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Fortuna Favet Fortibus

The yogurt in my crock pot has been fermenting for about three hours. The droplets on its glass lid, illuminated by slanting winter sunlight, catches my attention.

Now, the oldest writings referencing yogurt are attributed to Pliny the Elder, who remarked that certain nomadic tribes knew how "to thicken the milk into a substance with an agreeable acidity". The earliest yogurt—in civilizations as far back as 2000 BC—was probably fermented spontaneously, likely by wild bacteria residing inside goatskin bags used for transportation.

As for Pliny, instead of heeding his helmsman’s suggestion on August 24, 79 AD to leave Herculaneum, as cinders and pumice from Vesuvius’s eruption rained down on them, he shrugged and said, “Fortuna favet fortibus.” Soon he was dead.

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(Deleted comment)
Naw, Pliny wouldn't listen because he was hard-headed and set in his ways. Pliny the Younger achieved fame by writing about the Vesuvius eruption and his father's ridiculous expedition across the bay of Naples while it was still going on.

Anyway, I've already made three fantastic loaves of bread using the "no knead" recipie and using a large stainless steel pot. No need for a machine, it's no trouble at all.

There's just no going back after tasting this home-made stuff. Fantastic, and extremely LOW COST.

Please, I want the no-knead recipe!

OK, first here is an entertaining how-to video produced by the New York Times. You have to endure a short commercial before the baking fun begins.

Here's the recipe:

No Knead Bread

Forum: Cooking and Recipes
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

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