This past April, my worst nightmare became a reality. Now, I’m not talking about the tornado that ripped through our beloved Tuscaloosa (although that was pretty damn scary, too). I’m talking about finding myself at age 25, unemployed, and living with my parents. Overnight I went from graduate student with a great set of friends and a cozy apartment to asking my Dad if I could borrow the car on a Saturday night.
I don’t clock in anywhere and I’ve made a significant dent in my pleasure reading list. At first this was absolutely thrilling, but the novelty wore off pretty quickly and I went looking for productive ways to use my newfound wealth of time.
This is where the “Craft Bucket List” comes in. There are a million and one projects I’ve been putting off for years—doing derogatory needlepoint, making homemade toothpaste, constructing a bottle tree, etc. Now I’m finding all of the coolest DIY projects out there, taking the time to refine them, and sharing them with you.
The inaugural project is an adaptation of the New York Times’ famous No Knead Bread Recipe. The original recipe calls for an 18-24 hour prep time, but this recipe yields a fabulous loaf of bread in as little as 8 hours. The ingredients are cheap, and the prep is fast. Once you bake one of these babies, it’ll be hard to ever go back to buying from the store!
You’re going to need:
1 ¼ TSP Salt
¾ TSP Traditional dry yeast
1 ¼ C Warm water
Dutch oven or all-metal pot with lid
Olive oil for greasing pans
Get it together:
B. Add water and stir until all ingredients are well blended. The resulting dough should still be a little bit sticky.
C. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place it in the warmest part of your kitchen to rise for 6-8 hours. I leave my dough outside to rise because the stifling summer heat gives an excellent rise at around 6 hours. Prepping the dough only takes about 5 minutes, so you can set it out before a shift at work, and when you get back it’ll be ready!
D. Once the dough has risen, transfer it onto a baking sheet that you’ve spread with olive oil. Give the top of the dough a little wipe with olive oil as well, and then cover it with a towel for an hour.
E. While the dough is expanding, preheat the oven to 450 F. You’ll need to put your Dutch oven or lidded pot in the oven while it is getting hot. The cold dough hitting the hot vessel is what is going to create the nice crunchy crust on the bottom. It is SUPER important that if you aren’t using a Dutch oven, you are using a pot that with no plastic parts. You can always call the cookware manufacturer to make sure that it can withstand the temperature.
F. Drop the dough from the baking sheet into the vessel. Don’t worry about the way the dough lands in the pot! The cruder the drop, the more “rustic” the look of the finished loaf. You can carefully wipe the inside of the pot with a little olive oil to prevent sticking if you’d like. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes with the lid on.
H. After the total bake time of 45 minutes, remove the loaf from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Now you’re ready to enjoy your beautiful loaf with butter, jam, or whatever your heart desires! Enjoy!
Ed. Note We are so happy to be working with Ally again. Even if she is in Texas now (because she crawled out out her hose with just her backpack left after storm) she is always with us in sprite. We can’t wait to see what else she will craft for your reading pleasure.