Spectacular homemade bread

It has a flavor and texture that’s better than anything you’ll find in a store and requires

Spectacular no-knead bread with about 15 minutes of actual work.

  • No bread machine
  • No stand mixer
  • No hand kneading
  • No baking stone

Takes about 15 minutes of actual work and tastes incredible!

Equipment:
Kitchen scale
Glass bowl big enough to hold about a gallon, or a 4 -6 quart plastic food container with lid.
4 quart dutch oven or pot with heatproof lid.

Important! A note about the pot lid: Google the manufacturer’s instructions for your pot and make sure that the lid can handle 475°F in the oven.

Ingredients:
500 grams Bread Flour, unbleached, un-enriched, if possible.
400 ml Water – if you have great tap water, that’s fine.
If it smells bad or has chlorine or there’s anything else wrong, use bottled water.
1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) Instant Yeast
12 grams Kosher Salt

Directions:

  1. Put the yeast and water in the bowl and whisk until dissolved.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix with a spoon until there isn’t any dry flour.  It will look like a shaggy mess.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and leave it for about an hour at room temperature.
  4. Take the dough in both hands, and stretch it so it’s about twice as long as it was, then fold in half.
  5. Rotate 90° and stretch and fold three more times, then put it back in the bowl and cover.
  6. Wait for the dough to double in size (probably 4 hours) and do steps  3 and 4 again.
  7. Wait for the dough to double in size (probably another 4 hours) and do steps 3 and 4 again.

Note that the timing isn’t critical as long as it has at least doubled in size. You can happily leave this on the counter then check it in the morning.

When ready to cook:

  1. Put the pot with the lid on in the oven, set oven for 475°F and wait about a half hour until the oven and pot is hot.
  2. Take the dough from the bowl, place on a floured cutting board, and form into a ball. Make several deep slashes on the top of the dough ball with a sharp knife or razor.
  3. Optional: Using a brush, dampen the surface of the bread with a little water and sprinkle on sesame seeds.
  4. Take the pot out of the oven using oven mitts (it’s hot!!) take off the lid and drop the dough in so the slashes are on top.
    Then put lid back on,  put the pot back in oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
  5. When the timer goes off, remove the lid, set timer for 20 minutes and close the oven again.

When the bread looks crusty and dark brown, it’s done!

Makes (1) loaf