Recipe - No Knead "Sourdough" Bread

Recipe - No Knead "Sourdough" Bread

Bread. It deserves so much more than I can give it here in this paltry blog post. There are religious, cultural, and now dietary rants centered around this mythical mix of flour, water, and yeast, (and maybe another ingredient or two...salt? honey?).

This recipe for No Knead Bread was "made famous" by an article written several years ago in the NY Times by the great food writer Mark Bittman about a local baker, Jim Lahey, from the Sullivan Street Bakery. This basic bread recipe has appeared in countless newspapers, magazine articles,  cook books, and of course throughout the blogosphere since.

This bread is SO EASY to make and is SO WORTH the little effort it takes to make it, that you will feel like equal parts grandmother and hipster baker in one bite. 

Note: the "sourdough" is in quotes because it is not a true sourdough in the classic sense because we are not using a starter and so forth, but the overnight ferment, does give it that recognizable sour and tang you come to expect from a sourdough.

No Knead "Sourdough" Bread

3 cups bread flour (or 2 cups bread, 1 cup whole wheat)
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp kosher salt (sea is fine too)
1 5/8 cups tepid (lukewarm) water

In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until blended, at least 15 hard stirs.

Dough will be a little tacky and goofy looking.

Cover with plastic wrap (or inverted larger bowl/plate) and let stand for at least 8 but up to 24 hours.

After the standing time, turn dough into itself several times (this means fold the edges to the middle until all sides are now in the middle). Recover for balance of time. If you let go the full 24 hours, the bread will have more of a sourdough-like taste as the fermentation will deepen the flavor.

Turn out onto a floured board and pull sides into the middle. Invert, seam sides down or if you have a banneton (bread basket), place inside and with both scenarios, cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let sit for another hour.

Meanwhile, set your oven to 450 degrees and place your Dutch oven, with lid, inside (the Dutch oven acts as a second oven to keep the steam trapped and even cooking). After preheated (about 30 minutes), take Dutch oven out, dust the bottom with flour, and place dough inside. Give the dough two quick gashes with a sharp knife or blade and then place lid back on top.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and turn out to a cooling rack. If you tap bottom of bread and it sounds hollow, this means it is done.

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