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Quick No-Knead Bread

One of these days I’m going to put together a whole list of bread recipes and how long they take from start to finish—that way, when you want to make bread but only have, say, two hours, you’ll know which ones you can choose from and which ones have to rise overnight and are out of the question. Because every time I’m browsing bread recipes, I fall in love with one, and then realize that it has to rise for 12 hours before baking. Baking fail.

This one falls somewhere in the middle, at about 4-5 hours.

no knead bread finished

I hadn’t tried a nice, simple artisan bread in a long time, only soda breads and the like. So it was nice to smell the yeast doing its thing, see it rise all puffy and wet, and get golden and crusty after baking. There’s a sense of accomplishment in that, not to mention how tasty it is!

no knead bread dry ingredients

Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.

no knead bread wet ingredients

Then pour in 1 1/2 cups of warm (not hot!) water. If the water’s too hot, it kills the yeast, so be careful it’s not scalding hot.

no knead bread dough rising

Stir until it forms a shaggy, messy dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 4 hours in a warm-ish place (about 70 degrees would be nice). I ran my microwave for a couple minutes, then placed the bowl in there. Halfway through the rising, I pulled the bowl out, ran the microwave another couple minutes to re-warm it, and placed the bowl back in.

no knead bread dough risen

This is what it looks like after 4 hours—still messy, and rather wet.

Lightly oil a work surface (or your hands and a bowl) and place the dough on it. Fold it over on itself once or twice, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for another 30 minutes. While it’s sitting, preheat your oven to 450 F and place a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, etc.) in the oven to heat up.

no knead bread dough ready to bake

no knead bread dough baking

When the dough is ready and the oven is hot, carefully remove the pot from oven. Slide your hand under the dough and plop it into pot, seam side up. Shake the pan a little if the dough is unevenly distributed, but don’t worry about it too much—it will straighten out as it bakes. Mine was still a little wonkus, but it tasted just as delicious.

no knead bread dough baking2

Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes or so (less if it starts to burn on top), until the loaf is beautifully browned.

no knead bread finished2

Keep a close eye on it that last 15 minutes, or the top may burn. Mine got a little singed. Let it cool before cutting into it.

Quick No-Knead Bread

  • 3 cups of flour (I used half whole wheat, half regular; could also use bread flour)
  • 1 packet (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons) of instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm (not hot) water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • Oil for kneading, as needed
  1. Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of warm (but not hot) water and stir until blended. The dough will be shaggy and a total mess, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest about 4 hours in a somewhat warm place (about 70 degrees would be nice). I ran my microwave for a couple minutes, then placed the bowl in there.
  2. Once the 4 hours are up and your bread has risen, lightly oil a work surface (or your hands and a bowl) and place the dough on it. Fold it over on itself once or twice, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for another 30 minutes. While it’s sitting, preheat your oven to 450 F and place a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, etc.) in the oven to heat up.
  3. When the dough is ready and the oven hot, carefully remove the pot from oven. Slide your hand under the dough and plop it into pot, seam side up. Shake the pan a little if the dough is unevenly distributed, but don’t worry about it too much—it will straighten out as it bakes.
  4. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes or so (less if it starts to burn on top), until the loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Original recipe here

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