New York Times easy and delicious crusty bread. Restaurant level crunch on the outside, pillow soft and chewy on the inside.
Last week, New Jersey was hit with tropical storm Isaias. Power went out across my town, targeting my house as I had my overnight crusty bread in the dutch oven! The power flickered on and off while it was baking, but I was hopeful that I would have power long enough to bake my bread. However, after 15-20 minutes of baking, big trees took out our power. I still had 45-50 minutes of baking left to do! I kept the oven closed and hoped that the bread would bake. Sure enough after 50 minutes of “baking,” I took the bread out, uncovered the dutch oven and steam came flowing out, it was done and beautiful, UNBELIEVEABLE!! It was perfect and crusty and the inside was moist and airy. I was so surprised and relieved that it was successful!
This is to say that this bread is VERY easy and forgiving. Even after the bread was baking in an oven that turned off a quarter of the way into baking, the final product was just as yummy. My grandma kept saying that it tastes like bread from fancy Italian restaurants. The crust is perfectly flaky and crunchy, and you don’t even have to use a steam oven or a tray of water at the bottom of the oven! The inside is very moist, soft and springy, almost doughy.
As I said before, this bread is extremely easy and quick to make. I got my recipe from The New York Times No-Knead Bread, but I added a few variations to my liking and to make the recipe easier.
Make the dough the night before you want to bake the bread. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast until a shaggy dough forms. (Note: Do not convert the instant yeast to active dry yeast because the yeast flavor will be too strong with active dry). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12-18 hours. The longer you can let it sit, the better. Although the original recipe does not have sugar under the ingredients, I always love sweeter breads, so if you do too, add some sugar!
After 12-18 hours of the dough resting, the surface of the dough should have a lot of small bubbles. This is how you know when your dough is ready. At this point, turn out the dough on a floured surface. Using heavily floured hands, gently fold the dough over on itself 3-4 times. Cover and let the gluten rest for 15 minutes.
While the dough is resting, grease and flour a large mixing bowl. After the dough has rested, using heavily floured hands, again, gently and quickly shape into a rough ball. Coat your hands in enough flour to minimize the dough from sticking to your hands. Put this dough seam side down in the prepared mixing bowl. Cover with plastic until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
When the dough is almost doubled, preheat your oven with the dutch oven inside. Let the dutch oven sit in the preheated oven for another 15 minutes. Remove the dutch oven and pour the dough ball into the dutch oven, do any small adjustments to the shape of the dough, then cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15-30 minutes depending on how brown and crisp you like your bread. This last step without the lid is primarily to add some color and more crunch to your bread. To ensure the bread is cooked all the way, the internal temperature should read about 200 degrees F.
I hope you try out this deliciously easy bread, I would love to see pictures of your bread! Tag me on Instagram with your creations @beyondbakingwithamandajane
Overnight No Need to Knead Crusty White Bread
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tsp granulated sugar
- Stir together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar until a shaggy dough forms. Cover with plastic and let sit for 12-18 hours at room temperature.
- When the dough has a lot of bubbles on top, turn out on to floured surface. Fold dough over on itself 3-4 times using floured hands. Sprinkle thin layer of flour on top. Loosely cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Grease and flour large mixing bowl.
- With floured hands, shape dough into rough ball and place into prepared mixing bowl. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
- About 30 minutes before dough completely rises, preheat oven to 450 degrees F with the dutch oven inside. Let dutch oven sit in the preheated oven for at least 15 minutes.
- Once doubled, pour the dough ball into hot dutch oven. Make any small adjustments to the shape of the dough. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15-30 minutes, until desired color.