Easy and Delicious Bread Recipe

Bread in Bush Alaska is a prized commodity. If you buy it at the store, it's expensive and usually on the verge of going bad. If you bake it yourself, it can take up a lot of time. Luckily, there's "no knead" bread.

The "no knead" bread recipe published in the New York Times several years ago has become a sort of cult internet recipe classic. I however, didn't find it until recently when over at a friends house.

During a dinner party, my friend John presented his guests with a beautifully round and golden old world style loaf of bread. I forget what else was served, but as a bread lover, I sure do remember that loaf. The crust was chewy and the insides soft and moist. It was delicious. "This bread must have taken you hours to make," but then John corrected us and pulled out his recipe. The beauty is that you let the yeast do all the work. No skill is needed, just time.

Here is what I do to make no knead bread:

-mix in a huge bowl (I add more flour or water as necessary to get a nice flaky/matted dough) -3 cups all-purpose flour -1/4 teaspoon powdered yeast -1 1/2 cups water -cover bowl with plastic and stick in a warm place -let sit for about 18 hours -dough should develop little bubbles and holes in the surface and seem runny -use a spatula and a little flour to turn the dough over several times to form a ball -let dough ball sit on floured counter for 15 minutes -lay a kitchen towel in a round glass pyrex casserole dish and flour heavily, then put dough ball onto towel -flour the dough ball a little if it seems too sticky and then fold up loose corners of towel to cover dough and let sit for 2 hours -carefully flip dough into casserole dish and remove the towel -bake in oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes with lid on -remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes or until bread is browned to satisfaction -be sure to remove bread from baking dish immediately, and let bread cool before storing

Note: If you start this process right before bed at say 10:00, it'll be ready for the next step when you come home from work the next day, and possibly finished by dinner time.

One of the great things about this recipe is that there is a lot of room for playing around. Try letting the dough sit longer, use wheat flour, add cheese before baking, bake in different kinds of pots, or remove the lid at different times.

[original New York Times recipe]

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