Last winter I came across this recipe for No-Knead Bread and I've been wanting to try it ever since. Let me just say right out that I am not a bread baker- I love to bake, but it's usually cookies/pie/cakes etc. Rarely will I bake bread. However, I love fresh homemade bread and I don't even mind the kneading/ rising/ kneading. It's kind of satisfying. A karmic way to earn the fresh baked yummy-ness.
But my curiosity got the better of me and I'd read that this bread was really quite good. The trade off for not kneading is that you have to wait about 24 hours between the urge to bake bread and the urge to eat the bread. The first rise is a 12-18 hour wait, another 2 hours for the second rise, 45 - 60 min. to bake, and then a little time to cool.
This is how the dough looked after the initial rise (18 hours or so). It looked more like pancake batter than bread dough and I was dubious. I was worried if I took it out of the bowl it was going to just run all over.
I managed to get it floured and set for the next rise- and it didn't quite double in size, but it did expand a bit and I got it into the pan. (sorry for the white on white here). It still did not look like a promising bread.
But THEN! Ta-dah! After baking for 45 min. the top was a nice golden brown and pretty crusty. When I put it on the wire rack, it was still cracking and popping. I cut into it a few minutes later and it looked great- nice crust, soft and chewy middle. It tastes really good too!
I used maybe a little too much flour in the second rise (but it was so sticky!) but I'm definitely going to try it again. This recipe is supposed to be very forgiving so you can add cheese, or herbs or dried fruit to make it savory or sweet.