Book – There’s no need to knead

I really like freshly baked bread. I think a nice, crusty bread makes an excellent accompaniment to most meals, but there’s a drawback – bread has always seemed to me to be prohibitively labour intensive, so it only gets made on special occasions, and then only when Angela makes it! Until now.

There’s been quite a bit of buzz about no-knead bread, a methodology championed by Jim Lahey of The Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC, and raved about by Mark Bitman of the NY Times.

In a nutshell, Lahey’s method involves time, and an oven inside an oven, either a dutch-oven, cast-iron stew-pot or even a Romertopf. Very little physical effort is required, which makes this an attractive method for the lazy amongst us, which, of course, includes me.

After quickly mixing the ingredients together, the dough is left for a long time to rise, between 18 and 24 hours. During this time you can read, sleep, cook, ride a bike, write a poem or watch the telly, what’s important is that with respect to the bread, you don’t have to do anything. The yeast and flour are doing all of the work for you.

Once the dough is ready, it is baked inside a dutch-oven, the steam escaping as the bread cooks makes for a good, crusty, moist bread.

I can’t recommend this method enough – it is so very easy, and the bread is gobsmackingly impressive – crusty and chewy, a good as any bakery bread.

Here’s a link to Lahey’s recipe in the NY Times , to get you started, but if you like this bread, and I’m sure you will, I can certainly recommend Lahey’s book, My Bread – The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method.

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