Well, I did it. I have achieved dirt simple no knead bread success. If you recall, I've been trying a number of different recipes over the years varying from the basic No-Knead Bread recipe from the NY Times to the Five Minutes a Day Bread recipe to fancier ones. The results have varied from hockey puck to tolerable at best.
Yesterday, I decided to give the Speedy No Knead Bread recipe a whirl (also from the NY Times). All you do is stir together bread flour, yeast, salt and water. Wait four hours, let it rest 30 minutes after a few folds and bake. And it turned out fantastic. As good as the bread we buy from local bakeries for $5 a loaf. Even the ever Mr. Picky Bread declared it a victory. And the best part is we can use locally grown flour in our recipes.
What did I do differently to achieve such amazing results? Well, aside from the different recipe, I think the fact that our house is warmer (due to warmer weather) created a better environment for the rise. But, the biggest change had more to do with the fact that I used an actual enamel cast iron dutch oven that we acquired since the last time I tried making no knead bread, which was a while ago. I'm fairly sure that had a lot to do with the success of this bread, and I'll have to go back and try the other recipes that require a dutch oven to see if there's improvement.
In the meantime, we'll definitely be adding fresh baked bread back into our weekly baking since it's so damn easy. Have you tried the no knead method of baking bread and did it work for you? Now, that the weather is cooling off, will you be baking more of your own bread?