Due to a recent blizzard I had an unexpected day home from work. As I watched the snow fly outside my window, I was seized with the irresistible impulse to bake bread. But what kind? I thought about trying my Cinnamon Babka again so I could actually eat more than one slice, but it needed an overnight rise and I wasn’t feeling patient. My Hokkaido Milk Bread was okay, but it was never perfect and I was really in the mood for something more savory. As always, I turned to the internet, searching for a bread recipe (preferably no-knead) that could be out of the oven in a few hours.
I found this one. It’s fabulous. It’s so easy. It takes about 4.5 hours, start to finish, and my husband and I ate almost the whole loaf in one sitting. I actually like the flavor just as much as the famous no-knead bread recipe from the New York Times, probably because it’s essentially the same recipe only with hot water and a fraction of the rising time. And it still has a great interior structure, a nice crispy crust, and that fresh-from-the-oven texture that you just can’t replicate with storebought bread. I’ll be making it a lot this winter, I know.
Fast and Easy No-Knead Bread (from Jenny Can Cook)
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast (active dry or instant)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups hot water, about 120 degrees F
1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Stir in water until well combined. Your dough will be sticky, but it will definitely be a dough, not a batter.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours.
3. After 3 hours your dough will have puffed up a bit. Transfer it to a well-floured surface, and using a dough scraper fold the dough over 10-12 times and shape into a rough ball. The dough will get more cohesive with each fold, though it will still be pretty slack at the end, so don’t worry if your “ball” is more like a blob.
4. Place in a parchment paper-lined bowl and cover with a towel. Let stand on counter top for about 35 minutes.
5. In the meantime, place a Dutch oven with lid in a cold oven and preheat to 450° F.
6. When the oven reaches 450° , carefully lift the parchment paper and dough from the bowl and place gently into the hot pot. (parchment paper goes in the pot too) Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
7. After 30 minutes (bread will still be pale), remove lid and scootch the parchment paper out from under the bread. Discard the paper and return the pot, uncovered, to the oven to bake for 10 – 15 more minutes, until the crust is nicely browned.
8. When fully baked, use an oven mitt to remove the loaf from the pot and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!