Sunday, July 24, 2011

Crusty rustic bread for all-day Sunday


Ta-da! Here's my no-knead crusty, rustic peasant food. Just like an Asian father, it is hard on the outside and soft on the inside.

It took 2 minutes to mix the dough. The recipe is so simple and basic - 1.5 cups tepid water, 1/4 tsp yeast, 3 cups plain flour, 1.5 tsp salt - and that's it! It's touted to be so simple any 6-year-old can do it and it will be as good as any bakery in the world. I think this is a bit of an exaggeration lah!


After mixing the dough, cling-wrap it for 12 hours. Place it in a warm area. For me, I leave it on the patio where it's more than 25 degrees Celsius. Dough is ready when you see small bubbles on its surface. 


Use a ceramic or cast iron pot for this recipe. This is my Le Gourmet dutch oven which I bought in Kuala Lumpur at a good discount (Malaysia Boleh!). The pot must be VERY hot when you put your dough in. I preheat the oven at 250C for about 20 minutes with the dutch oven and lid in it. 

This method uses heat and humidity to bake the bread without having to knead. Can anyone explain the science of it to me? It seems to work despite my ignorance.


I jumped out of bed early this morning as I couldn't wait to greet my overnight dough. Oven set to 250C at 7.30am on a sunny Sunday morning.

How it looks just before going into the oven. I forget to give it a shake to even out the mixture.
I must say the dough was not too easy to handle. 

I bake it for 30 minutes with the lid on. Then I remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes at the same temperature. The lid is extremely hot and heavy. 

And wah-la, this is what you get!
Husband woke up and said, Something smells good! 
Wait for an hour to cool before cutting. Me, of course, I didn't bother to wait. 
'Hole-y as it should be but I can also see traces of flour not too well mixed. Oopsy. 

Love the crust - very "pang" especially the slightly burnt part..
Sunday smells so...oo....goo...oo..d




Great start to a beautiful Sunday and wonderful week ahead. 

Meanwhile, enjoy the instructional video from NY Times below.

1 comment:

  1. The heat and humidity causes oven spring, the last dose of yeast overdrive. Also, the humidity prevents premature crusting which hinders further rising in the oven. To enhance the oven spring, just before baking , mist your dough and make a deep cut on the dough surface. It will give an incredible oven spring.

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