Sam's No-Knead Bread

Sam mentioned his no-knead bread recipe in an article last year and three people have asked about it so here it is:

Ingredients:

3 slightly heaped cups of strong baker’s flour (or 1 part wholemeal to 2 parts white if you want a wholemeal loaf)

2 heaped teaspoons of salt

1/2 a teaspoon of dry instant yeast

Method:

Give everything a good mix together to ensure that the salt and yeast are well distributed through the flour.

Next add approximately 2 and a bit cups of very hot water from the tap. I usually add it slowly in small splashes as I combine it with the dry ingredients just to make sure that you don’t over do it. As you add the water, keep folding and mixing the dough until all the dry ingredients have become wet and shaggy. The dough should be quite wet and not form a ball. And you don’t need to over mix, just literally combine until everything is sticky. Cover with a tea towel or glad wrap and put on the kitchen bench to prove. When the dough has doubled in size (after about 3-4 hours) it’s time for the next step. If using a glass bowl you’ll see that the dough is very bubbly and aerated. This is perfect!

Turn on the oven as high as it will go and place a cast iron dutch oven with it’s lid on (Le Creuset or something similar) inside - the dutch oven is the key to getting a crusty exterior to the loaf as it creates a moist environment for the bread to bake in with the lid on. Prepare a bowl with a piece of baking paper inside it - the dough goes in here for the second prove.

Flour the surface of your bench and tip out the very sticky, shaggy dough onto it. Sprinkle some more flour over the top of the dough and then either using your hands or a flat baker’s spatula gently fold the dough over from each “corner” 4 times. Flip the dough and quickly make a rounded boule shape. Transfer the boule to the baking-paper lined bowl and leave the dough to prove for a further 40 minutes while the oven heats up the dutch oven. Right before it’s time to put the bread inside the oven I usually sprinkle on some flaky sea salt or sesame seeds or poppy seeds or whatever you like.

Remove the dutch oven quickly from the oven and transfer the dough (baking paper and all) into it. Put the lid on and back into the oven and then bake on full temperature for 35 minutes (middle of the oven). After 35 minutes remove the lid, turn down the oven to about 180 and bake with the lid off for 10 more minutes. If the loaf is getting too dark you can turn it down further or take it out - this last step is just to really brown and crisp up the crust.

Take out when fully baked and put on a wire rack to cool - I love listening to the crust crackling as it cools. Slather with butter and enjoy!

(Recipe stolen by Sam from Andi Crown adapted from the Sullivan St Bakery)