Compared with a lot of people who collect it, I have minimal pieces of cast iron cookware.
A small skillet that belonged to my grandmother, a larger skillet that was my dad’s (he never really used it, and now, it’s too heavy for him to lift), and now, courtesy of Jay, a Dutch oven.
I was particularly excited for the Dutch oven, because I’ve been wanting to make No-Knead Bread for ages, but I didn’t have the right equipment. I do have other roasting pans or Dutch ovens, but nothing with a lid that could withstand the high heat.
I’ve made the No-Knead Bread twice now, and I love how easy it is. And how hands-off it is. You mix the dough, and walk away from it for 12-24 hours. And a little while later, you have bread! Well, you get a really wet dough first:
I know a lot of people complained about just how wet the dough is, but I actually didn’t find it that hard to peel off the towel. After an hour in the oven, you have this:
My No-Knead Bread did not rise quite as high as those loaves featured in the NY Times video. I assume it’s due to my yeast, because I know my kitchen was hotter than 70°F each time I made the bread. But it’s still good.
Lots of pockets and a chewy crust. Perfect for making into crostini or sopping up sauces or soups.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add in the water and mix, using a wooden spoon or a clean hand. Mix just until a dough forms, then push the dough to one side. Drizzle the inside of the bowl with a little olive oil, and try to coat the dough as best as you can. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place (at least 70 degrees F) for 12-20 hours.
Flour a work surface, then turn out the dough onto it. Fold the dough over on itself 2-3 times.
Flour a cotton kitchen/tea towel, and place the dough on it. Dust the top with additional flour and either fold the towel over the dough or place another towel on top. Let rise for 2 hours.
Halfway through the rising, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Place an oven-safe Dutch oven with a lid in the oven as it preheats.
When the 2 hours have elapsed, carefully place the dough in the preheated pan, and cover. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid. Continue baking for an additional 20 minutes or until the bread is browned on top.
Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.