Adventures in Bread Making

I took my first dive into the world of home bread making last weekend.  I don’t have a breadmaker, so I decided to try a seemingly simple no-knead recipe.  After a quick google, I opted for the No-Knead Bread Recipe from the New York Times.  Although all of those recipes looked simple, bread making is definitely not easy.  But I did have bread at the end of the process; so even if it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I guess this was a successful venture.

No-Knead Bread Recipe from the New York Times
(this recipe yields one 1.5 pound loaf)

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
0.5 package of yeast
1.25 teaspoons salt

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I started by proofing the yeast by following the package instructions — let the yeast hang out in 0.25 cups of water for about 10 minutes.  Although I’m not sure I did this correctly, and I ended up feeding my yeast with meringue cookie crumbs because I don’t have sugar at home, it did foamed up a little and gave off a deep-beery smell.  When the yeast was done, I combined it with the flour, salt and 1.5 cups of water.  What came of it was some pretty sticky dough.  I let it rest for about 18 hours at room temperature and came back to this:

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I lightly floured a baking sheet, brought my dough out of the bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes.  Next, I floured-up a cotton towel (because a terry cloth towel would be a little messy) and rolled by dough up into a ball.  I took the opportunity to throw some homegrown rosemary and thyme into the folds.

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Then I let the dough rest for another 2 hours and it really expanded:

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Baking time!  I warmed up the oven to 450 degrees with my pot already inside the oven.  Once the oven was ready, in went the bread for 30 minutes with the lid, followed by 10 minutes without the lid.

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My final product!

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The bread was tasty–with a chewy texture and a hint of rosemary.  But the crust was a little too thick for me and I was hoping for something a little fluffier, so there is definitely more experimenting to be done.  I was thinking about trying the Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe…has anyone else tried this or another easy/tasty bread recipe?

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