Posted by: ham8cheese | November 23, 2009

a bread recipe for layabouts

I don’t know what it is – maybe something about the cold weather or the oncoming holidays – but I am finding myself inspired to cook quite a bit these days.  (At the same time, my low-carb-till-6pm diet seems to have fallen by the wayside.  See Exhibit 1 here: low-carb diet 0, Tartine cookies 3 or 4)  With Asylum Street Spankers playing in the background and Mr. Spoke busying himself working on his new-to-him Raleigh Super Course, I decided to prepare some dough for baking later in the week (probably Wednesday night?).  Since Mr. Spoke is planning to make Zuni Cafe‘s recipe for roast chicken and bread salad on Thursday, I figure having some homemade bread laying around can’t be a bad thing.

Given the late hour, I decided to opt for the easiest of the bread recipes in my arsenal, Jim Sullivan’s no knead bread recipe.  (In terms of ingredients, I prefer King Arthur’s bread flour and Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast.)  You literally slap the ingredients together (taking care to mix the yeast into the flour separately from the salt), make sure the dry ingredients are roughly evenly hydrated, cover it, and after a long while, throw it in a piping hot oven.  It’s the long while that is key – this is when all the flavors in the bread will develop, so letting it sit there on your hopefully warmish counter for 20-plus hours is what will make this bread delicious.   I’ve made this bread with anywhere from 18 hours to 24 hours or possibly more fermentation time, and it will turn out fine (the high moisture content in the dough helps it keep longer).  You can also stick it in the fridge to retard the dough a bit if you like.  It’s all good with this recipe, in my book.

Next up: making some butter.  Mmm, butter.

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