I finally gave in to the no-knead bread craze of 2006 (so I’m fashionably late to the party) and tried the recipe. I utterly botched the entire recipe because I can’t follow directions, but somehow it still turned out alright. Look!
I will try this recipe again, probably with a couple modifications like changing up the baking pan and trying to actually follow the suggested rise times.
I mixed it up on Sunday afternoon and let it sit until I got home on Monday night, which is clearly more than the suggested 18 hours. When I got to the dough, it was not big and puffy and dotted with holes as the recipe said, but it was bigger than it originally was and sorta puffy and there might have been holes at some point.
When I did the second rise, I did use this little aluminum foil sling type deal that I slid directly into the pre-heated pan, but next time I’ll plan to just rise it in an oiled bowl and dump it into the pan when it’s done. Really, people. I don’t even want to try doing this with towels as the original recipe suggests. That sounds like a bit of an OCD horrorshow to me! No mess like that for me, no siree Bob!
And as for the pan, I used a rather large stockpot as the container, probably 10-12 quarts, and I think it was a little too large. The recipe suggests using a 6-8 quart pan, but some people have suggested using a 4 quart pan for a higher loaf. The stock pot I used also has plastic lined handles and pot lid knob, so I had to cover them with aluminum foil in the hopes that they wouldn’t melt at 450F. Next time, I’ll try making it in one of our smaller all-metal pots, maybe with a parchment liner to aid in clean-up.
Anyway, my loaf ended up rather like a giant ciabatta. Not a bad thing, but not exactly what I wanted out of this.
But no matter… as hard as I tried to botch this, it still came out really nicely, with a chewy inside and a crisp outside. Not quite the perfect sandwich bread, but most certainly a very nice hunk-of-bread-with-a-bowl-of-soup bread.