No Knead Bread
I am sitting here trying to start this post and all I can say is damn this looks good. I had such a hard time picking which photos to include in this post. The first one was not my absolute favourite, but when I showed Matt, he gasped and exclaimed – ‘that is the money shot’. So there it is an opener to this post. I don’t normally go on about my photos, but this post has been in the pipeline for some time and if you saw the photos from the last time I tried to do this shoot, well lets say you would definitely pat me on the back.
What I love about this bread is you don’t know what you are going to get. Its like having a baby. You know whats coming out – a little tiny human, but you don’t exactly know what it will look like, its traits and features are a mystery until it is born. No Knead Bread is kinda like that. Each time we, (when I say we, I mean Matt. I’ll admit he is better at baking than I am), bake it – it comes out looking different. Sometimes it is lop sided, with different cracks, but with one was destined for the stage. It was perfectly rounded, not lop sided with a very unique crack along the top and now I am getting a little obessed with it aren’t I!?
So here it is in all its glory. The loaf didn’t really need anything by its side to look good – it is so powerful on its own. All I did was set up my background and drop it onto the board sending the flour into a splatter pattern on the board!
All you need to make this bread is the ingredients, a cast iron pot and some time on your side. We seem to be making two loafs a week and because it is no knead and rises on its own, you do need some time to plan its rise and bake.
No Knead Bread
3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/3 cups cool water
additional flour for dusting
Cast iron pot with lid and a timer
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, salt and yeast. Add the water and mix until the mixture resembles a wet, sticky dough (about 30 seconds). If it isn’t wet and sticky, add a tablespoon of water.
Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours. This will be the first rise.
After 12-18 hours, dust your work surface generously with flour. Scrape the dough onto the work surface in one piece using a spatula. The dough should be loose and sticky. It doesn’t need more flour so don’t add any more.
With lightly floured hands, lift the edges of the dough towards the centre of the work surface and tuck the edges to make the dough round. Place a tea towel (made from linen or cotton) flat and generously dust it with flour. Place the dough onto the towel seam down (tucked edges) and lightly dust the top. Fold the towel loosely over the dough and place it in a warm, draft-free location for 2 hours. This is the second rise.
Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven with a cast iron pot in the centre of the oven with a lid on to 250 C (480 F). Let the oven and pot heat for half an hour and the second rise will be complete. Take the pot from the oven and remove lid.
Uncover the dough and quickly, gently and safely invert the dough into the pot. The seam side is now up (tucked edges). Cover the pot, return it to the oven and bake for half an hour.
After half an hour, remove the pot lid and continue to bake with the lid off. Bake for 15-30 minutes until the bread has reached a desired colour. Check the bread every 5 minutes as it can brown quite quickly.
Once the bread has reached a desired colour, remove the pot from the oven and use a heatproof spatula to lift the bread out of the pot and let it cool for at least 1 hour.