A Bread Recipe for Those Who Don’t Know How To Boil Water

Okay, so obviously you know how to boil water.  But the point is, this recipe is absurdly easy.  I know a woman whose 4 year old son made it.  Yeah.  So you can DEFINITELY make it too.  There’s no starter or sponge, no kneading to the windowpane stage, none of that stuff.  Just mix some flour, yeast, salt, and water before you go to bed, then in the morning form the dough into a ball, wrap it in a towel for 2 hours, then plop it in a pan and bake it.  Pretty awesome.  Make it for your friends and family, and impress them =)

3 cups bread flour (you can swap out one of those cups for whole wheat flour if you want)
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1.5 tsp sea salt
1.5 cups warm water
cornmeal to sprinkle on the bottom of the pot

Before you go to bed, mix all the ingredients in a big bowl until combined.  It will be a doughy mess and look like this:

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight on the countertop (and for up to 20 hours).  When you wake up, the dough should look like this:

Bubbles on the surface, and very sticky and wet.  Lay out a kitchen towel, then get your hands nice and wet (and re-wet as needed, to keep the dough from sticking to you).  Pick up the dough mass, and form it (more or less) into a ball.  Place it onto the towel:

Wrap it up, and let it rise for 2 hours.

An hour and a half in, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, and stick a dutch oven*** into the oven so it gets very hot.  Once the oven is preheated, take the pot out and sprinkle cornmeal in the bottom so the bread doesn’t stick.  Lift the towel up and dump your dough ball into the pot, and give it a shake so it sits flat on the bottom of the pan.  Put the lid on, and bake the bread for 30 minutes.  Then take the lid off, and bake for another 15 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.  Take the bread out of the pot and cool on a wire rack.  Slather with salted whipped butter and relish the moment of your bread baking glory.

***Use a dutch oven, or a big pasta stockpot.  Basically you just want a pot with a lid on it so you trap in steam and replicate the characteristics of an expensive steam injecting bread baking oven.

This recipe is adapted from a NY Times no-knead bread article, adapted from Sullivan Street Bakery (check out the original here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html).

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7 Responses to A Bread Recipe for Those Who Don’t Know How To Boil Water

  1. This looks perfect !!! Bravissima!!! It reminds the Sunday bread we buy fresh every week!!! I will write your recipe!!

  2. UrMomCooks says:

    Luv the idea of this bread! The best part is making it up the night before. What could be better than a fresh crusty loaf that you make yourself??? Delicious!

  3. br112 says:

    This was so easy to make! I made mine in a dutch oven and it came out really crusty, perfect for dipping in soup or pasta sauce. I love that it takes just a few minutes to prep which is great since that is about how much time pots and pans keep my 8 month old occupied. I was scared of bread baking before I tried this. It is great to know that I can make fresh bread for my family with little time or effort.

  4. Cody DeHaan says:

    Hi Joanne! I gave this recipe to my mom and she made it for dinner tonight, but she used whole wheat flower — it turned out wonderfully! Fantastic recipe! Merry Christmas, and I hope to catch up with you soon!

  5. Rachel says:

    Well, the cold of winter gave me a very dense bread! But VERY yummy 🙂

  6. Nicola says:

    Hi – I followed Elise’s tweet to find you, and I’m so pleased I did! I realise I’m late to this post, but it sounds fantastic so I’m going to give it a try (as well as Joanne’s Original Bread). Do you have a photograph of the bread insides so I can see what kind of crumb it has?

    Love the blog, thank you!
    Nicola in England

  7. Pingback: Cooking with Simplicity: for your budget, your sanity and the world! « CreativeIsthmus

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