The Original No-Knead Bread Recipe is from Mark Bittman and published in The New York Times, who got it from Jim Lahey at The Sullivan Street Bakery. It has spread like wildfire among food bloggers over the past few years and now has as many variations as it has bakers. I found a starting place at Simply So Good and have been chasing this idea all over the internets since then. Hopefully I am not stepping on any toes by sharing my own iterations here. Which I will be doing. Because I am a bread-baking FIEND.
Basic Bread Recipe – a Not Inadequate Adaptation
1 1/2 cups AP White Flour
1 1/2 cups Freshly Ground Whole Wheat or Wheat Montana Bronze Chief Flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups cool water with 1 Tablespoon honey stirred in
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl (I use a 3 quart bowl and it’s perfect), and add the honey/water. Stir together until you have a very sticky and fairly unattractive dough that doesn’t resemble bread dough in any way. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours. I also like to cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, to keep it nice and warm.
When you are ready to bake, put your heavy, lidded, enameled cast-iron pot in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. While your pot is heating, turn your dough out onto a heavily floured counter or cotton dough towel or piece of parchment. Fold the dough a few times and shape it into a ball. Re-cover with the plastic wrap and let it sit until your pot is hot.
After your pot is nice and hot (they say 30 minutes, but Impatient Deb never waits that long), plop your dough into the hot pot (be careful. a 450 degree pot is no joke), put the lid back on, and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Remove the gorgeous loaf from your pot with a spatula and cool on a cooling rack (or a scrunched up piece of tin foil if you’re fancy like we are here at Chez Not Inadequate). There is no need to grease your pot or anything, just plop it right in. It won’t stick. Promise.
Notes: Other recipes call for all white flour, but y’all know that’s not how I roll. They also call for 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of yeast. I use 1 teaspoon because I think it benefits the wheat flour. Plus I like the flavor of yeast. Is that weird? I also use 1/4 cup more water than is usually called for, but I don’t know if I need it because of the altitude here or because of the wheat flour. Actually, it’s probably because the climate here is so very dry. Whichever, start at 1 1/2 cups, then you can eyeball your dough and decide if you need to add extra water. I’ve never seen a recipe that calls for honey, but I like my bread to have a slight sweet taste, so that’s what that’s about. Increase or decrease the salt as you see fit.
The first batch I made sat for 24 hours before I was able to bake it. The next two batches sat for 18 hours. The fourth batch sat for 12 hours. All batches were delicious. This bread is very forgiving. I’ve read that it is possible for your dough to sit too long and “over-proof” but I have yet to experience it.
You will get a lovely, thick-crusted, chewy artisanal loaf that would sell for $5 in a bakery. Perfect for dipping into soup.
I love soup.