Have you tried this yet? There was an article about it in the New York Times a few years ago and it was wildly popular. I saw it on just about every cooking related website I read. The biggest reason is because it is SO EASY. It creates this delicious crusty beautiful bread with practically no work at all. The idea is you make the yeast do all the work. You make the dough, and then you let it sit for a REALLY long time and then you throw it in a pot and bake it (ok there is a little more to it than that, but not really).
Here we go…
3 cups flour (bread flour is ideal, but I actually used all purpose, because it was all I had, and it was still great)
½ tsp instant yeast (I used rapid rise, because it was what I had)
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups luke warm water
Put the 3 cups of flour in a large bowl, add the salt, the yeast, and the water. Stir until mixed in. It will look something like this.
A big shaggy mess of dough, trust me, it’s supposed to look like that.
Next, cover it with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let it sit for 12-20 hours ( I know it’s a long time, but 12 is the minimum, and 20 is about the point at which the yeast will have over worked the dough. I let mine rest 18). So if you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s best to make this dough before you go to bed at night, and it will be ready for dinner the next evening.
When you uncover the dough, it will look something like this (I forgot to take a picture of mine, so I found another one online to show you).
Generously flour a clean surface and dump the dough out. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on top and fold the dough over onto itself, shape it roughly into a ball…something like this.
Cover it again with the plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let it rest for another 2 hours.
Meanwhile, about 30 minutes before your bread will be done resting, put a pot into the oven and set it to 450 degrees. You can put it in while the oven is cool, but let the pot heat for at least 30 mins.
Let’s talk about this pot for a few minutes. You are going to be putting it in a very hot oven. This means flimsy crappy pots with plastic handles are out. You need something heavy and something that will withstand high heat. Oblong, round, doesn’t matter, but it needs to have at least 4inch high sides. Big heavy pot with a lid, that’s it.
When the pot is preheated carefully pull it out of the oven and remove the lid. The dough should look something like this.
Scoop it, scrape it, roll it, however you want, just get it into the pot. It won’t be pretty, but I swear it doesn’t matter (that’s how wonderful and easy this bread is!!).
Put the lid on and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-30 minutes until the bread is evenly browned and looks something like this.
Now tell me that wasn’t the easiest bread you ever made? AND it was delicious too…right?
One thing to remember is the amount of time this bread takes, while it doesn’t take much work, it takes time to sit, so plan accordingly. You have an initial rise of about 18 hours, then an additional 2 hours of rise time, and 1 hour to bake.
Tomorrow’s post will be about avgolemono soup I made to serve with this delicious bread!