Are you looking to bake your own bread instead of buying the store-bought options?

 

Baking bread can be an excellent weekend exercise and can often be a much healthier alternative to the store-bought loaves of bread available.

 

This no-knead bread recipe can be knocked up in 5mins and is delicious. Don’t let the length of the instructions scare you; this recipe is easy to prepare.

 

What you’ll need:

 

  • 3 cups lukewarm water, plus more for the broiler tray.
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast (active dry, instant, quick rise or bread machine is fine)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or another coarse salt, to taste.
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour measured by the scoop-and-sweep method.
  • Cornmeal, for dusting (optional).

 

Method:

 

Warm the 3 cups water to a lukewarm temperature.

 

In the large bowl of a standing mixer or a container with a lid, mix the yeast, warm water, and salt. Don’t worry about getting the yeast to dissolve.

 

Add the flour all at once, then use a spoon or stand mixer to mix until the flour is completely incorporated, and you have a blobby dough.

 

(If you’re hand-mixing the dough and it becomes too challenging to combine all the flour with the spoon, use very wet hands to press the mixture together.)

 

Don’t knead the dough. It’s not necessary. You want the dough to be uniformly wet and loose enough to conform to the shape of its container. All you need to do is be certain that there are no dry patches of flour.

 

Loosely cover the container and let the dough hang out at room temperature until it begins to rise and collapse or at least flatten a little on the top, about 2 hours.

 

After 2 hours, put the container of dough in the fridge. That’s it. (If your container isn’t vented, you want to ensure the gases can escape by leaving the cover open a crack for the first couple days in the fridge; after that, you can seal it.)

 

You can use the dough any time after the initial 2-hour rise.

 

When you want to bake, dust a baking sheet turned upside down with cornmeal or line it with parchment paper. Grab a hunk of the dough and use a serrated knife or scissors to cut into pieces.

 

Hold the dough in your hands and, if necessary, add just enough flour, so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands.

 

Gently stretch the surface of the dough, tucking the ends underneath the ball and rotating it a quarter-turn as you go.

 

Your round loaf of bread should be smooth and cohesive, and the entire shaping process should take no more than 20 to 40 seconds.

 

Preheat the oven to 230°C for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat a baking stone on a middle rack for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

 

Place an empty metal broiler tray on any rack that won’t interfere with the rising bread. (Do not use a glass pan as it could shatter.)

 

Dust the top of the raised loaf generously with flour and, using a serrated bread knife, slash a 1/2-inch-deep cross or tic-tac-toe pattern in the top.

 

Bake the bread for a total of 20 to 35 minutes, until the crust is richly browned and firm to the touch.

 

 

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