I've never been much of a bread baker-- too lengthy of a process, the results too unpredictable. UNTIL I discovered this recipe, originally posted in video form by Mark Bittman on the New York Times website. We make it at least every other day. The wonder of it is that it is no-knead (an ancient techinque, I guess), super long rise time (so you can rise overnight) and it is pretty forgiving. I personally start the dough before bed (it takes all of 2 minutes) and I begin baking it around 1 or 2 the next day. Anway, without further ado-- the bread recipe:
3 cups (430 grams, to be exact) of all-purpose flour
scant Tablespoon of coarse salt (like Kosher, don't use table)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (also known as RapidRise OR Breadmachine yeast)
about 1 5/8 cups of water
extra flour for dusting
In large glass or plastic mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and yeast.
Pour in water and mix with wooden spoon. The dough will be wet and sticky.
This is normal even though it looks wrong. Cover bowl with plastic wrap
and let stand for 16-20 hours. (Can be at room temp., unless house is
really cold) The dough should be bubbly looking and should be stringy when
the bowl is tipped. Turn dough onto a WELL floured surface.
With a bench scraper pull out both sides of the dough and fold over each
other into thirds. (It will be VERY sticky) Give a quarter turn and do it
again-- flouring all the while. Oil the bowl a bit and toss it back in.
Cover it with plastic wrap and let stand for another 2-3 hour rise.
Place a medium cast iron pot with lid OR any casserole WITH LID into oven
WHILE you pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Let the casserole dish heat for at
least 30 minutes. Remove dish, sprinkle bottom with flour. Transfer dough
to hot pot, sprinkle with a bit more flour, cover with lid and return to
oven. Bake 30 minutes WITH lid, remove lid and bake 15 minutes more. Shake
it out onto cooling surface. Wait AT LEAST 45 minutes to slice.