This cake is called no-knead Bread but should be called easy-peasy bread! It’s so easy to make and both taste and feels perfect. A big bonus is that it is easy to make your own variations of the bread.
The recipe comes from Jim Lahey, but I discovered the recipe and over 50 variations of it on a Norwegian blog called Mat På Bordet. And she really shows and inspire to try out new variation according to your tastes, which I’ve been doing each time. The core recipe never fails on me, no matter how much I change it. And who doesn’t love fail-proof recipes!
I know this recipe already exist on many blogs and websites, but this one should be shared and shared again until everybody has converted to homemade bread! So try it and share it!
The core recipe
500 g flour
400 ml water
1,5 ts instant dry yeast
1,5 ts salt
And an important piece of equipment is a pot, a casserole or anything with a lid that can be put in the oven. But I would recommend to the strongest a cast iron pot (which I don’t have, but noticed a big differences when I get to borrow one).
First you mix the dry ingredients and then add the water. But just stir it a little bit and that’s enough. You don’t need a perfect batter, it will work itself to that. And don’t worry if it looks to fluid, that’s normal, you didn’t screw up the proportions. It should look kind of gewy.
Then cover it with plastic and let it rest on the counter for 12-20 hours. You’ll see it’s ready when you can see a lot of bubbles inside the dough. It doesn’t need to rest somewhere particularly hot, but avoid specially cold rooms and where there are drafts.
Tip: in Norway it's very common to have heated bathroom floors, so if you do have it, you can let your dough rise there during the night for example.
Tip: a good time to make the batter would be just before you go to bed, it takes 3 minutes, so it's no work at all, and then the timing for the next step is great because it's when you get back from work, school, uni or whatever.
Then take out a slice of greaseproof paper on a table and flour it well. Some use a towel instead, but since I’m a student with a washer-phobia, I avoid using up my clean towels and use paper, and it works perfectly fine!
Now place the dough on it and sprinkle some flour on it. Then just fold the dough on itself a couple of times 82-4) and shape it to a nice round shape. Flour your hands to fold it so it won’t stick, or if you don’t like touching it you don’t even need to, just use a floured spatula for example. The work doesn’t need to be so meticulous.
The dough needs to rest covered for about 2 hours. I just put the bowl on top of the dough.
After one and a half hour (or half an hour before your going to bake your bread) put your pot in the oven at 250ºC. If your not using a cast iron pot, there’s no problem, just make sure it handles the heat. Then take the pot out of the oven and through the dough in it and put it back in the oven with a lid on it.
Then after 45 minutes, take off the lid and turn down the heat at 220º for 15 minutes. Then take it out of the oven. When you knock on the bread it should make a “hollow” sound which means it’s ready. Let it cool down on a rack.
To conserve it you can rap it in a towel, or you can use a pillowcase as a breadbag. The reason you shouldn’t use a plastic bag is because it’s airtight, which means it keeps the humidity inside and the bread will loose it’s nice crust.
Tip: No-Knead breads can be frozen but they will loose their crustilicious crust, so bake it again for 5 minutes at 200º and it's all good.
Make your own variation
In shape and use: think outside the box! Use the recipe to make different shapes or to different uses: baguettes, muffin shapes, rolls, hamburger buns, knots, braided bread, focaccia…
This batch of cupbreads were of perfect proportions for my lunch!
In taste: garlic bread, nuts (yummy walnut bread for example), seeds (sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds…), slightly roasted seeds, different flours and mixes of them (if your not to sure about how much you can experiment, start with still 400 g of normal flour and work your way to more mixes), olives, dry tomatoes, honey, spices (oregano, ), cheese, olive oil…
My personal favourite is a mix of 300 g wheat flour, 200 g rye flour and then a couple of spoons of seeds!
For the decoration: flour, seeds, olive oil, marks with the knife…