Saturday, November 27, 2010

Best bread on the planet. Truth.

This Thanksgiving my Marko and I were responsible for bringing the bread. He wanted to order it all, but, I, not unlike a superhero, swung into action and offered to bake fresh bread!!
Look, I've said it at least a thousand times, i am terrified of yeast breads. I decided to tackle my fear, and (not unlike a superhero, again), i succeeded!!! My cousin suzy sent me this recipe from a video she watched on the net from the New York Times.
This is truly, unequivocally the best, most delicious and EASIEST bread ever. It is unreal. It is super crusty and crunchy on the inside but super chewy and soft and amazing on the inside. Please please please make this. Thank me later ;)

Recipe: No-Knead Bread Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

¼ teaspoon instant yeast

1¼ teaspoons salt

1.5 cups water

Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1.5 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Let this cool for at least an hour or several hours. Then cut it up (so everyone is watching and can hear the crunchy crust!!!!!!!!!!), sit back and allow them to praise you for being super awesome!!!
Enjoy!!! Smooches!

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