Morning of the day before:
20 ounces unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 scant teaspoon yeast
2 cups cold water
Stir all ingredients together into a gooey dough. Spray lightly with oil, cover tightly with saran wrap, and let sit overnight on the counter. It will double, if not more.
The morning of the next day, use spatula to gently fold dough over on itself.
Spray lightly with oil, cover tightly with saran wrap, and let rise until double, 4 – 6 hours.
Heat oven to 450F, with cast iron dutch oven with lid on in the oven.
When oven is heated, remove dutch oven and lid from oven. With oiled spatula encourage dough gently into dutch oven. Shake dutch oven to round and center dough. Spray dough lavishly with water, cover, and put in oven. Bake 50 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 425F, remove lid, and bake for 20 minutes more.
Cool in dutch oven for ten minutes. Place on rack. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Try not to eat it all at one sitting. Try hard.
This recipe began with Jim Lahy’s Sullivan Street Bakery No-Knead Bread recipe in the New York Times. All respect to Mr. Lahy, I see no need to ruin a perfectly good dish towel.
*Use the best quality flour you can find. I use Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White, or I used to before covid. Fortunately this recipe works with any flour.
*I get my bread water out of the refrigerator dispenser. It’s filtered. This bread seems to really like it.
*Do you dry out yogurt before you eat it? Substitute the liquid drained from said yogurt (called whey) for the water in this recipe. It gives an interesting, ever so slightly sour flavor to the bread.
*Stick the dough in the refrigerator for either rise. It will take longer to double but it won’t hurt it a bit.
Cook screwing with the recipe even more:
*For this batch, I substituted 5 ounces of whole wheat flour for 5 ounces of the unbleached white flour. A visiting friend likes brown bread. It didn’t rise as fast or as much but it tasted fine.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.