You — yes, you! — can bake bread at home, even if you suffer from yeast phobia and break down in tears at the thought of controlling water temperature and room temperature and oven drafts and all those other variables that affect bread quality. And I’m not talking about bread machines, either. I think we can all agree that those weirdly consistently rectangular loaves never can be confused with real homemade. But there’s a way to do produce yeast bread perfectly every single time. It’s called the no-knead method, and it involves a wet dough you stir up and then let rise for almost a whole day, resulting in a freeform artisan bread that needs to be eaten that day. But you’ll never have to worry about it going stale because I promise when you make bread with this method, you’ll gobble up every crumb within minutes. I’m speaking from personal experience here — well, the gobbling up part, anyway. My friend Sherry Campbell, director of the kitchen-incubator Shoals Culinary Complex in Florence, Alabama, gave a class on this method recently and everybody was impressed. It’s easy and simple and requires equipment you probably already have on hand — or can pick up inexpensively. There rarely is breaking news in cooking, but this method got lots of attention a couple years ago when cookbook author Mark Bittman, who writes The Minimalmist column in the New York Times food section, reported on his success with the no-knead techniques perfected by Jim Lahey, a New York restaurant owner and chef. Here’s Bittman’s original article, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html (which I was shocked to see actually came out almost four years ago instead of the two I was thinking in my head), and more photos and a story about Campbell’s class from the Florence newspaper, http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100324/ARTICLES/3245001.
Published by Coffee with Cathy
I'm a media coordinator, an editor & an adjunct journalism instructor who also writes about style, history, food and the arts in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. My husband is a newspaper sports editor, and he and I are from middle Tennessee. Older Daughter and her husband, an artist and high-school art teacher, live nearby with our three grandsons. Younger Daughter works in grants proposals & also lives nearby. View all posts by Coffee with Cathy