Hi, fall! So nice to see you!
Can I jinx it? Can I say those days with a nip in the air are upon us? Let’s hope so, because one of my favorite things is cranking up the oven, popping in a bread to bake and not caring how long it’s on or at what temperature. And if the bread can go along with a hearty soup, another autumn staple of mine, all the better.
I’m certainly of the mind-set that bread-baking isn’t as intimidating as some people fear, but for those lacking the confidence — or stand mixer or arm power or interest — to knead dough, a no-knead bread might be the answer. Here are a few recipes from our archives to get you started:
Slow-Rise, No-Knead Cinnamon-Raisin Bread, above. This bread smells heavenly as it bakes. It’s fabulous spread with jam or nut butters, and would make a very special French toast.
No-Knead Focaccia. Folding and stretching replaces more vigorous kneading in this great beginner bread. Get creative with your own toppings (herbs, vegetables, spices) of choice. It can work as a pizza dough, too.
Slow-Rise, No-Knead Light Wheat (or White) Bread. A long, lazy rise is key to building flavor and structure in the final product, so don’t cut the rest time short.
Slow-Rise, No-Knead Rustic Caraway-Beer Bread. This one screams for a hearty stew on a chilly day. You may not taste the beer, per se, but it does lend some yeasty, malty aroma and depth of flavor.
Slow-Rise, No-Knead Soft White (or Soft Light Wheat) Rolls. This is another ideal recipe for beginners, because with small rolls you don’t have to worry as much as you would with a large loaf about undercooking the bread. Also, a muffin tin eliminates the need to shape the dough into rolls.
No-Knead Pizza Dough. It’s pizza, but it still counts, right? The recipe is adapted from baker and cookbook author Jim Lahey, who helped popularize no-knead breads.
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