Wednesday, September 12, 2012

No Knead Crusty Bread

Like the rest of the world, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest, getting ideas and being inspired. A few days ago, I came across a Pin showing a No Knead Bread. It look so delicious and the recipe was too easy to be believed. I mean all you do is literally just combine all the ingredients together and let it proof! The unbelievable thing is, it only require 1/2 a teaspoon of yeast!! So make sure that yeast is active and fresh. I tested and threw out some doubtful yeast.

 I had been itching to make a crusty bread using my Le Creuset  Dutch Oven. I whipped out my little jewel that I had been hoarding for awhile - the silver the replacement knob that would allow my Le Creuset Dutch Oven to be used in a scorching 400-500 F oven ( the normal Le Creuset Knob is not rated for such a hot oven). Swap the knob and I was good to go.

I made the dough at 6 am on Sunday morning intending to bake the bread that evening. As it turned out, we spent the day watching "Lost" on Netflick and staying cool. In the end, it was too hot for me to think about turning the turning on the oven. So I pop the dough in the fridge to slow down the proofing. So instead of proofing the dough for 12-18 hours, it was more like 36 hours!!! It still came out beautifully crusty and delicious. So that was my adaption.

Recipe is an adaption by Emily on of Jim Lahey's My Bread.

Basic No-Knead Bread
slightly adapted from Jum Lahey's My Bread

6 Cups bread (recommended) or all purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
2 1/2 teasp. salt
2 2/3 cup cool water

In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated. The dough will be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When the surface of the risen dough is darken slightly, smell yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.

Lightly flour your hands and work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle more flour. Fold dough over itself twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.

Generously dust a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises. Place dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal or what bran. Cover with edges or a second towel and let rise for 2 hours until it double its size.

After about 1 1/2 hours ( 30 mins before end of 2 hours proofing time), preheat the oven to 425 - 500F degrees ( I use 425F on convection oven). Place a 6-8 quart Dutch oven or heavy covered pot in oven as it heats up. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove top towel from dough and slide your hands under the towel; flip the dough over in the hot pot, seam side up. Shake the pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

Cover and bake for 40-50 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes more, until a deep chestnut brown or to desired color. The internal temperature should be around 200 F.
Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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