I am generally not a fan of no-knead bread, but this one is pretty good and is easy. Besides, being smothered in unending darkness makes even the simplest tasks difficult.
More complicated bread recipes, if done correctly, are always better.
This recipe just needs the standard ingredients: water, yeast, salt and flour. It seems that the majority of bread, require just those four ingredients.
Crusty Bread3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp salt
6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Pour the water, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
- With a heavy spoon or danish wisk, blend the ingredients together.
- Stir in the flour, 2 cups at a time until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Cover the bowl with a cloth towel and let rise for two to three hours, until doubled.
- Cut the dough in half.
- Take each piece and work it with your hands to shape it in a loaf shape, making sure the outside is smooth.
- Place it on parchment paper, large enough to give it space to raise again.
- Do the same with the other piece of dough.
- With a sharp knife or baker's lame, cut three diagonal slices, shallowly, in the top of each loaf.
- Cover, and let rise for 45 minutes.
- Place the baking stone on a rack in the middle of the oven. Place a pan of water in the bottom rack.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- Make sure that the stone heats an additional 20 minutes after your oven reaches 450 F
- Keeping the parchment paper on the dough, place one loaf on the baking stone. A pizza peel is perfect for this, if you don't have one be careful!
- Place a few ice cubes in the water on the bottom rack. Slowly close the oven door.
- Bake for 25 minutes, give or take a few minutes, until the crust is brown.
- Remove the bread and place it on a rack to cool.
- Let the oven sit for 5-10 minutes and repeat with the second loaf.
- If desired, melt a little butter and spread it on the crust with a pasty brush.
If you don’t have a baking stone, cast iron or pyrex is an okay substitute. If you have neither, a pan made for pizza, or just a flat baking pan will be alright. A steel cooking slab is the best, better than stone, but they are very expensive.
If you use a stone, make sure that you put it in a cool oven. Placing it in a hot oven may make it crack.
The parchment paper I get says that it is safe up to 425 F. I don’t have issue at 450 F if it is not for a long time. The edges will brown a little. Flouring the pizza peel and placing the dough directly on the stone is also okay but will probably warp the loaf a tad.