Friday, February 12, 2010

crusty white bread

i love bread way too much. and this does NOT follow your new whole wheat regime jen, but i promise it's good for soup dipping!

No Knead French Bread
From Artisian Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (i've been coveting this book)

3 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Grab a very large mixing bowl, or a large container that you can cover. In it, mix the water, yeast, and salt. Just let that sit together for a while (you don’t have to wait for the yeast to dissolve completely), then dump the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. You don’t need to knead this, and you’re not looking to make it come together into a dough ball. You just want everything mixed well, with no streaks of flour left, and you’re done.

Leave it in your container, covered (but not airtight, or it’ll pop), for a few hours. When it has risen and then deflated a bit, your dough is done. It’s ready to be used or stored in the refrigerator.

To bake the bread, just grab a chunk of dough, about the size of a grapefruit. Dust your hands with flour to help prevent sticking, and gently pull the sides of the dough toward the bottom, rotating the dough, until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface. It should only take you about a minute or less to do this. The dough won’t be entirely in the bottom, where it may look bunched up, but don’t worry about it.

Put it on a cutting board that’s been dusted with cornmeal to prevent sticking (i used flour and it worked fine), and let it rest for about an hour. No need to cover it. If the dough has been refrigerated, it helps to let it rest a little more, until it’s no longer chilled.

Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake, put a pizza stone (or cast iron skillet) in the middle rack of your oven, and put a cookie sheet (or broiler pan) in the bottom rack. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Dust some flour on the top of your loaf, and slash the top, about 1/4-inch deep.

After twenty minutes of preheating, it’s time to bake. (You can put the bread in after 20 minutes, even if your oven hasn’t reached 450 degrees yet.) Slide the loaf onto the baking stone(i put parchment between my bread and the pizza stone for the first ten minutes to prevent sticking and then pulled the parchment out), and then quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler pan. Then quickly shut the oven door to keep the steam inside.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until you get a nice brown crust. Remove and let cool completely, if you can wait that long.


Kate said...

This looks awesome, Kristen. And I love that we're on the same wavelength for recipe goals. Now if only I could plan stuff out each week like you can . . .

Jennie said...

Oh and you know what a carbs addict I am! Watch me eat a whole loaf all by me onesie....good thing I'm not the primary target of the pretty colors diet ;) Looks delish!

Lauren vdH said...

Yum! We just made this last night and it was so good! Thanks for sharing Kri! Most of it was dipped in our soup, but the leftovers we dipped in balsamic vinegar. Like at Macaroni Grill... so good!