This recipe has been making the rounds for ages. I've seen it on several blogs and in the New York Times. Love freshly baked bread as much as I do? As lazy... um.... wait, as busy as me? No kneading! Lasts two weeks in the fridge!! Tear off only and bake only as much as you need!!! Brilliant.
No Knead Bread
Recipe courtesy of vanilla bean blog (with gorgeous photos and other tips)
3 cups water, lukewarm
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
In a 5 quart plastic container or bowl [preferably a resealable plastic container], mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water [about 100 degrees]. Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks [It's best to let dough refrigerate at least three hours - it is less sticky and easier to work with. Also, more flavor will develop if it sits longer]. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on the dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife [about 1 pound]. Sprinkle flour on work surface and lightly knead dough 5-6 times to form a ball, adding flour as needed so it won't stick to your hands. Put dough on a piece of parchment paper, and let rest 40 minutes. Refrigerate the rest of the dough.
About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to the upper middle position and place the Dutch oven (with lid on) on the rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Bake covered for 25 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 450, remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and/or instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 12 to 15 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Image by Sharon Pruitt, Flickr