Behold The No Knead Bread Method
“Have you got an iron cast pot?”, asked Sinead. “If so, you really must make this No Knead bread. I promise you will love it.”
Sinead was right. She usually is. The No Knead bread is special and will make a very regular appearance on my kitchen table. And you can be guaranteed that I’ll whip one up every time we have guests or that I’m going somewhere for dinner.
When it comes to baking I’m more of a simple vanilla cake or chocolate cake kind of person. Sourdough bread seem so complicated. I’ve killed many a starter in my time. Making bread has always scared me but this was so simple that I didn’t feel too nervous.
First let me tell you about what it is like. I found that the No Knead bread reminded me of home and the gorgeous bakeries we have there. Bread is second to none in Ireland but this definitely has French flair. The crust is crunchy and the inside is light with a good chewy texture. It is a very satisfying bread.
The only kitchen tool you can’t do without to make the No Knead bread is a cast iron pot. I bought mine for €35 in Homestore and honestly it’s as heavy and as good as the old Le Creuset I smashed a few years back.
You will also need time. This is an overnight job. It is ready to bake after a 12 hours rise but the longer you leave it the airier it becomes and the bubbles will get larger when you bake it. You can leave to rest up to 24 hours. This is what I do.
It’s also worth noting that when you’re making the No Knead bread, the pastry is wet and shaggy. This is intentional. The gluten is released by the proofing.
You will find lots and lots of versions of this bread online but they are all in american measurements. I am a metrics girl and you might find it easier this way too.
- 350 g of strong bread flour
- 2 teaspoons of salt (use table salt)
- 1 (level) teaspoon of active dry yeast
- 350 ml of luke warm water
- In a bowl, put your flour in and make a well in the middle. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring them all together with a spoon. Remember this will be wet and shaggy and that’s fine.
- Cover with cling film and place it in a safe spot in your kitchen. I left mine on top of the freezer and it was just fine.
- You will need to wait between 12 and 24 hours to bake the bread so make sure you take the timing into consideration.
- First, sprinkle a large piece of parchment paper with some flour.
- Bring the pastry together and shape it into a tight(ish) ball on the paper.
- Score the bread.
- Rest it for one hour under a clean kitchen towel.
- When you have rested the bread for 30 min, place your cast iron pot in the middle of the oven and then pre-heat it to 220 C which is the max on my oven.
- Be careful to use oven gloves and place the bread ball in the pot with the paper. It makes it easier to lift it in and out. Replace the lid and put it in the oven.
- Leave it in the oven for 30 min and then take the lid off. Cook it for a further 15 min.
- Give it a good hour to cool on a wire rack.