Friday, December 13, 2013

No-knead Artisan Easy Bread (Bánh mì không cần nhồi bột)

I know I haven't baked for a while, but now I'm back.

I am a bread lover and I can finish a whole big baguette from Fairway by myself. Unfortunately, I can't find any good bread in Park Slope except for good but expensive artisan bread at the farmer's market at Grand Army Plaza on Saturday, so I started to bake at home. I love the smell of bread all over the house when I bake and the fresh look of bread when they just come out of the oven. Baking bread is not easy like baking cookies, and you need a Breadman or Kitchen Aid to save you labor and time. I own a Kitchen Aid, it's my mother in law X'mas gift last year and it helps a lot. 

The idea of making artisan bread in 5 minutes was inspired by my friend and Jim Lahey. Thanks Jim for inventing a no-knead artisan bread and thanks for my friend's experimenting. The recipe is suitable for those who don't have time to bake or do not have a Kitchen Aid or Breadman but love home-made bread. Here you go. 

The recipe adapted from Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan St Bakery, NYC

    3 cups (430g) bread flour
    1½ cups (345g or 12oz) water (I use 1 1/2 cup luke warm water + 2 tbsp luke warm water)
    ¼ teaspoon (1g) yeast ( I use 1 teaspoon yeast)
    1¼ teaspoon (8g) salt
    olive oil (for coating)
    extra flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal (for dusting)
        Two medium mixing bowls
        6 to 8 quart pot with lid (Pyrex glass, Le Creuset cast iron, or ceramic)
        Wooden Spoon or spatula (optional)
        Plastic wrap
        Two or three cotton dish towels (not terrycloth)
          Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add water and incorporate by hand or with a wooden spoon or spatula for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lightly coat the inside of a second medium bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest 12 hours at room temperature (approx. 65-72°F).
          Remove the dough from the bowl and fold once or twice. Let the dough rest 15 minutes in the bowl or on the work surface. Next, shape the dough into ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal; place the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with flour. Cover the dough with a cotton towel and let rise 1-2 hours at room temperature, until more than doubled in size.

          Preheat oven to 450-500°F. Place the pot in the oven at least 30 minutes prior to baking to preheat. Once the dough has more than doubled in volume, remove the pot from the oven and place the dough in the pot seam side up. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes Then remove the lid and bake 15-30 minutes uncovered, until the loaf is nicely browned.

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