Saturday, February 23, 2008

Goodnight shaggy, doughy Mess!

Stumbled on this recipe for No Knead Bread this week, or NKM as it's called by foodies, which sounds so totally too good to be true. However, if this works out the way the recipe promises, this may just be the bread I adopt as my own to bake for the rest of my Life. By the way, by stumbled I mean I found this great site: where this recipe is not only posted but also demonstrated by the chef's 4-year old son - So I thought, how hard can this really be?

Any way, I spent a fair part of my afternoon looking for the right pot to bake it in - I resisted the initial temptation I felt to dash over to William-Sonoma and dump $200, deciding instead to begin my search at Marshall's and Home Goods where I've seen Le Creuset seconds for as little as $90, but no such luck today. I did however find this chic little teal substitute at Marshall's, and since this bread must be baked in a pot safe to 450 degrees, this is definitely the pot because while Le Creuset is safe only to 400, this puppy goes to 650 without breaking a sweat! So I'm the only girl you know that needs a $60 pot to bake bread... Would you really love me any other way? Baking isn't baking if it doesn't lead to shopping. Right?

If you read the recipe (below) you'll see I was supposed to end up with something resembling a, "shaggy, doughy mess" after mixing all the ingredients together. And, as you can see (above) I did!

Covered and ready to sleep. Good night shaggy, doughy mess - See you in the morning!

to be continued...

No Knead Bread

adapted from Mark Bittman of NY Times who got it from Sullivan Street Bakery.

Yield: one 1½ lb loaf
3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
1 1/2 cups warm water
Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel...something that can go into a 450F oven.)

1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.

2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you've got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Holding towel, dump wobbly dough into pot. Doesn't matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes. Best way to eat it? Smear a warm slice with some good butter (Kerrygold and Lurpac are both found in your grocery stores, usually on top shelf)

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