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Super Easy Homemade Bread

homemade_bread_recipeA few months ago we brought dinner to our friends Jason and Amy to celebrate their new baby (also named Julian!). Jason produced a homemade loaf of bread and we nearly “plotzed,” as they’d say in N.Y. He told us it was a super-easy, no-knead bread recipe. (I’d always thought you need one of those space-hogging, Kitchenaid mixers to make bread.)

So the other day I hunted down a no-knead recipe and tried the Sullivan Street Bakery one, which apparently started the craze. It was so super easy – 5 ingredients! – and delicious. It’s pretty idiot-proof, too. The second time I used whole wheat flour and raisins (Marguerite’s suggestion). Still great. Perfect for winter soups. I’m so totally hooked. I will never buy an overpriced gourmet loaf again.

homemade-bread-sliced

Here’s the recipe:Ingredients:

3 cups (430g) flour
1½ cups (345g or 12oz) water
¼ teaspoon (1g) yeast
1¼ teaspoon (8g) salt
olive oil (for coating)
extra flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal (for dusting)

Equipment:

Two medium mixing bowls
6 to 8 quart pot with lid (Pyrex glass, Le Creuset cast iron, or ceramic)
Wooden Spoon or spatula (optional)
Plastic wrap
Two or three cotton dish towels (not terrycloth)

Directions:

-Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
-Add water and combine with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds to 1 minute. -Lightly coat the inside of a second medium bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest 12 hours at room temperature. (I left mine overnight and it was fine.)

-Remove the dough from the bowl and fold once or twice. Let the dough rest 15 minutes.
-Next, shape the dough into ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour; place the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with flour.
-Cover the dough with a cotton towel and let rise 1-2 hours at room temperature, until more than doubled in size. (mine never really doubles but still works fine)

-Preheat oven to 450-500°F. Place a pot in the oven (I used a Calphalon stainless steel one) for 30 minutes to preheat.
-Place the dough in the pot seam side up. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes -Then remove the lid and bake 15-30 minutes uncovered, until the loaf is nicely browned.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Sullivan Street Bakery recipe developed by owner Jim Lahey.

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