The name of this bread is deceptive, however it was incredibly easy to make. I found the recipe on Lisa’s Blog where she has declared to make her own bread for a year. An ambitious undertaking I say. With two little ones to worry about, I would rather make my own bread than have to buy it. The trick is to make edible bread, which ultimately this recipe will work.
I used a dark roasting type pan, and should have heeded Paula Deen’s advice to lower your temperature by 25 degrees if you are using a dark pan for any baked goods. The outer edges were a bit scorched but the rest of the loaf survived. Since there is very little stretching and pounding done to the flour, the result are large bubbles from the yeast munching the sugars of the flour for so long.
Plan ahead if you want to try this loaf out yourself, you will need 5 hours from mixing to slicing. How in the world is that speedy?
From the New York Times: Speedy No Knead Bread
3 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and mix until blended. Cover the bowl with plastic or a clean slightly damp towel. I put the bowl into my oven with the light on to keep the yeast cozy, it was cold the day I made this bread (okay, +2 is not cold but compared to regular Texas autumn weather it is!) Set your timer for 4 hours and walk away.
See this is why Speedy is not fast in the way you might think. The bread takes very little human interface time, which is perfect for a busy mom who has a million things on her to-do list before the holidays arrive. The wait is well worth it, the yeast forms pockets of air and the risen dough is gooey. The texture after it bakes has a good chewy sponge on the inside, and the crust digs deep into the soft belly of the loaf.
Pull out the bowl and turn on the oven to 450ºF (425ºF for a dark pan). Place a roasting pan, Dutch oven, or other appropriately sized casserole into the oven.
Pour a good amount of oil on your work bench. Poke the risen dough and carefully collect it into one mass, scrape and pour the dough on to the oiled surface. Try to fold the dough in half, over itself, once or twice. Cover the dough with plastic for 30 minutes to let it rest. Bread gets upset after you touch it, so give it some time to recuperate before you pop it in the oven.
After 30 minutes of resting, retrieve the pre-heated pan from the oven and slump the dough inside. I suggest sprinkling some coarse sea salt or aged cheese on top. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake another 30 minutes or until it has browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Release the loaf from the pan and cool on a rack.
This basic bread, which is similar to a ciabatta, could be augmented with several other ingredients. I think I will try sunflower seeds, onion, garlic, or jalapeño and cheese.