Last weekend, I wanted home baked bread. I regularly make my own from scratch (I think I purchased 4 loaves of bread in all of 2008), but, I did not want to spend the last weekend of my vacation kneading dough. Don’t judge me for my laziness.
knile has mentioned the no-knead bread over and over again. I found the recipe for four hour no-knead bread on the NY Times site here. With only four ingredients, and next to no effort required, I was in business.
Making the dough was simple. 3 cups of flour? Check. 1 Tbsp yeast? Check. 1.5 tsp salt? Check. 1cup water? Check. Stir for 20 seconds and cover with the mixing bowl lid. Austin was enjoying an unseasonably warm 75 degree day, meaning my apartment was at the required 70 degrees. The only thing I had to do was take advantage of first of the year sales at the mall. And then come home and sleep. Before I knew it, the four hours was up, and the dough was basically finished. I baked the dough in a 2 qt Pyrex container.
So, I know you’re wondering: how was the finished product. To put it simply, "Meh." The bread was quite heavy and dense. I think it would have been delightful with a creamy soup or some high quality cheese. Or, if you wanted, perhaps a superior quality sandwich. Unfortunately, all I had was butter and apple butter. And the bread wasn’t all that great by itself. My conclusion then, is that this bread is alright for what it is. You certainly can’t get better results with less effort. This won’t be a recipe I run to use again, but I suppose if I have a cheese tasting party, or serve dinner with a nice soup, I’d consider using the the four hour no knead bread.