Zero-effort bread: bang-on edition 12/19 '16
My current no-knead recipe, boiled down to even less effort than the official New York Times version, which includes some unnecessary steps on baking day IMHO:
3 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (*)
1/2 teaspoon active dry bread yeast (I use Red Star from the supermarket)
2 cups water, and a splash more
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the water. With a fork just combine it well; don't knead; this takes less than a minute. It should be a little too wet to knead.
Cover the bowl and allow to sit for 18-24 hours.
Shove an empty pyrex casserole pan (or similar) in the oven, with the lid on, and preheat to 450 degrees.
Remove pan carefully. Toss a little corn meal in the bottom. Take the dough out of the pan; it'll be sticky but manageable. Fold it over on itself (*). Drop it in the pan.
Shove your sticky hands back in your oven mitts and stick the pan in the oven for 30 minutes with the lid on.
Remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes. (**)
Remove and allow to cool a few minutes before devouring.
I was a latecomer to the no-knead party but I think I've got this down.
(*) Salt is a leavening agent and does add a little air to the bread which is nice when there's whole wheat in there. This was a key improvement for me.
(**) This step is optional. The results are a little prettier, but it does take a whole second, and I did say this was zero-effort bread.
(***) If you bake it in an uncovered loaf pan, you'll get a very hard crust. You can cover a loaf pan with aluminum foil if you haven't got a nice pyrex with a lid. The latter is worth finding because you get a very pretty peasant loaf.