No-Knead Bread

Introduction

Preparation suggested by Riccardo, a friend of mine who runs the Boivin Restaurant.

Ingredients

  • flour: 3 cups (450 g)

  • water: one 5/8 cup (400 ml)

  • yeast: 3/4 of a cube of fresh yeast (or 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast)

  • salt: 1/4 teaspoon (5 g)

Preparation

Premiss: The quality of the flour is essential: the better the flour, the better the bread. Mix flours, adding between 1/5 to 1/3 of Manitoba to standard 00 flour. The Manitoba flour adds consistency and makes the bread more “gummy”.

My preparation is slightly different from the one described by Riccardo and the NY Times. Results are good. Experiment and choose yours!

  • If you use fresh yeast, dissolve it in the water.
  • Mix in a bowl all ingredients. You will get a fairly liquid and sticky preparation (see picture). It does not need to be worked very much: just make sure the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Cover with kitchen film and wait for 12-18 hours. When you see small “holes”, the preparation is ready.
  • Put on a table (with a bit of flour, to avoid the preparation to stick) and fold a couple of times, to incorporate air.
  • Cover with a cloth and put the preparation to rest. (Some suggest to put the preparation in a cloth… it certainly simplifies putting the preparation in the pot—see below). The shortest resting period I tried is 1/2 hour. Some suggest to wait up to 1 1/2 hours.

  • Start heating a pot in the oven at 230 degrees (Celsius!). I use a Pyroflam pot; other recipes suggest to use a Dutch oven, that is, a iron pot. I usually wait 1/2 hour.

    • Put the preparation in the pot and cook for 30 minutes at 230 degrees with the lid
    • Cook for an additional 20 minutes, without the lid. Force venting when you cook without the lid if you want a slightly thicker crust.
    • Voila, your bread is ready

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