This is not your normal bread recipe. It’s ugly and sticky at first, but bakes itself into a loaf of utter perfection. There are multiple versions of this bread that I have found online. Supposedly the first “no-knead” recipe was printed in the New York Times, I don’t know when, but whoever came up with this method of making bread deserves all the credit! You can make this recipe a number of different ways; you can use all white flour, you can add herbs instead of olives, you can add grated cheese. Once you have this recipe down, it’s yours to play with. Don’t worry about the yeast proofing, it’ll all work out! Don’t worry about oiling your pot before putting the bread in, it will not stick if properly floured. If you don’t have a cast iron pot, you can use any big pot that can take heat. So prepare yourself, take a breath, and let’s begin…
You will need:
- 3 cups flour (I like to use 2 cups all purpose flour & 1 cup whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt (if you are not doing olives, up the salt to 1 ¾ teaspoons)
- ½ teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast (regular active yeast can also be used. If you are worried about it rising, go ahead and proof in ¼ cup warm water first. I have thrown my active yeast in without proofing and haven’t had a problem)
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup pitted and chopped olives, mix of green and black
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, yeast and salt (1 teaspoon salt with olives, 1 ¾ teaspoons without olives). If you are putting in olives, give them a rough chop and toss in now.
- Add water and mix with a spatula until a sloppy mixture forms. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside for 12 – 18 hours. I have set aside for 24 hours and that works great as well.
12-24 hours later…..
- Preheat your oven to 450°
- When it is heated, place your cast iron pot with lid into the oven and preheat for 30 minutes.
- While the pot is heating, pour dough out onto a HEAVILY floured surface. The dough will be very sloppy and sticky.
- Form the dough into a loose ball (without kneading!) and let rest until the pot is done pre-heating.
- Remove the hot pot from the oven…carefully because it is 450° now!
- Plop the dough into the hot pot, put the lid back on and return to oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. You will be amazed at how beautiful the bread looks after removing the lid. It went from looking like a hot mess to a beauty loaf!
When it’s done baking, remove from the pot and cool on a rack.
This bread has everything, crunch, salt, chew… I hope you enjoy, I’m off to take down another piece!