THE EASIEST BREAD YOU'LL EVER BAKE
Mens Journal February Issue. By Artisanal baker, Jim Lahey.
Jim is inspired by the rustic breads of Italy. He has a book, My Bread, and is founder of New York's Sullivan Street Bakery. This is his no knead, "oven within an oven" method for baking great fool proof bread.
Mix 3 cups bread flour, 1 1//4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp dry yeast, and 1 1/2 cups tepid water for 30 seconds until sticky. My add 2 additional tbsp water if necessary. (We did)
Cover bowl of dough with a tea towel and let it sit for 12-18 hours. (We set on top of fridge, as it was a cold day) The rise is done when the dough is doubled in size and dotted with air bubbles.
Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and push it into a ball. Dust the towel with flour, place the dough on top, and fold the towel over.
After 1-2 hours (the dough should hold an indentation when poked), invert dough into a 4-5 quart pot, that has been preheated in a 475 degree oven. ( We used a Le Creuset dutch oven)
Using potholders, carefully place the lid on the pot (removing any rubber parts) and return to the oven. Bake at 475 for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-30 minutes more, until a dark brown. ( We baked for additional 15 min. and that was enough ) Place the loaf on a cooling rack and somehow resist tearing into it until it is fully cooled, about an hour.
Greg saw a recipe in his Mens Journal magazine for an easy way to make bread. He was so excited to make this together.. We purchased our fresh yeast, and a new bag of bread flour, and set aside Saturday as the big day!! It had to sit to rest and rise for 18 hours, and then covered for another 2 before baking. So it was a project for the entire weekend! It did not disappoint!
Here is Chef Gregory, mixing up the dough. This time he was the head chef, and I was the sous chef.
Sitting on top of the fridge to rise for 18 hours.
After the 1st rise, it was then formed into a ball, and placed on a floured tea towel for another 2 hours. Then , a heavy cast iron pot or dutch oven was to be preheated in the oven at 475. The bread goes in the hot dutch oven and then bakes for 30 min. with the lid on, and another 15 min. with lid off.
I was out shopping with Erika for her wedding when the bread had to be baked, so he was on his own for this part. AND he was watching our 2 1/2 yr. old grandson too. So considering all of that, he did GREAT! It came out of the oven looking like a beautiful loaf of artisan bread that you would find in a specialty bakery, or like that wonderful sourdough loaf you can buy in San Francisco! It sliced up beautifully. It was a nice firm bread.
Most of the loaf was eaten simply by pulling off a piece and enjoying plain. What was left I toasted with garlic for our spaghetti dinner tonight. Needless to say, there was not so much as a crumb left!
Next....rosemary flat bread. And then sourdough......and then........Uh oh, you get the picture. I am in trouble!!!!
Oops, I almost forgot. These are my new boots.
Aren't they cute?