I have been a fan of Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread for a while now and have streamlined the recipe a bit. It requires, as the name suggests, no kneading, or frankly much work at all. The method takes about 24 hours total, but the active time is only a few minutes. So, with a little planning you get fresh bread with a crackling crust right out of your home oven. I like to mix the ingredients Saturday afternoon/evening, let the dough rise until the next day and then bake on Sunday for lunch or dinner. You need a covered baking vessel like a dutch oven that is safe to 450 degrees F. The bread first bakes in the covered vessel, which traps steam that is important for the crust to develop. Then it bakes a little longer uncovered and develops a magnificent crust and soft interior. Enjoy!
3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1.5 cups water
Stir all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then add water. Mix until the dough comes together.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12-18 hours (overnight). The dough is ready when little bubbles appear at the surface.
Wet hands and fold dough over a couple of times. Let rise again for 1-2 hours in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.
During the second rise, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F, and preheat a covered baking vessel in the oven.
Place the dough in the hot baking vessel, close the lid, and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes or so until golden brown.
Set the bread on a wire rack to cool.