The beauty of no-knead bread is how easy it is to make; the drawback is that it takes a little planning ahead. I will usually start this bread around dinner-time the night before I want to serve it; that lets me bake it by noon-time the following day. If you are working all day and can’t follow this schedule, you could 1) bake this on a weekend and freeze it, well-wrapped in foil or 2) buy yourself a great crusty loaf of bread from a local bakery.
This Rosemary Bread is a take on the “no-knead” bread made famous by Mark Bittman and the Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC.
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1/4 tsp. yeast
- 1 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 5/8 cups warm water (yes, 1 5/8 cups, ridiculous, right? I figure it’s just over 1 1/2 cups, so I measure the water to a little bit above that line)
- Flour for dusting
In a large bowl combine flour through rosemary.
Stir in the water until blended; the dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a draft-free place (I like the oven, if not in use, of course) for 12 – 18 hours.
At this point the dough will have risen and should be dotted with bubbles.
Prepare a lightly floured surface and scrape the dough onto it. Using floured hands gently fold the dough onto itself a couple times and then let it rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, get a non-terry cloth kitchen towel ready with a generous amount of flour sprinkled in the center.
Quickly shape the dough into a ball and place on top of the floured towel; sprinkle more flour on top of the dough. Cover the dough with another towel and let it sit on the counter for about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
About 1 1/2 hours into this second rise, preheat your oven to 450 degrees with a covered 3 – 4 quart pot inside. After the pot has been heating for at least 30 minutes, and the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot and uncover it. Take off the towel covering the dough.
Use the remaining towel to lift the dough and sort of dump it into the pot (be prepared for some flour mess; as my husband likes to say, “when you cook, people know about it!”). Shake the pot a little to even out the dough. Re-cover the pot and return it to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes;
remove the cover and bake another 15 – 30 minutes more, until the loaf is browned.
Transfer the pot to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then tip the pot to turn out the bread.