for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's!

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writersperhour said...

I was always interesting in different recipes. I love bread so much and like to use it when cooking.

I read your article about week or two ago, since that day I thought when can I use this recipe. Yesterday I found the way I can use this recipe!
This weekends we will have kind of a party, and there will be my colleges from writers per hour. I will make this delicious bread as a starter for everyone to try it. I understand the need of holes and heavy body of the bread, but there are some different types of bread with the same characteristics. Can I use some other kinds of bread, or the only one I can use is a French?
Thank you.

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