I like to bake things. Let me put it another way, I like to try to bake things. Usually, what I turn out with is a gooey mess. Or an oven fire.
There was the "pudding cake" that I made for my husband's 30th birthday. It oozed up and out of the pan, out of the oven, and onto the kitchen floor. There was the "clown cake" that I made for my oldest daughter's 2nd birthday. There were so many crumbs in the frosting that it looked like the clown had a beard. There was the pizza dough I whipped up a couple of years ago. Doesn't everyone like a wet, sticky, sponge topped with tomato sauce and cheese?
So, I have been doing my bread shopping at local bakeries the past couple of years. There is the Jewish bakery down the street with the oh-so yummy rye-bread and the babbka to die for. The French bakery with the foot long baguettes, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. The Indian place with the rectangles of mouth-watering naan. The Italian market with its warm oval loaves, topped with sesame. The Cuban cafe with the crispy Cuban bread that won't sog in your soup.
You get the idea. I have gotten used to some pretty tasty baked goods. I know what good bread should taste like. How could I possibly bake something at home that I would actually want to eat?
Guess what? I can. It is called "No Knead" bread. And it is delicious. And it is easy to make. And it is hard to screw up. The New York Times published the recipe for "No Knead" bread, including a tutorial video, four years ago. The recipe can also be found in Jim Lahey's My Bread. Here goes:
That's it! It turns out like those $5 per loaf artisan breads at the market, and you can make it for pennies!