I suggest you start this recipe on Saturday morning so that you can have some fresh bread by Sunday mid-day. No, I don’t suggest but I urge you to make this recipe over the weekend. A bread life changing recipe. I’ll definitely be making this on Friday so that my guests that are coming over on Saturday evening will be able to taste it. Here’s how I found it. Last week Thursday, while searching through the net and looking at some old blog posts of bloggers that I follow daily, I came across a bread recipe. I was actually searching for an easy bread recipe but wasn’t sure whether there was one out there. Whenever I think about bread, I think about the bakers waking up early in the morning to make their bread dough, spending hours and hours working the dough. I did not see myself doing that and wanted to find an easy recipe that anybody could do. And I found it. I found the best recipe and I’m sure you already have all four ingredients in your pantry – flour, instant yeast, salt and water. This is all you need. And a very good pot to cough the dough in!
The very first time I made this dough, last week Friday, I didn’t know what the end result would be. My boyfriend was a little anxious. He too didn’t know what that bread would be like. He asked me whether I’d worked the dough and told him that it was not necessary. This is a no-knead bread recipe and I’m sure it makes our lives a little easier. There is a downside though. You have to wait a minimum of 19 hours to let the dough rise (first rise). So if you’re planning on having homemade bread in the next couple of hours that’s not going to happen. But. There is a but. The waiting is so worth it. After 24 hours plus another two hours of waiting for the second rise, the bread was in the oven. That smell after 45 minutes. Oh god.
The smell is just too good. At first the only thing you will smell is the yeast, but if you get your nose closer to the bread you will smell bread. Like in a real bakery. And that little crack sound the bread makes, just makes you want to tare it apart and eat it. But it’s best to wait. Wait until the bread is cool. A few hours I would say. And then just dig in. With butter, jam, Nutella, or just as it is natural you will die. You might say, like my boyfriend did “this is the best bread I’ve ever eaten”. And I don’t want to sound too cocky but this bread is god damn good. It’s much better than the bread we can find in supermarkets here. It is tasty. So tasty that we ate the first loaf in one day. On Monday afternoon another loaf was ready and finished last night. Yes, this bread can last two days without it being hard and uneatable.
– In a bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and thoroughly mix with a spatula until combine. Dough will be sticky
– Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for at least 19 hours at room temperature
– The dough is ready to be used once bubbles have formed
– Flour a work surface and place dough on it (it will be very stringy and sticky – this is good), sprinkling more flour on the dough before folding it on itself. You can fold it once or twice (folding: bring the right side of the dough to the middle, then left side, then top and bottom)
– Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes
– In the meantime, take a clean cotton kitchen towel and cover a small surface with flour
– Again, flour a work surface and place dough on it. Then form a ball. Place the dough seam down on the kitchen towel covered with flour. Cover dough with another cotton towel and let it rise for 2 hours.
– 30 minutes before the dough is ready (use a timer) pre-heat oven to 250°C. Put a heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven while it heats. When dough is ready, remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel, and turn the dough inside the pot, seam side up. This will be a little messy but will work out fine.
– Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
– Remove from heat and place bread on plate to let it cool
Note: it is extremely important that you have a good pot to cook your bread. A small Le Creuset, a small Baeckeoffe pot or even these from Dille & Kamille (with a lid to cover) will do the trick. My boyfriend’s mother brought back a very good pot and we’ve been making our bread in it ever since. You can see it in the picture above. As there was no lid to go with, we used a normal pan lid that works perfectly fine. The pot your are using needs to be of thick material and blazing hot when coming out of the oven. So never forget to pre-heat it. Another side note, because we love this simple bread so much, we haven’t added any extra ingredients like olives or nuts but it could be a good idea. Finally, we’ve kept the second loaf for three days and it was still very fresh. The crust did harden a bit on the third day, but it was still very delicious to eat. And I’m not sure whether you’ll be able to keep this bread for three days seeing how good it is!