I straight-up love bread. It’s as close to a perfect food as I can imagine, and I can’t think of an application in which I don’t adore it. I love the way it has shaped the world we live in (yay, beer!) and its role in history (boo, war!).
I used to make bread in the usual way–with much kneading and careful shaping…and a touch of carpal tunnel syndrome to boot. The Lahey no-knead method changed everything, and now I hesitate to even call this “making bread” since it’s just too easy. Stir up a bowl of batter, let it sit on the counter for 12 to 36 hours, then whack it into the oven. My fingers never even touch the batter!
The Lahey method has just one annoying step, the tea towel second rest. You’re meant to transfer the very wet dough to a tea towel to rest for an hour before baking it. This is all fine except the dough gets stuck to the tea towel and makes a heck of a mess. Depending on how quickly you can deal with the batter-ed tea towel, it’s likely that the towel shall be forever ruined.
So, I tried skipping that step and the results are identical. Easy bread is now even easier. To get the full how-to, watch this episode of the Twenty-Minute Cooking School.
- 225 g all-purpose flour (1½ cups), plus more for dusting
- 175 g whole-wheat flour (1⅓ cups)
- 1 teaspoon table salt (or 1 tablespoon kosher)
- heaping ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 350 g water (1½ cups)
- Stir the flours, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. Add the water and stir really well. Scrape down the sides, cover the bowl and leave it at room temperature for anywhere from 12 to 36 hours.
- Place a 8- to 9-inch round casserole pot with a lid in the oven, then heat the oven to 450F. Once the oven is preheated, sprinkle the batter liberally with flour and scrape it down the sides of the bowl. Take the pot out of the oven and quickly scrape the batter into the pot. Clamp on the lid and pop the whole set-up back into the oven for 30 min. Take off the lid and bake for another 15 min. The bread should be gorgeously browned.
- Transfer the bread out of the pot and onto a rack to cool. Don't slice into it for at least an hour. I know -- waiting is the hardest part of the whole recipe!