Friday, November 6, 2015

#FoodieFriday: No-Knead Crusty Bread

Want to dazzle your guests with your home-made bread skills this holiday season? Never baked with yeast and making your own bread terrifies you? Think you can't make your own bread without a bread machine? Just looking for something to have with your soup?

If the answer is "yes" to any of those things, sit yourself down right now and listen up.

This No-Knead Crusty Bread recipe from Simply So Good deserves to be in your regular rotation.

A single batch of bread dough, risen for 18ish hours--sharp cheddar and dried dill.
Before I had made it, I was terrified of baking with yeast. I can make quick-breads with the best of them (and, oh, do I have some good ones for YOU, which I'll be sure to post on other Foodie Fridays before the holidays because---INSTANT GIFT!), but the idea that I had to add something alive (and therefore touchy and hard to control) to my food was nerve-racking. What if my water was too hot and I killed the yeast? What if my water was too cold and the whole thing stayed a floury glob that never rose?

But I tried it anyway--this recipe is surprisingly forgiving--and, oh man, is it good. It's also served as a gateway drug to my making other yeast breads with more confidence.

Our favorite variation is to add shredded sharp cheddar (about 1-1.5 cups) and some dill weed to it. That's the bread that I've shown in the pictures here. And search the Simply So Good page for variations including rosemary/Gruyere/lemon and cranberry/orange/almond. It's a very neutral-based bread, so you can make it sweet or savory. Have fun with it!

The recipe even doubles nicely.

Finished cheddar-dill bread! Gorgeous and crunchy.
A word on the cooking pot. You don't need the most expensive thing out there to make this recipe. I'd make it in my Le Cruset if I could, but I don't own one. However, I do have a great one from Lodge that gets a ton of use (I want another one, husband if you're listening...) between the bread and making soups and stews and even for frying things because it keeps such a nice even temperature. It's 6 quarts and blue and gorgeous. The red one is calling my name.


My point being, you don't have to break the bank for a cooking pot just to use to make this bread, but if you do get one, that's the one I'd recommend for the price and for the amount of use it would get. You'll seriously cook things just to use it. Cleans up like a dream, too.

Have you made this bread before? What's your favorite variation?

xoxo Sarah

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