I am in LOVE! I am in love with this Bread!!! I have been making it everyday for a week. This recipe is easy and delicious. It is an Italian, hard crust with a hearty chewy center. The surprising thing is that it is not made in a big mixer, or a bread maker, but just stirred together in a bowl. The unusual thing is that it takes a tiny amount of yeast and therefore a long rise lets it develop a wonderful texture with big bubbles (or holes). So, if you want a loaf tomorrow, you mix it up today, let it rise all day and night (11-18 hours) and bake it tomorrow. It is very forgiving as to time since it rises so slowly. The last unusual thing is that when you are ready to bake it, you preheat a heavy lidded pan first then bake it in the pan. It turns out so beautifully, and tastes just like you got it from an bakery artisan in Europe with his open hearth oven. Now that I have you smelling that wonderful aroma, here is the recipe:
No-Knead Bread in a Pot
3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/3 cup cold water (55-65 degrees)
Whisk dry ingredients with yeast in a fairly large bowl. Add water and using a wooden spoon mix until you have a wet sticky dough for about 30 seconds. It should be sticky to the touch. If it is not, add some more water.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap-sprayed with Pam. Let it sit for about 11-18 hours. This slow rise is the key to the flavor.
After the first rise, scrape it down in the bowl. Dump it out onto a floured surface, and with a rubber scraper shape it into a round using as little flour as possible.
Get a square of Parchment paper larger than a cake round and spray the paper with Pam. Place the dough round onto the Parchment paper and place it in the cake round. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with Pam. Let this rise for about 1-2 hours.
Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees and put the oven proof heavy pot (I use an enameled cast iron 3 1/2 qt. pan-like Le Cruset) into the oven with it's lid too.
Then take the lid off. It will look good but it still needs to cook longer.So bake for about 15-20 minutes more.
(I was able to purchase my enameled cast iron pan from TJMaxx for $35.00) If you decide to try it I'd love to hear what you think about it!