Recipes

The Easiest Bread You’ll Ever Make

And it still tastes delicious. I mean, beyond delicious. It’s one of my favorite loaves to make.

Don’t pass out when I lay out the details for you.

1. You don’t have to need it. In fact, you only have to mix it for about…30 seconds.

2. It only requires four ingredients (one of which is water, so…that’s a freebie).

3. You start with cold water, so no wondering if you’re going to kill the yeast with too hot water, or that the water isn’t hot enough. (This was definitely a problem for me when I started with bread baking.

4. Did I mention it’s delicious?

And if all that didn’t convince you…here’s the finished product:

Final bread

And here’s how to make it…

No Knead Bread (from Jim Lahey’s My Bread)

You will need…

3 cups (or 400 g) bread flour (bread flour is essential because it helps with the gluten formation and makes for a better texture)

1 1/4 teaspoons table salt

1/4 teaspoon yeast

1 1/3 cup cool water (about 55 to 65 degrees F – I usually just use really cold tap water or water from the fridge)

and definitely…

a dutch oven, 3 1/2 to 4 quarts in size (I have this one and I love it!)

Start out by mixing together your dry ingredients until they’re combined. Then slowly add the water and use a spatula to mix things together. Stir it for about 30 seconds and make sure you get all the flour off the bottom of the bowl.

Mixed dough

Here’s the hard part. Stick the bowl in a non-drafty part of your kitchen, throw a dish towel over it and leave it there for 12-18 hours.   I usually throw it in there in the afternoon on the day before I want some bread. That way I can finish it up the next morning. If you can leave it for 18 hours, that’s definitely the best – it adds to the bread’s flavor.

Dough rising

12 to 18 hours later….

Risen dough

Make sure your dough has risen. You want to see holes in the top of it and it should be darker in color.

Dust your countertop with some flour and gently scoop your dough out onto your floured surface. No need to knead it (haha). Just form it into a loaf-like shape. (Told you, easy.)

Dough on counter

Dust a linen towel (steer clear from terry cloth, it’ll stick to your bread) with some more flour and turn your dough seam-side down onto the towel. Wrap it up and leave it for another 1 to 2 hours.

Dough on towel

And then…

30 minutes before your bread is done with its second rise, throw your dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. After 30 minutes, take your pot out (use oven mitts!) and gently flip your bread over into the pot (now it’s seam-side up again).

Bread before baking

Bake the bread with the lid on for 30 minutes and then take the lid off and bake it for another 15 (or until the top is brown and crispy).

And you’re done! So…delicious bread with very little work, but it takes almost a day to make. There’s always a catch.

So worth it, though. Trust me.

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