This recipe requires no kneading, no stretching, pretty much no skill whatsoever to create a crisp-crusted, airy, chewy pan pizza. Top as desired.
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I've never seen what I consider to be a really satisfactory explanation of the science behind the No-Knead Bread recipe, so I'm gonna try and fill that hole here. And what cool science it is. In 2006, Mark Bittman introduced the world to a recipe from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery, which had a whole bunch of home cooks opening up their Dutch ovens and exclaiming oh my goodness—I can't believe I just did that! It certainly had me thinking that. Even more interesting to me than that it works is how it works, because by understanding the how, we can then modify the recipe to fit many different baking situations, even improving its flavor.
There was no way that I could resist four long, thin baguettes studded with olives and sun-dried tomatoes. They looked absolutely beautiful, and knowing that the dough was based on Jim Lahey's foolproof no-knead bread method, I was confident that the finished loaves wouldn't be an all-day project.
I was a little late to jump on the No-Knead Bread bandwagon—it was one of those recipes that I'd been meaning to try but never got around to, until about a month ago. Ever since that first loaf, Jim Lahey's no-knead bread has become an instant staple in my kitchen and I try to have a bowl of dough proofing on my counter at all times.
"This was one of those moments where I couldn't believe something that looked this professional came from my stove." [Photographs: Caroline Russock] A month into Cathy Erway's eating-in experiment she decided to learn how to make her own bread. While...