Baking bread terrifies me. It always has–deciding to bake a loaf of bread is like deciding to bring new life into the world (a bun in the oven, indeed). You have to coddle it, swaddle it, protect it, feed it and keep it warm, massage it, listen to it breath and watch it grow until it has grown just enough–and then you bake it at just the right temperature for just enough time–and you end up with an ungrateful, delinquent child that’s got a weak constitution and is thoroughly bland. Or at least, that’s my experience with bread baking. Until now.

Enter a bread recipe that involves no hoopla, no schedule-clearing, no weighing, no fretting…

No-Knead Bread, a.k.a. idiot-proof bread. So easy, a me could do it. I altered the recipe like a dumb dora and it still came out perfect (used active dry yeast, didn’t have heat in the apartment so just put it on top of the fridge and let it rise for an extra few hours, miscalculated the time and let it sit for a few hours more, used saran wrap because I didn’t want to dirty a towel, dusted with whole wheat flour because I ran out of bread flour…)

And I have to tell you, all you’ve heard about how awesome the end product is is true (The shattering crust! The developed flavor! The craggy texture!) My neighbors, who smelled the wonder and inquired as to what we were doing, ate a piece and asked if it was cinnamon bread because the dough had developed into a slightly-sweet concoction the likes of which they had never eaten. We dipped it in olive oil, ate it with cheese, slathered it with cultured butter, and generally devoured it in two days.

Please try this. And then experiment with mixing in all kinds of crazy things. You’ll want to become one of those people who bakes bread every week–a convert like me.

No-Knead Bread (NYT)

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