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.
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).