No-Knead Crusty Bread
6 ½ cups (packed) of bread flour (all-purpose flour should do it too)
1 tablespoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon instant dry yeast
3 cups lukewarm water
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl giving it a gentle stir.
Add the water (lukewarm or room temperature) and stir to make sticky, rough dough. If you have a mixer, use to beat the dough for about 1 minute. If you don’t, just use your hands or a wooden spoon. It’s good exercise. Just make sure all flour is incorporated in the dough and there are no rough chunks.
Next step is to let the dough rise in the same bowl. Cover it with a plastic foil and put it somewhere warm and away from cold drafts. I use my oven. Let it rise for 2 hours. Then, put it in the fridge for at least another 2 hours. If you don’t have this time to maneuver , just place it in the refrigerator skipping the room-temperature rise time. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 5 days, maybe longer. I kept it for 5 days and then baked it and the result was very pleasing.
When you are ready to bake whether 2 hours later or 5 days, take a portion of the dough (about ¼) a roll it in flour then let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature. It won’t rise upwards too much but it will expand. Shape it round and place it on a baking sheet. No need to oil it or flour it.
Preheat your over at 425F while the dough rests.
In a shallow cast iron pan, on the lower shelf of the oven, place a cup of hot water. You will need it to produce steam while baking for a perfect top crust.
Now, you are ready to bake your bread. With a sharp knife, slash the top of the bread 2 or 3 times diagonally. Sprinkle some flour in top and place the bread in the oven.
Bake the bread for 30 minutes until the top has a deep golden brown color.
Remove the bread from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before you slice it, otherwise it will be doughy and sticky.
p.s. The initial dough will allow about 4 loaves of bread. Pretty good deal ! ! !