Herbal Butters and Oils: Crusty No-Knead French Bread

| December/January 2010

  • Photography by Howard Lee Puckett

Makes one 1 1⁄2-pound loaf

No kneading is necessary for this easy-to-make, bakery-quality bread. All it takes is flour, yeast, water and time to rise.

• 1 1⁄3 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
• 1⁄4 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
• Additional all-purpose flour, bran or cornmeal

1. Combine warm water and yeast in a 2-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

2. Stir together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl; add yeast mixture, stirring to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees) for at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18 hours.

3. Spoon dough onto a lightly floured work surface; sprinkle lightly with additional flour; fold sides over once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rest 15 minutes.

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