I ordered two items on Amazon earlier this week: Jim Lahey’s my bread cookbook and a Lodge Logic cast-iron dutch oven. Even though, I selected the free super saver shipping, it only took a few days. They arrived in the mail today! Yay!
One of my plans for the new year was to learn to bake my own bread. I recall reading about an innovative method for baking bread that involves no kneading by Mark Bittman in the New York Times Dining and Wine section a long while ago The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work along with a recipe from Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery. I googled Jim Lahey and the Sullivan Street Bakery and found out that Jim Lahey released a cookbook just a few months ago, called My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method.
I had skimmed through the cookbook at Barnes and Nobles and found it to be very intriguing. I like to buy my buys off Amazon though, it’s much cheaper than most bookstores. I didn’t previously own a dutch oven, so I took some time to look into dutch ovens that were in my price range. Le Creuset dutch ovens are one of the famous lines, but they are quite pricey. I decided to go with the 5 qt Lodge preseasoned cast-iron dutch oven since it was the affordable option recommended in the book.
I can’t wait to try this recipe for No-Knead Bread, featured in the New York Times a long while back. I’ve re-posted the recipe here for your convenience.
Adapted from Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1 1/2 hours plus 14 – 20 hours rising
Yield: 1 1/2 pound loaf
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
- In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F. 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.
I’ll be quite busy for the next week or so, but I’m excited about my new additions to the kitchen and bookshelf. I can’t wait to try the other recipes in the cookbook. Also, looking forward to all the wonderful things I can make with this diesel cast-iron dutch oven. Suggestions welcomed!