I am four or five years late on this one, I think. Oh, wow, no, seven! (In 2006 Mark Bittman made no-knead bread with Jim Lahey and revolutionized everything that went on in the universe forever after.) I’ve been meaning to make it since I got my Dutch oven, but then never did, until a few days ago. I wanted to make it whole-wheat but also didn’t want it to turn out horrible, since whole-wheat flour doesn’t act the same way white flour does; so I just did one-third whole-wheat and the rest bread flour. (I need to make a style guide for this blog. I need to make a decision about the hyphenation of whole-wheat. AAGH.)
I mixed the ingredients together…
…then covered it with my dough towel and let it rise overnight and the entire day. It rose.
At about 8 p.m. the next day, I investigated it. It smelled like beer, which was disgusting, but not unanticipated, since the entire point of the overnight rise is so it can ferment a little… maybe? Like sourdough and natural yeast and all that.
I floured it and folded it onto itself and let it sit for fifteen minutes. Then I read the next part of the directions, which instructed me to put it on a floured non-terrycloth kitchen towel. I was like, I don’t have a non-terrycloth kitchen towel. But I did have a pillowcase, so I used that instead. This is true commitment to baking.
It rose for two more hours, then went in the oven.
Then it baked.
THEN WE TOOK IT OUT OF THE OVEN. My friend who was with me said, “This bread looks so good I am going to cry. You can quote me on that, but don’t use my name.”
We ate it. I was pretty sure I understood what it feels like to have a newborn. Well, except you don’t eat your newborn. OK, um, the end.
Here’s the recipe. Please don’t make me type it out.
And some info on whole-wheat variations: