Crunchy toasted pecans and Angostura Orange Bitters complement tangy cranberries in this easy, yummy holiday…
For the past couple months I’ve been baking crusty, country-style breads to rave reviews from friends and family. Then I did a baking class for friends who are now teaching their friends. A grass-roots viral recipe chain! No one can believe how simple it is – just measure, stir, rise overnight, then bake. No kneading!
I became hooked when a colleague, Penni Wisner aka The Kitchen Coach, brought her amazing bread to dinner meetings. She fashioned the recipe from the famed Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC, whose no-knead formula created a stir in 2006 when Mark Bittman wrote about it in the NY Times. Key to success is a glazed ceramic pan* (4.3 qt-size ) or covered casserole that can withstand 500°F, or use an iron skillet and aluminum foil to cover. With Penni’s tips I’ve not had a failure yet, and as far as I know, none of my students has either. And most had never baked bread before. I’ve refined the recipe further with suggestions from my ‘students’ like: turning and flouring the dough in the bowl so there’s no flour mess! Send me pictures of your bread. I promise, it’s simple!
*I am not paid to mention Amazon Basics but it is my favorite pan for baking bread.
No Knead Country Wheat Bread
- cast iron Dutch Oven, 3.5-5 quart size
- 420 grams (3 cups) bread flour (I like King Arther or Bob's but any type will work. Can also use all-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached
- 90 grams (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) oat bran, optional
- 8 grams (1-1/2tsp) table salt
- 1/4 tsp dry yeast (instant or rapid-rise, either works)
- 70 grams chopped walnuts, optional
- 14 fl oz (1-3/4 cups) cold tap water
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add walnuts and/or soaked grains if making multi-grain recipe. (See link for multi-grain recipe.)
- Stir in water with a wooden spoon. Switch to a plastic scraper if you have one, and continue mixing and turning just until dough is evenly moistened and pulls away from sides of the bowl. It’s not necessary to stir vigorously, just enough so the flour is mixed in.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap (a plastic shower cap works great!) and let stand 30 minutes. Turn dough with the scraper or spoon, giving it about 4 folds. (If you skip this step you'll still get a great loaf of bread. Folding helps stretch the gluten and make the holes, or 'crumb'.)
- Cover bowl with plastic and let stand at room temperature 18-24 hours. The dough will rise and be very bubbly.
- Gently stir dough down with scraper or spatula and fold over in 90 degree turns several times. Dust top of dough lightly with flour. Cover the bowl and let rest 15 minutes.
- Dust a dry linen towel with flour, or if you want seed or grain coating, use a very slightly dampened towel; sprinkle with oats, cornmeal, wheat bran, sunflower, sesame seeds. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the towel and shape roughly into a ball. Wrap in the towel and leave at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. OR – leave bread in bowl, sprinkle top with oats, cornmeal, bran or flour, then scrape around edge of bowl to slightly deflate dough. It can help to spritz the top with water to help the seeds stick. Let stand covered while oven heats, then turn directly into hot pan.
- While dough is resting, place ungreased pan with lid if it has one, in the oven. Turn oven on and preheat to 500°F. NOTE: The pan must be a glazed ceramic that can withstand 500°F or an iron skillet. Allow at least 30 minutes for pan and oven to super-heat. It is necessary to preheat the pan so the bread will instantly create steam when it goes in, and the bread won’t stick to the pan.
- Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, leaving a hot pad on the lid so as not to accidently grap with bare hand. Unwrap dough, quickly slide dough top side down into the preheated pan. Cover with lid or loosely cover container with foil. (This step can also be done by leaving pan on oven rack and pulling out.)
- Reduce oven to 450°F. Cover pan with lid or foil. Bake covered 25 minutes. Dough will rise and start to brown.Remove lid or foil and continue to bake until very dark brown, another 20-25 minutes. Immediately remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Recipe adaption and photo by Rosemary Mark