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Ottimo Pane

There is absolutely nothing more delicious than a slice of home-made bread, fresh from the oven, slavered with butter. No way can you get a store-bought loaf that will taste this good. Not even in the bakery of a small village on the Italian island of Ischia!

Earlier I posted directions for making “no-knead” bread, which works perfectly, but then I gave some thought to skipping a few steps to vastly simplify the process. So here it is, a wholly minimalist and trouble free recipe.

Combine in a large bowl 4 cups flour, one teaspoon instant yeast, one teaspoon salt. Add two cups water. Stir with a fork in circular motions until the dough sticks together. Cover with Saran Wrap and let sit for 18 hours at room temperature, 70 degrees F.

At the end of 18 hours, the dough will have risen and its surface will be moist and bubbly. Sprinkle flour on top, then carefully use a spatula to dump the dough into a pre-heated ceramic, iron or stainless steel pot. Cover and cook for one half hour at 475 degrees F. Take off lid, cook an additional 15-20 minutes, or when the crust turns golden brown.

It’s so simple that you no longer have an excuse to not make your own.

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I saw that recipe kicking around a few years ago. Looks delicious. Nice crumb

It looks so good!
I'm going to try it.
My first time making bread.

You can't help but succeed. Now, the best place to put the bowl full of dough to rest for 18 hours is in the oven. If it's gas, the pilot light will keep the interior the right temperature. If electric, turning on the incandescent bulb will do the same. Then when it's time to bake, take out the dough and put your pot and lid inside the oven for half an hour at 475 so that it's really hot when you pour and spatula out the dough.

Thanks. Next time I go to the store, I will get the supplies and then make some bread.

Hooray! Another bread maker! I've been toying with another no-knead recipe. The one I've been playing with has been from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I posted about it here. I've been meaning to try the Jim Lahey version for years but never got around to trying it. Now I'm hooked on this one since I can keep some dough ready to go in the fridge. I like how the top of your loaf came out. What size pot are you using?

The pot that made the bread in the photo was the ceramic insert to my small crock pot, which has a diameter of 7 inches at the top, 5 1/2 inches at the bottom, and is 5 1/2 inches tall. The other pot I use is stainless steel, and 9 1/2 inches diameter, which makes a flatter loaf. This is OK because when you slice the loaf it makes a sort of elongated bread stick. Either way, this bread is fantastic. I'll never again buy bread at the gourmet store.

That's clever to bake it in the crockpot liner. I wouldn't have thought to try that. So you can bake bread in stainless steel at high temperatures like that? Do you need to grease the pot? I'm loathe to buy another cast iron enamel pot in a smaller size but I'm tempted. Maybe I could try one of my stainless steel pots instead.

No, it's not necessary to grease the stainless steel pot (or the liner, either), just a light dusting of flour over the dough is sufficient. I believe that in baking, the dough contracts somewhat and the crust is firm, so the finished bread just drops out cleanly.

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