Lately I have been on a bread baking kick. Any weekend I have some spare time I head straight for the kitchen to bake up a batch of bread. This recipe looked like one of those too good to be true, but I thought I would try it anyway. It was published in the New York Times back in 2006 and there have been plenty of reviews since then with lots of debate about what the real ratios should be. I have made it twice now, and each time I made it a tad different and the results were very different. The first time I made it the bread turned to a sourdough bread and was super delicious. The second time I made it. the bread turned out with an absolutely beautiful crumb, but was more just a plain artisan bread with a great crust. Unfortunately about the latter, I can absolutely say that I've had better. As for me, even though the crumb on the non-sourdough was better, I definitely preferred the taste of the sourdough bread more, so I'm am sharing my recipe and process for the sourdough no kneed bread.
1/4 tsp Instant Yeast
3 cups flour
1 1/2 + 1 tbs Warm water (about 105 degrees)
1 1/4 tsp Salt
Mix together flour, salt, and yeast. Add in the water. The dough will be very sticky.
Place dough into a container, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let sit for 18 to 20 hrs. The longer it sits and ferments, the more sour it will be.
Lightly flour a counter and turn dough onto the counter. Quickly fold the dough into thirds, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let sit for another 15 minutes.
Dust a clean kitchen towel and transfer the dough to the towel, seam side down. Sprinkle with some more flour, cover with another clean kitchen towel and let sit for two more hours.
After an hour an a half, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees-F and place dutch oven (3.5 quart or larger) into oven.
When the dough has risen in the towels for two hours, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven. Flip dough into the dutch oven, quickly cover with lid, and place into the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the crust has a nice brown shade to it.
Immediately remove bread from dutch oven and let cool completely on cooling racks.
Slice and enjoy.
Such a pretty crumb!
Take it over to a friends house for a dinner/bookclub party because that's what baking is for. :-)
I plan on making this bread again as the basis for stuffing this Thanksgiving.