no knead bread and truffle butter

Some cold rainy days and nights this past weekend and we were craving something warm and simple, some homemade toasty bread right out of the oven reminds me of staying with my parents in Vientiane, Laos. Every morning vendors on bicycles with baskets full of crusty french baguettes honking their bike horns or bells, my mom rushing outside to buy a couple of loaves for our breakfast, french bread, a staple in Laos long after the days of French colonization, Indochine. This super easy no knead bread recipe is a favorite around here, seriously no kneading, it works!

No Knead Bread Recipe (adapted from Steamy Kitchen site)
3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
A covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel…something that can go into a 450F oven.)

1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.

2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you’ve got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Holding towel, turn over and dump wobbly dough into pot, using your hands to get the dough off the towel. Doesn’t matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack.

And so while the husband was in Vegas for a night catching a Cirque show with friends and snapping photos of Ben Harper playing at the Stand Up For Skateparks Fundraiser over the weekend I was at home baking bread, smothering bread with truffle butter while the wind howled, spitting rain outside, my comfort food.

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