Bread. It deserves so much more than I can give it here in this paltry blog post. There are religious, cultural, and now dietary rants centered around this mythical mix of flour, water, and yeast, (and maybe another ingredient or two…salt? honey?).
Some day I plan on writing a complete thesis on bread, but I am going to leave that for some other time when I can fully come to grips with all of the history and meaning that surrounds bread and its cousins and why it brings so many people together, and now tears so many apart.
Today, though, I want to talk about a recipe for a very simple loaf of bread that you can (and should) make every week. After making this bread once, you won’t even shell out the $3-6 it costs to get awesome artisanal bread from a local bakery. Don’t get me wrong, if you can’t or won’t make bread at home, then you absolutely must start buying better bread at the store. My home keeps a couple of loaves of sandwich bread (Dave’s Killer or course) and at least one loaf of artisanal bread that we use for dinner, to soak up leftover sauces and soups, and general snacking.
This recipe for No Knead Bread was “made famous” by an article written several years ago in the NY Times by the great food writer Mark Bittman about a local baker, Jim Lahey, from the Sullivan Street Bakery. This basic bread recipe has appeared in countless newspapers, magazine articles, co0k books, and of course throughout the blogosphere since. Most recently I have seen it in Greg Atkinson’s At the Kitchen Table book, the Dinner: A Love Story blog, and my very own father ripped out an article from the Spokesman-Review the other day and mailed it to me (yes mail, stamps, etc.)!
This bread is SO EASY to make and is SO WORTH the little effort it takes to make it, that you will feel like equal parts grandmother and hipster baker in one bite. The time that it takes to let the dough develop its flavor yields a tangy, almost sourdough-like quality that you simply won’t be able to get enough of.
If you liked this post, you may also enjoy these links:
My post on making Challah, the beautiful twisty bread the Jews use to celebrate Shabbat.