I know gluten free eating is popular at the moment. It is difficult for me to grasp why. While there are eaters out there living with true gluten allergies and intolerances, the vast majority of people tolerate gluten just fine thank you very much. Gluten is also found in a lot of foods. A lot of yummy foods. One of them being bread. Straight up wheat bread, with all the crustiness and satisfying glutinous chew. I’ve tried many GF alternatives, but the fact is there are simply no options that turn my crank quite like wheat bread.
I am so excited to post this recipe even though it’s not an original. Every single time I make this bread, it impresses the heck out of me and whoever else is
eating savouring it. I’ve made it 15 or 20 times since I discovered it and I still can’t believe how easy and delicious it is. It tastes and looks like something you would pick up from an expensive artisan bakery.
This recipe comes courtesy of the brilliant Jim Lahey, who founded Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. It became famous when it was published in the New York Times by Mark Bittman (a food icon and personal hero of mine) a few years back. On the short list for cookbooks I’d like to own are Jim Lahey’s books My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method and My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home. Sounds awesome right?
Some helpful tips:
I use my heavy enamelled cast iron dutch oven for this, but I have also made it in a simple white Corningware deep casserole dish (with a lid) and it turned out great.
I find that substituting up to 50% of the white flour with whole flour adds a nice flavour and keeps a good texture. I won’t lie though, I do prefer 100% white flour.
When my parents come to stay I always make a loaf or two. My dad is obsessed with the toast it makes for breakfast the next day. It also makes killer french toast.
This isn’t really a tip, but when I made this to go with an elaborate and slightly gourmet’d-up Thanksgiving dinner for the family last year, my 4 and 6 year old nephews ate almost an entire loaf to themselves and declared it the best thing they ate all day.
I pass this recipe along to anyone who will listen. Now, it’s your turn.