Easy Crusty No-Knead Artisan Bread, Updated
“My husband said this was the closest thing to “real” Italian bread that we have had since we lived in Italy! So delicious!” – Julie G, recipient of new-mama meal after birth of seventh precious baby
I always get raves over my no-knead, crusty artisan-style bread, and it’s super easy. But it does require that I start it the night before. Now I can use the same recipe but double it, then refrigerate for up to a week — so I can pull out about a pound of dough at a time to make a loaf on a little over an hour’s notice.
Similar to the basic recipe, but doubled.
Here are the new amounts to use, per King Arthur :
3 cups warm water,
6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups flour (32 oz, to be precise — if you can weigh your flour)
1 Tbsp salt, and
1.5 Tbsp instant yeast
Mix to make a shaggy dough (lesser amount of flour if you tend to scoop flour and thus pack; more flour if you tend to sprinkle or lightly spoon your flour into your cup). See basic recipe for specifics. I used whey from my yogurt making for one third of my liquid.
Keep the dough in a large bowl or container with loose cover; it will rise at least double–close to triple, so use a big container! I used a Tupperware 2-gallon canister; because it’s clear, I could see the rise (and I marked the dough line with a dry-erase marker when I first put the dough in, so I could track the rise).
At this point, I left my dough on the counter overnight, then refrigerated two hours…. but you can simply leave it out to rise about two hours and then refrigerate 2 hours to a week. The longer it refrigerates, the more of a sourdough-type tang it will have.
When ready to bake, use floured hands to pull off about 16 oz of dough (easier if you sprinkle the whole dough top with a bit of flour). Shape as desired on parchment and loosely cover to let it rise to double, about an hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven/baking stone to 450 F. Slash tops of loaves as shown to allow for rise, then transfer loaves to baking stone (I use a flat-edged cookie sheet as a bread/pizza peel for the transfer).
Put a pan with at least a cup of water into the oven — on a lower or bottom rack; spritz loaves with water if desired. Then close oven quickly to create steam. The steam is what gives you the chewy, European-style crust — crackly and crisp on the outside, softer inside.
Bake at 450 for 25-35 minutes. Cool on rack.(I lower my temp to 435 because my oven runs way hot.)
For rolls: Pull off smaller dough amounts; shape and rise as directed. Bake 20-25 min.