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I am working mom who loves to cook and bake. I hope to keep track of recipes and share some of my better ones. In the process, hopefully my photography and cooking will get better and better!

Monday, June 6, 2011

No Knead Crusty White Bread

In the 9 months or so I was mixer less, this bread was my go to!   Now that I have a mixer, I still make this bread an awful lot.  I love the sprinkle of flour on the bread- it make the loaf look bakery professional.   Homemade bread is always a winner, but add one you can assemble on sunday and bake fresh off of all week???  Total winner.

No knead Crust White bread
Adapted from King arthur flour

24 ounces(3 cups) lukewarm water
2 pounds King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (or substitute 1 ounce vital wheat gluten for 1 ounce of flour for a chewier texture)
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, or a large (6-quart), food-safe plastic bucket.
Mix and stir everything together to make a very sticky, rough dough. If you have a stand mixer, beat at medium speed with the beater blade for 30 to 60 seconds. If you don't have a mixer, just stir with a big spoon or dough whisk till everything is combined.
Let the dough rise. If you've made the dough in a bowl that's not at least 6-quart capacity, transfer it to a large bowl; it's going to rise a lot. I like to oil the bowl with olive oil for easy removal.
Cover the bowl or bucket, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or for up to about 7 days. (If you're pressed for time, skip the room-temperature rise, and stick it right into the fridge). The longer you keep it in the fridge, the tangier it'll get; if you chill it for 7 days, it will taste like sourdough. Over the course of the first day or so, it'll rise, then fall, but don't fret.

When you're ready to make bread, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour; this will make it easier to grab a hunk. Pull off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough — a 14-ounce to 19-ounce piece, if you have a scale. It'll be about the size of a softball, or a large grapefruit.

Place the sticky dough onto a floured work surface, and round it into a ball, or a longer log.  Place the dough on a piece of parchment (if you're going to use a baking stone); or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top; this will help keep the dough moist as it rests.

Let the dough rise for about 45 to 60 minutes.

It will settle out rather than really rise.   Preheat your oven (and baking stone, if you're using one) to 450°F while the dough rests. Place a shallow metal or cast iron pan on the lowest oven rack, and have 1 cup of hot/boiling water ready to go.

 When you're ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the bread 2 or 3 times, making a cut about 1/2" deep.

Place the bread in the oven, and carefully pour the 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath. This will make steam.
Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until it's a deep, golden brown.

Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

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