Why am I the last to hear about the New York Times 'No Knead' bread recipe? I read about it only a couple of weeks ago, and although I'd read about slow-rise doughs, I didn't know you could let it rise at room temp that long. I'll admit I was a little skeptical, since I know kneading is important for gluten development. But I tried some at a friend's house the other day and was amazed! Seriously, I thought it was from one of our artisan bakeries! I was really excited to try it.
Last night I put all the ingredients together and set it on the counter overnight. I though briefly about taking a picture of the dough before & after the 18 hour rise, but I didn't. It was quite impressive though, and the smell... just a bit sour, so yummy. I also kinda wish I'd read the recipe a little better before I did the shaping... because I kinda skipped that step and had a problem peeling the dough off the tea towel after the second (much shorter) rise. But all is not lost...
Now, that's a gorgeous loaf if I do say so myself! But that's only part of the story.
Check out those big glossy holes... that's the mark of *serious* bread. Oh, when I saw the glossy inside, I was so thrilled. The crust is crunchy, the inside smooth and yummy. It's not *quite* as the bread I tried the other day, but it's good... very good. I'll be trying this one again... and again... and again!
It takes a long time, but the idea is that you let the dough do the work to get the flavor. There's a lot of chemistry involved, and you just can't take a short cut to get there. Ok... I need to be alone with my bread now. ;)