I still find it hard to believe that I can make this gorgeous bread. See the photo below? I made it last weekend. And it is incredibly easy.
It looks just like those rustic loaves with French names that you buy in good bakeries. Except . . . a bakery-loaf won't fill your house with the aroma of fresh baked bread. You won't get to hear the crack - crack - crack as the loaf cools on your counter. You won't get to cut it while it is still warm enough to melt butter. Your first bite of this bread is all crunchy noise followed by good solid chewiness and then a sinking into the creamy center. My eyes glaze over just thinking about it.
Well. I like bread. I get a little goofy over it.
The bread in the photo may look showy, but it doesn't have a fancy name. I have stood at the counter at a bakery in Boulder and read the list of proffered breads, confused by the myriad names. Which one do I want? How do I pronounce it? Nope, this recipe is titled simply "basic no-knead bread". I got the recipe from a class I took on no-knead breads at the Culinary School of the Rockies
I was no novice to no-knead breads when I took the class. Several years ago I came across and tried a recipe in a King Arthur Flour
catalog on a no-knead bread, and then I found some recipes in online articles. I bought a book on no-kneads too. I had a few successes, a few failures over the years. I gotta hand it to the Culinary School: That class brought it all together so that I can now make a beautiful loaf each time I try.
The trick to this bread is not in the mixing, but in the oven. You have to get your oven hot, very hot. 475 degrees Fahrenheit. You have to use a lidded crockery pot. You have to heat the lidded crockery pot in the very hot oven for a half hour. The noisy oven fan will be on. Your kitchen will be hot. You have to open the very hot oven and the very hot pot and drop in the dough and quickly close the pot. Without hurting yourself.
You then close the oven door and wait.
It's worth every hot moment.
If you are interested, follow the "more" link to find out exactly how I make this bread. Oh and another thing - you have to remember to start the bread the day before. Easier said than done!
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