Wednesday, November 22, 2006

my baby's all grown up

The hardest thing about Jim Lahey's no-knead bread -- the recipe that's taken the food blog world by storm in the past few weeks -- is that it's not about instant gratification. You're looking at about a 24-hour turnaround period between mixing your dough and taking your finished bread out of the oven. But oh, oh, the payoff. I can't believe this came out of my kitchen. Seriously.

Here's my dough at the beginning, in its initial sticky, shaggy stage:



And after 18 hours of fermentation, it's alive and kickin':


I wish I'd gotten a picture of how stretchy and stringy the dough was when I inverted that bowl to drop it onto my work surface. That was some serious gluten! Here it is after turning it over on itself a couple times and left to rest briefly before the final rise:



And, here we are, ready for the final 2-hour rise. I had read on Chowhound that some people were having problems with this very slack dough sticking to their floured towels, so I went nuts with the flour and cornmeal. I had no problems with sticking, luckily.


And after two hours, it's ready to go into the oven:


Success! Here's Mark listening to the crust crackle as the bread cools. It sounds a bit like a bowl of Rice Krispies, or perhaps like a crackling fire:


Let's have a closer look, shall we? This is the most beautiful bread that's ever come from my kitchen. I didn't think it was possible to do this kind of bread at home. Jim Lahey, you are a genius!


And the final test, of course: Let's take a look at the crumb structure. Gorgeous, no?




If I'm not careful, we'll eat this whole loaf tonight. Who needs dinner?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Mark said...

Tara is not exaggerating. This is the best homemade bread I have ever eaten. To get bread this good without this recipe, you not only need to go to a really good bakery or restaurant, you also need to get there just as it's coming out of the oven. That's how good this bread is.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I haven't seen bread that lusty since my last trip to France!

6:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa B. said...

Okay, I actually said, "oh my god!" at the crumb structure picture. I will figure out how to make this bread, come hell or high water.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks so good, and I swear I can smell it! Yum!

8:44 AM  
Anonymous vinnie said...

oh crap this bread is good! i'm visiting tara and mark and tara made this delicious bread. i think the three of us ate the whole loaf with dinner.

9:38 PM  
Blogger tara said...

We did, in fact, demolish that whole loaf with dinner! I think I'm going to add olives and rosemary to the next one I make. I also might try some whole-wheat flour.

4:28 PM  

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