I am enjoying using the quicker version of the wonderful no-knead bread baked in cast iron at high temperature which yields a bakery style crusty bread. The “quicker” version uses more yeast and starts with warm liquid. Here is another version using apple cider for part of the liquid, dried apples, dates and nuts – great for a treat or for breakfast bread.
1 cup apple cider (warm but not hot)
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons granulated yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 cup dried apples slices, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Add warm water and cider to a large bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar and let sit for 4-5 minutes till mixture begins to bubble a bit and get foamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously until all flour is mixed and a shaggy dough forms. If the dough is too stiff, add a little more water.
2. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour.
As the dough is rising preheat oven to 450 degrees. Please cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat (I use the Lodge Combo for my no-knead bread).
3. After rising for an hour, place dough on a large piece of parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour. With well-floured hands form dough into a round ball. (The dough can be difficult to handle). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 – 45 minutes.
4. Remove cast iron pot from oven. Pick up ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Using scissors, quickly trim the extra parchment paper and place lid on pot.
5. Return covered pot to hot oven (Be careful – the cast iron pot is heavy and very hot!).
6. Cook at 450 degrees with lid on pot for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and cook another 15 minutes until brown and crusty. NOTE: My first loaf was a little too dark on the bottom so you may want to reduce the cooking time with the pot covered.
7. Remove from oven and slide the cooked bread from the hot pot onto a cooling rack. Cool and enjoy wonderful crusty bread!