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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Secret is Out~2 Minute No Knead Crusty Bread Recipe

I want to start off by telling you that I love cooking and baking. I can make cookies, cakes, pies and bars like a fool yet bread has eluded me all of my 31 years of life. When I have attempted to bake bread I either don't let it rise enough, don't proof it, burn it or turn it into a brick. That is, until I met my newest recipe...No Knead Crusty Bread. Let me tell you how I met and fell in love with her. It was last Friday night and I was playing on my iPhone while my husband watched TV. I opened up my Pinterest app and began salivating at all of the gorgeous food pictures. I saw salads and cakes and then, the holy grail of bread recipes that I have been yearning for all of my life. I clicked on the link and it brought me to Simply So Good, a food blog. 

I read the author's post and then I saw it...the SUPER SIMPLE list of 4 ingredients. I saw more pictures and as I stared in disbelief at what I was reading I yelled to my husband {mind you its about 11pm} 'you need to go to the store and get me some unbleached all purpose flour!" He looked at me like I was growing a new eyeball and muttered "what are you talking about?" I showed him the post and he LAUGHED AT ME. The nerve. How could he laugh at me? Well he has all the right in the world to laugh at me in all actuality because in the last 11 years that we have been together, that poor man has eaten erm, choked down loaf after loaf of inedible bread. I slept on it and woke up still dreaming of baking this 'miracle bread'. I went to the store straight away and bought some unbleached all purpose flour {I still can't believe I had some yeast at home that wasn't expired!} It didn't take me long to measure out the flour, kosher salt, yeast and water. It look me longer to do that than anything else in this process. I whisked the dry ingredients and stirred in the water.


Thats it! I set it in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap. It needs to rise 12-18 hours so I did my best to stop thinking about it but all I could think about was that damn bread. It was rising. It was sitting. It was begging me to mess with it but I didn't. I practiced the art of restraint {which I have very little of}. Finally, after 12 hours of pure torture, I preheated my oven to 450º I let it preheat and they I put my enamel coated cast iron dutch oven in there to preheat for 30 minutes. The time was right and I took my dough out and placed it on my well-floured counter. I sprinkled some flour on it and made it ball-like.
The dutch oven was ready and to call me the same is an understatement.  I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture before it entered the oven.  I baked it, covered for 30 minutes and then removed the cover to discover this masterpiece:

Isn't she purdy?  Isn't she lovely?  Wait until the next picture...

I MADE THIS!  I MADE THIS!  It barely took 2 minutes to measure, mix, cover and prep this beauty.  Can I still call myself a baker?  I feel like I cheated because it is so lovely but yet so incredibly EASY!  

So, she's pretty but what about taste/texture?  It was AHHHHMAZING!  My husband couldn't stop gushing about it and my kids were begging for more.  I was in a dream and someone needed to pinch me.  I quickly made another loaf and I forgot to whisk the dry ingredients but you know what, it didn't matter!!  This recipe is sooo forgiving!  I got confident with my abilities that I decided last night to make cinnamon, sugar, raisin bread.  Whats the worst that could happen?  I'd have to throw it out? See for yourself what happened when I added three handfuls of raisins, two tablespoons of cinnamon and two tablespoons of sugar to the dough before letting it rise.....

It turned out equally as well as its plain counterpart.  The kids loved it and they felt special.  I felt triumphant!  I have two more loaves rising now to share with my neighbors and inlaws.  Tonight I am going to make a sharp cheddar/jalepaño dough.  I have so many jalepaños in my garden and this is a good place to start.  I have more and more combinations brewing in my head and I can't wait to jump in feet first.

2 Minute No Knead Crusty Bread

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water {plus one tablespoon as I felt it needed more than the original recipe called for}

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until round-like ball forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. 
Heat oven to 450º.  When the oven has reached 450º place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool. 

Now for my secret bread storing trick.  Back when I was a nanny for a prominent doctor I always admired their butcher block counters and homemade bread.  I always dreamed of being domesticated like that.  They would cut their bread and store it, cut side down on their wooden counters.  It never dried out.  It was eaten before that was able to occur.  I don't have a butcher block counter so I use my wooden cutting board.  

HAPPY BAKING!  What flavors do you want to dream up?


Kathleen said...

Wow! I've been wanting to do the 5 Minutes to Artisan Bread thing after buying the book, but this looks so much easier (I mean, it's 2 minutes, not 5!). I'm definitely going to try this too. Did you have any issues with your dutch oven? I'm fearful of putting my Le Creuset in my oven (haven't done so yet).

Maggie Smith said...

My Dutch Oven married my oven years ago and it is a match made in heaven!