Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery has made the recipe for No knead bread, which was published in New York Times in 2006. Ever since food-bloggers all over the world have posted the recipe and their results on the internet.
Read the original recipe here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html
Now it is my turn. I have used the recipe for an article in Hjemmet and tried it out with various kinds of flour, different lengths of rest and in pots of cast iron, Pyrex and clay.
My conclusions are:
1. Use whatever flour you like. If you use strong wheat flour you will get very beautiful domed bread with a crispy crust and a great crumb. If you use whole wheat flour the bread may be more flat, but the taste will be very good – and as you know: looks are not everything!
2. I have let the dough rest in the bowl for 8, 10, 12 and 18 hours – and the only difference is that a longer rest makes the taste of “sourdough” stronger. The crust and the bread itself are wonderful even by 8 hours rest.
3. I did omit the 15 minute rest on the table and have also cut the second rest with 1 1/2 hours – with perfect results.
4. Use a cast iron pot – you can use Pyrex or ceramic – but the bread will not be as good as baked in the cast iron – sorry guys. I actually went out and bought a new 4 liter Le Creuset pot just for this project – and it was worth it!
5. I use a warmer oven then in the original recipe: 480 degrees F/250 degrees C.
My recipe in European measures:
500 g flour (after your choice)
5 g fresh yeast (we don’t use instant yeast in Denmark)
2 tsp salt (I like the taste of salt to be more prevalent – is that the correct word?)
4 dl water (+ 3-4 TBSP extra if using whole wheat flour)
I just crumble the yeast into the flour, add salt and water and stir the dough together – just until there is no more dry flour – this will take less than 1 minute.
Cover the bowl and let it rest on the kitchen table for as long as you can wait – 8-18 hours.
Let the dough “fall” out of the bowl on to a lightly floured table. Fold the dough over on itself 3 or 4 times, turn it seam side down and place it on a floured cloth. Dust a little more flour over the dough, fold the cloth loosely over and let it rest while the oven and pot reaches 480 degrees F/250 degrees C – about 20-30 minutes.
Flip the dough into the hot pot, put the lid on and put it in the oven 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake the bread 15-20 minutes more. Let in cool on a rack at least 30 minutes.
The dough has rested in the cloth
The dough in the very hot pot
The bread is finished
Fingers off - it is cooling on the rack