This is not really my recipe. It’s Jim Lahey’s New York Times published recipe (recently revolutionised by Gourmet Girlfriend) with some speedy tweaks. I am often a bit too busy to think ahead, so here’s a way to make these super famous loaves without the super long rise. I think the long rise might result in a deeper, more fermented flavour… but the short rise makes for a really great, airy, crusty loaf too. (Find Jim’s book here!)
Here’s how I do it. You should do it too.
Pip’s Speedier No-Knead Bread
3 1/2 cups of strong white flour
1 sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
Put all ingredients into a mixer and mix until combined. I use a dough hook for this. Oil a largish bowl and using a spatula, scrape the soggy dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 3 or 4 hours in a warm room. It needs to be bubbly all over. (My loaves today took 3 hours in a heated room.)
Punch the dough down through the plastic wrap. It’ll stick to the wrap. Yank the wrap off and cover with fresh plastic wrap. (You can also punch it down with floury hands.) Let it rise and recover in a warm spot for another half an hour or so. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450F (230C).
Grease a cast iron pot with a lid well and put that in the oven (empty!) – the dough will almost double in size as it cooks, if that helps you go choose which pot to use! I use the spray oil stuff for this job. When your dough is ready (after a half hour second rise!) use a spatula to scrape it into a bit of ball in the bowl it has risen in.
Now get your cast iron pot out of the oven and plonk the ball into it (again, scrape it in gently with the spatula, keeping it a bit ball shaped) Put the lid on. Bake for 30 minutes at 450F (230C).
Remove the lid and bake for an extra 15 minutes until golden brown. Tip the loaf out of the pot onto a cooling rack and marvel at your amazingness!