No knead-bread (aka bread for the non-baker!)

I talked about this recipe on Kerre Woodham's Sunday show on Newstalk ZB during the year, then we published a version of it in the August 2010 issue of Healthy Food Guide, which featured a Healthy Baking Special (and of course I highly recommend you get hold of a copy). 

This basic bread recipe is adapted from one I first saw on a YouTube video, from Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York. I love this recipe because it’s incredibly easy, works every time and tastes amazing! I’ve come up with a few variations, including a gluten-free version. If you’ve never baked bread before, try this recipe – you’ll never look back.

Basic no-knead bread

Makes about 14 slices
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Resting time: 12 hours
Cooking time: 45 minutes

3 cups plain flour
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups water
Cornmeal or extra flour for dusting

Step 1 In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and yeast. Mix well.

Step 2 Add the water and mix to make a sticky, shaggy dough. Cover bowl and leave overnight or 12 hours in a warm place.

The next morning or 12 hours later: The dough should have risen and have fine bubbles on its surface.

Step 3 Turn the oven on to 250C, and put a large cast-iron or pyrex casserole into the oven for about 10 minutes, until very hot. Remove from the oven and take the lid off, ready to put the dough inside.

Step 4 Dust a board with flour, and gently place the dough on the board. Gently shape dough into a ball by folding the edges into the centre. Place dough, seam-side up, into the casserole which you’ve sprinkled with cornmeal or extra flour.

Step 5 Using oven gloves, place casserole into the oven with the lid on for 30 minutes. Remove lid and cook a further 15 minutes, until golden brown. It should sound hollow when tapped. 

Try this with half wholemeal flour; it's delicious.
Try the gluten-free version