Mommy's Kitchen - Recipes From my Texas Kitchen!: Worlds Easiest Crusty Bread

Friday, September 4, 2009

Worlds Easiest Crusty Bread

My all time favorite breads are the crusty breads that you can purchase from the specialty bakeries. They smell so wonderful and I have always been envious of people who can bake them just like the ones you buy.

I've seen a few people make the No Knead Bread that was listed in the New York Times with great success. So of course I had to try out the recipe and see for myself if it was really as easy as everyone was saying. If you're going to make this bread you will have to have a little patience because it does take some time.
 

Keep in mind if you are patient enough and plan accordingly you will be rewarded with a no work, no knead and best tasting crusty bread ever. I have made this recipe twice and it has turned out great both times. This bread is perfect served with spaghetti and lasagna.

If you want to make this bread for a specific dinner you will have to remember to plan in advance. The dough has to sit at or around 70 degrees for about 12-18 hours before baking. Both times I made this recipe it was on or about the 12 hour mark.
 
 If I know that I want to make this bread for a specific meal I have to plan a day in advance. Lets say you are planning dinner around 6pm. You will need to start this recipe around 8:00 pm the night before. After everything is said and done with your bread will be ready for dinner.
 

It's really pretty easy, just mix up the ingredients and let it sit overnight. It is all about time and who doesn't have that. The key to getting the extra crispy crust is getting the pot or Pyrex bowl preheated to 450 degrees before adding the dough. See note below....

By starting this very wet dough in a hot, covered pot lets the crust develop in a moist, enclosed environment. The pot is acting as the the oven, and that oven has plenty of steam in it. Once uncovered, a half-hour later, the crust has time to harden and brown, still in the pot, and the bread is done. (Fear not. The dough does not stick to the pot any more than it would to a preheated bread stone.

It works it really does!!!!!!

mix all the ingredients together except the cornmeal, the dough will be sticky. Cover bowl tightly with saran wrap and let it set for 12-18 hours in about 70 degree's, I set mine in the microwave for safe keeping.

the dough will be ready when the dough is dotted with holes (above picture). To me it looks like someone dumped a whole bunch of pepper in the bowl. It is really all the dots that have developed.



Take dough out onto a floured surface and work it 2-3 times. Gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, wheat bran or cornmeal.



Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6 to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.


When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.


Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes,



then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack then remove from bowl.



Umm just like this. I was amazed at how it tasted. It really tasted great just like the breads I have had from a great bakery. The bread popped right out of the bowl and the crust was so crispy and good.






Worlds Easiest Crusty Bread

3 - cups all purpose flour
(you will need more to work the bread)
1/4 - tsp instant active yeast
1 1/4 - tsp salt
corn meal to dust top of loaf
1 1/2 - cups water
(pour it a little at a time you might not need all of it)

Mix all the ingredients together except the cornmeal, the dough will be sticky put saran wrap over the mixing bowl tightly and let it set for 12-18 hours in about 70 degree's, I set mine in the microwave for safe keeping. 

The dough will be ready when the dough is dotted with holes. Take dough out onto a floured surface and work it 2-3 times gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. 

Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. 

Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees.

Put a 6 to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. 

Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.


Recipe yields: 1 1/2 pound loaf





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17 comments:

CrystalsCozyKitchen said... #

I made this when the recipe originally posted about 2 years ago and still love it. Maybe it is the simplicity of it (even though it takes a while from start to finish). Maybe it is the wonderful crust. This recipe is a keeper!

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Crystal it is the best bread. I to love the simplicity of it. I cant stop making it. I want to coat it with something different next time instead of corn meal.

Stephanie said... #

Here I've been wanting to make this bread, but thinking I HAD to have a cast iron pot to cook it in. Since I don't have one, the recipe has just been sitting in my favorites...waiting until I feel another reason to spend money on a "special" pot!

You cooked it in a Pyrex covered bowl!!!!!! YAY!! I can do this! :-D

___________________________________
{Her Creative Side}
My place to share recipes that I love as well as new ones I try (flops, too!), Christian book reviews, and a little bit of my crafty side, especially digital scrapbooking!

SnoWhite said... #

yummy! I love crusty bread :)

Susan said... #

That looks good... But I'm staying away from Bread...

I can't belive you baked in a pyrex bowl... Do you have a recipe for a LIGHT RYE round bread? I use those to put my beer cheese dip in.

~ Susan

myhookandI.blogspot.com

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

I didnt have a cast iron pot with a lide or a dutch oven. I did have a pyrex so I gave it a shot. I was surprised myself when it turned out the. That bread was so crusty and hard just like it should be. I was shocked when it slid right out of the bowl. I am loving this recipe. Give it a shot girl and go use those pryex bowls.

teresa said... #

this looks so good, i do love crusty bread!

Alwayzbakin said... #

Yummy! That looks great. I'm going to try it! Thanks for posting.

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Hi Teresa and Michelle. This bread is so good. I bought some oat bran yesterday at Sprouts to try on my next loaf. Cant wait to make it again.

Melody said... #

I'd love to try this! I am intrigued!

Libby@CookingWithLibby said... #

That looks yummy!

Live.Love.Eat said... #

I think this is an amazing process. I am not a kneader of dough so I love this!!!!!!!!

Cyndi said... #

I make this all the time - but I just let it rise right in a lightly greased casserole dish. It saves having to do the whole towel-transfer and then it doesn't need to be coated in cornmeal.

And to Susan - the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day has a wonderful and EASY no-knead light rye bread.

MariaT said... #

Hi Tina!
I tried this recipe this past weekend using my corningware casserole dishes that I have with a glass cover. It turned out great! My family was all very amazed. Went great with homemade lasagna. Really made for a special Sunday lunch!

Aamnda http://cakebaker35.wordpress.com/ said... #

Hello
I have a recipe on my blog for bread like this! I love it, I got the recipe from my Master Canning class a couple of weeks ago. The recipe came from a book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois I think the name is Whole Grain Artisan Bread?? I can't remember for sure. I have there first book,it's called (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day). Your menu looks yummy, wish I could plan like that, I just don't have the disire to I guess... Amanda

A Makeup Junkie said... #

I was SO afraid to make this recipe, but like EVERY recipe you put on here Tina, it was AMAZING!!! I made it for my hubby's birthday dinner. I served it with Eggs in Purgatory and Southern Cheesy Grits. Absolutely DE-LISH !!! Thanks for such a great recipe : )
~note: Had to make it in my dutch oven and it worked GREAT. Only thing I had big enough with a lid.

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