I‘ve never baked bread from scratch before and this is my 1st ever successful good crusty bread. I’m very pleased with it.
A good girlfriend of mine, Kit found several No-Knead Crusty Bread recipes for me coz she knows that I’ve allergy problems and couldn’t use my fingers to knead bread and that I don’t have a mixer.
In fact, I’ve tried them all but I found Janet of Simply So Good with the best and easiest to follow recipe. Her’s now THE basic recipe I use to make different flavoured breads – mostly savoury but sweet too.. 🙂
- 3 cups all purpose (plain) flour
- 1¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 1½ cups (warm) water
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and yeast together.
- Add water and mix (a silicon spatula works great) till a shaggy mixture forms.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for between 12-18 hrs in a warm place (on worktop in the summer or in oven in the winter). Don’t Refrigerate. This is not optional. It takes that much time to proof dough. The reason why a large bowl’s needed, is coz dough will start to rise. So, overnite (±12 hrs) works great.
- Preheat oven to 230C.
- When oven has reached 230C, put a (I used a 3L) cast iron pot or casserole dish with a lid in oven and heat pot for 30 mins.
- Meanwhile, pour (or scrap) dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. (My method: Wipe worktop with a wet cloth, place a piece of baking paper on wet surface. Scrap with a spatula, dough from top side back to middle of dough, continue till dough comes away from sides easily. Sprinkle flour (I love using semolina) generously on baking paper. Then, scrap with a spatular, dough onto baking paper and shape into a ball. Then sprinkle flour (or semolina) on surface of dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap (sprinkle flour (or semolina) on surface of dough to prevent plastic wrap from sticking to dough.). and let set while pot’s heating.
- Remove hot pot from oven, remove lid (be careful here – pot will be very hot!) and drop in the dough (carefully lift baking paper with dough and put them into pot).
- Cover and return pot to oven to bake for 30 mins.
- After 30 min, remove lid and bake an additional 15 mins (to brown crust).
- Remove bread from oven (also baking paper, if using) and place on a cooling rack to cool before slicing.
* In italic – my own improvisation
Note: Total time’s 24 hours – to make time management easier but actually it could take between 14-24 hrs.. 🙂
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I’ve made different variations with different flavourings several times over the last few months. It remains my favourite basic crusty bread recipe.. 🙂
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