I have been making bread and not the sandwich kind - I mean the good the crusty French kind. I had been looking at Mark Bittman's no-knead bread recipe for quite some time, but never took the plunge. Just in case you are not familiar with the recipe, you mix the ingredients and let them sit and eventually bake the bread in a cast iron/Le Creuset kind of pot. I showed my mom, the artisan bread baking aficionado, the recipe and she thought about it for a while too and decided to go for it. She researched a bit more and found the Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day book. She started making the Master recipe and used the Bittman cooking method and it was perfect. I was still a bit hesitant because I did not want my very nice Le Creuset pot that was given to me by my in-laws for my 30th birthday to look like this (it's my mom's):
What do they have to do with one another? Nothing really, it's just that every time I think about writing this Randy Jackson's voice pops into my head saying "yo dawg check it out". Scary isn't it? First, I'm not a "yo dawg" kinda person. Second, I am not a huge American Idol fan, in fact, this season is the first I have ever watched and had the writers not been on strike I may not have ever seen the show. I know it is really popular, but it just didn't appeal to me. Maybe it's because I have never been an aspiring singer - really, I could make dogs howl with my terrible voice, I have no rhythm (have you seen Elaine dance on Seinfeld?) and finally, I can't remember the words to songs and I am forever singing the one verse I remember at the wrong time. Anyway, I'm watching now, so check this out dawg:
So, when I found a knock-off at Marshall's on Clearance for $29 (regularly $89), I dove into bread baking.
You probably aren't going to believe me, but it is really easy! Here is what you need:
You need a big plastic container to mix up the dough
A cast iron pot with a lid, or a baking dish for water and a baking stone
Here is the gist of the recipe: mix together the ingredients, let stand on the counter for 3 hours, refrigerate until ready to use. You will have enough mixed up in the bin to make a total of 4 loaves and the dough will keep in the refrigerator for 14 days.
If you opt to use the pot and lid method (much easier) disregard 6-9 in the above recipe and do this: when ready to bake a round, take out a grapefruit sized piece, put it in a skillet that has a piece parchment sprinkled with cornmeal inside, let rise 45 minutes, flour and slash top as described in recipe, place in pot that has been heating in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Bake in pot for 20 minutes, when light brown take out of pot and bake just on the rack for another 10 or 15 minutes or until desired brownness. Let cool on wire rack and try not to eat the whole thing.
It is super cool dawg.