Several years ago, I made not making resolutions my resolution for New Year's. (Well, with the exception of my ongoing "be more positive!" drive.) Anyway, I didn't exactly make a resolution this year, but I did kind of vow to get more into yeast baking this year. I'm not really sure why I hadn't been doing any yeast baking at all in the last few years--I guess mostly because of the time factor (I like instant gratification) and the fact that my brother is a very talented bread baker. I mean, why bother when I can eat his delicious roasted tomato focaccia?
Well, be that as it may, what could be a better bread to start off with than the completely no-fuss, completely famous, blogged to death No Knead Bread?* After all, I'm only two years late jumping on the bandwagon. The good thing about being this late to the party is that I had ample evidence that this recipe did, in fact, work--and no kidding! It really is the simplest yeast bread I've ever tried--dump a minimal number of ingredients in a bowl, stir, cover, ignore for the next 20 hours (I stirred it up and let it sit overnight), remember the rising dough somewhere around hour 24, shape (very haphazardly and with great mess), despair over getting it into a ball, fling into hot pan, consign to oven with crossed fingers--and hey, presto! The best textured bread I've ever baked by myself!
I mean, look at that slice. It's a far cry from the dense brick that my last loaf of bread turned out to be. And I couldn't believe that it ended up shaped so nicely, despite the fact that I literally just dumped the entire lump of dough into my pan (I just could not get it to form a ball) willy-nilly. The crust is delightfully...crusty, almost shattering when you bite into it, and the interior is nice and tender, but with a nice resistance. Basically, I have no complaints, only praise for this recipe, and if you're just starting to experiment with yeast baking, I highly recommend this.
*Okay, I guess the actual first yeast recipe I made this year was cinnamon rolls, but they were not very pretty.