Do you have flour, yeast, water, salt, saran and a dutch oven? that's all you need for this - mixing is by hand, rising on its own (dough needs its time to ferment a good 13-18 hours prior to baking), cooking in dutch oven - your done!! ANYONE can make this!
Every once in a while I see a recipe that I just have to try! This was one of them because, well...it sounded too good to be true! and guess what - it IS GOOD and TRULY tasty! While the dough needs to rise for 13-18 hours, it doesn't need your attention during that time so, I made mine the night before and let set overnight - ready to pop in the oven for the morning! It's a truly yummy bread and from a similar/popular recipe from the New York Times that I read a while ago. The recipe I used this time was from Michaela over at An Affair from the Heart. Her bread photo sparked my interest in giving this recipe a try. I am so glad I did, it is a wonderful bread and I cannot wait to make some with roasted garlic and rosemary!
My additional bread recipe hints: make sure your water matches what your yeast needs (my water needs to be between 90-110 to activate the yeast I use (RedStar Active Dry Yeast) so, I use a digital thermometer to read water temp before adding into mix. Also, try to make this on days or nights when your house is 'warmer'...the dough rising - likes to be kept around 70 degrees - no worries though - mine turned out great - even with our house at 67 overnight. If you want to add shredded cheeses or herbs, you want to mix that in when you first mix the dough. In the NY Times recipe, they coated their dough 30 mins before baking time with cornmeal (they used a cotton (not terrycloth) kitchen towel, sprinkled with cornmeal all over and placed dough ball in the towel and let the dough ball sit lightly wrapped in the cornmeal and cotton towel 30 minutes before removing towel to bake (gave a nice addition 'presentation' to the crust.)
Worried about sticking: Some have suggested placing a round piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the dutch oven to prevent sticking. My dough did not stick but, I made sure the bottom of the dough ball had a bit of flour on it to help (and the additional cornmeal coating will prevent sticking too - if you decide to use that, I did not)
Words about the Pot (Dutch Oven): I used my smaller 3 Quart Staub Cast Iron Enameled Coquette. You want to preheat your Dutch Oven IN your oven when you are preheating the oven for baking the bread. Advice says you want "a screaming hot vessel" to add your dough to...as well, a dutch oven is used because the weight of the heavy pot and lid traps steam into the pot and creates the crunchy, crusty, bread outer layer. After baking, when tapped on the bottom of loaf you should hear a hollow thump (meaning the bread is done cooking inside as well - mine was nice and thumpy! lol) Enjoy! Diane
No Knead Crusty Bread *made in dutch oven