Crusty No Knead Loaf

28 Jul

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I always thought kneading was an essential part of bread making and to be honest, I love it that way. I know it is the focal point of many peoples bread making nightmares but I completely disagree. It is really therapeutic and and a great arm workout all rolled into one!

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But for those of you that want to be able to create that crusty loaf with an airy, fluffy centre that looks like it belongs on the table of an Italian grandmother then this is the recipe for you. It involves (pretty much) no kneading and it tastes like something out of my most ambitious bread making dreams. There is only one draw back in this recipe… it has to be left to rise for 8-24hrs. I know this seems a bit of a task but really if you just plan a day in advance it is easy as pie.

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I must say though the curiosity to see how it would turn out nearly killed me the first time! It is baked in a dutch oven, a big casserole dish with a lid or if necessary a baking dish covered with tin foil. I’m sure most people would have some sort of a casserole dish though especially in Ireland, sure the stewing pot would be perfect for this.

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Crusty No Knead Loaf (Makes 1 loaf)

3 cups plain flour

2tsp salt

1tsp dry active yeast

1-1 1/2 cups warm water

  • In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt and yeast.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in a cup of the water. Use a wooden spoon to combine it, adding more water a little bit at a time if necessary until all the flour is incorporated and you have a rough dough.
  • Tip it out onto a floured surface and gather it all up making sure  its all in one ball of dough. Give the bowl a quick wash and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
  • Return the dough to the oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel or some cling film. Leave in a warm place to prove for 8-24hrs.
  • Tip the dough out onto a floured surface using a spatula to scrap all the dough off the bowl. Knock the air out of the dough and knead briefly just so that you have a smooth ball of dough. Cover with cling film and let rest until the oven is ready.
  • Place your casserole dish or dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 230°c/450°f.
  • Once preheated take the casserole dish out of the oven and place a sheet of baking parchment on the bottom. Lay the ball of dough in and put the lid back on.
  • Bake in the oven for 30mins then remove the lid and bake for a further 7mins roughly just to brown the top.
  • Munch away on your amazing creation 🙂

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