Contributors

Rach

I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.

Jess

Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.

Lissie

I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
No Knead Bread

I subscribe to Mother Earth News and in their Dec/Jan issue there was a recipe for No Knead Crusty Bread. I've attempted bread baking here and there and I can personally vouch for how important the kneading process is to made light, fluffy bread so I was skeptical that this recipe would be as good as the article claimed. But what did I have to lose?

The only drawback to this recipe is that you have to start the bread almost 24 hours before it is completed so you have to plan ahead. I whipped the dough together in about five minutes and then covered it and let it sit for 18 hours. I then followed the remaining instructions and a few hours later I pulled out of the oven a delicious, crusty loaf of bread that is perfect for just eating with butter, eating with heartier meals like stew, or having with cheese and wine. It is very similar to a crusty french style bread. I will definitely be making this again as it was so easy and so tasty.

1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

-Jess

 

3 comments:

Kristi Ann said...

I am going to try this. And since we are having beef stew (crockpot) it sounds like a wonderful, and easy addition.
I have a breadmaker I adore..but I can't resist the challenge. :) Plus I love doing this kind of stuff. Thanks for the recipe!

Laura Evers said...

Jess,

Thank you for mentioning us on your Web site. We’re glad you enjoy Mother Earth News.

Nice post on the No Knead bread. Glad the recipe was helpful.

Laura Evers

Mother Earth News

For more great recipes, check out our brand new Web site:

www.motherearthnews.com/real-food.aspx

Amy said...

I have made this a couple of times, and I love it! Try adding garlic, or anything else you like in bread, it is fantastic.





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