If you’re planning to do more cooking from scratch this year – and hope to save money in the process – this no-knead bread recipe is for you. Originally published in the New York Times, this recipe spread like wildfire across the internet, inspiring books and further recipes thanks to Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan, who came up with this simple, foolproof method in the first place. It’s a rustic loaf with a crackly crust, baked in a pot – the secret to its wonderfully chewy, crisp texture. And you’ll never have to knead it!
Recipes vary slightly; the original recipe called for 1/4 tsp. instant yeast, 1 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 5/8 cups water. Feel free to make slight adjustments as needed.
The Essential No-Knead Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups warm water
In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until it comes together – the dough will be very sticky and shaggy-looking. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and set aside at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours.
Transfer the sticky dough onto a well-floured surface and dust the top with flour. Fold the dough in half, and then form the dough into a ball by stretching and tucking the edges underneath. Top with a floured towel and let rise on the countertop for another hour.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450F with a heavy lidded casserole or pot inside. Carefully remove the pot, turn the dough into it, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden and crusty; another 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into it. Makes 1 loaf.