Home made bread is always a treat, even if it sometimes takes a lot of work. The aroma of baking bread is hard to beat. But it is great to be able to make some bread with very little effort, even if it does take a while.
That is why a no knead recipe is hard to beat and this Rustic No Knead bread is great. With little effort you can end up with a lovely, fresh, loaf that has a nice open texture and is crusty too.
It really is as simple as mixing the ingredients together and then leaving it overnight to prove fully. Then it just has to be shaped and baked, preferably in a Dutch oven. It could be baked on a baking tray, but with a pan with water in the bottom of the oven to create steam for creating the crust.
From my perspective I find it very important to allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. If you slice before it is cool you will release the steam from inside the loaf. That steam is what makes the bread moist.
My bread turned out very well, exactly as I hoped, with an airy, open, texture and a great crust. So I was very pleased indeed. This is ideal fresh for a sandwich, or open sandwich and then it is good for toast or garlic bread when it is more stale.
- 400g strong white bread flour
- 285ml warm water(about 110c/43F)
- 6 grams active dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- Place the flour into a large bowl and set to one side.
- Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water and stir then leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- Make a well in the flour and pour in the yeast mixture.
- Stir to combine until all is mixed and there are no flour pockets. You will have a shaggy dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a draught free environment overnight.
- The next day, after about 18 hours,place a dutch oven, with lid on, in the oven. If using a baking tray place a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven to heat up(this will hold water later).
- Preheat the oven to 230C/450F for at least 30 minutes.
- The dough will be quite loose in the bowl, Tip it out onto a heavily floured work surface.
- Work the dough, knocking out the air and pulling the dough up on itself, doing that from each of four sides in turn.
- Turn the dough over and use your hands to form it into a ball. This will create some tension in the dough and will shape it nicely for baking.
- Cover with a towel and leave until the oven is at the right temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Carefully place the dough into the Dutch oven and score a line or two on the top with a very sharp knife if you wish. If using a baking tray place the dough on and place in the oven, then pour a cup of water into the roasting tin to create the steam necessary for a crust to form.
- Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for a further 15 to 25 minutes, until you have the crust colour as dark as you wish. If using a baking tray you will need to judge when the loaf is done by tapping the bottom of the loaf to make sure it sounds hollow.
- Remove from the oven and carefully place the loaf on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.