In my mind, nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread. When I first tried this recipe for no-knead bread, I'll admit, I was skeptical. A bread that doesn't require any kneading? No way. However, upon further inspection, and a trial run...the verdict: this is the real deal. Not only does this loaf look rustic and beautiful, it has a nice crunch crust and a tasty flavor to boot!
This bread couldn't get a whole lot easier to make. Mix it up before you go to bed, and bake it the next evening just before dinner. If you want to have it for breakfast, just mix it up in the morning so it's all ready to bake before the next sunrise. One thing I love about this bread is that it doesn't get dried out. You can bake it in the morning and don't need to worry about wrapping it up. It's a great bread to give as gifts for housewarmings, hostess gifts, or holiday parties.
Step One: Gather the ingredients.
Step Two: Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Step Three: Add the water and almond extract into the dry ingredients, mix well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft-free space. Now wait 12-18hrs before baking.
A TIP: It is to your benefit if you have a dutch oven, or lidded bread baker, but you could improvise and use the insert of a round crock-pot and cover with aluminum foil if you don't. A word to the wise: make sure you check to make sure whatever you use for baking is rated for temps up to 450 degrees.
Step Four: Preheat a Dutch oven for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. Meanwhile, pour out the dough onto a heavily floured surface and form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap until Dutch oven is preheated. Drop into the Dutch oven, cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Allow bread to cool on a wire cooling rack before serving. If you're feeling generous, you could even share a slice or two with your friends, neighbors or coworkers!
CRANBERRY ALMOND NO-KNEAD BREAD | Yield: 1 round loaf | Total Time: 12-18 hrs
3 C unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 C water
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 C dried cranberries
1/2 C sliced almonds
zest of 1 orange
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast, cranberries, almonds, orange zest. Add water and almond extract. Mix until well combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours in a warm draft-free spot. Overnight works great.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place Dutch oven with lid in the oven, and heat for 30 minutes.
While the dutch oven preheats, pour dough on a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap until Dutch oven is preheated. Remove the Dutch oven, and drop in the ball-shaped dough. Cover, and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Remove bread from oven and Dutch oven. Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack before serving.