Making bread has never been one of my culinary strengths. I make great cookies and cakes and can put together a mean lasagna. But the ultimate loaf of homemade bread has eluded me — until now.
I carefully followed the directions for the no-knead bread from the December/January 2008 issue of Mother Earth News and, voilà, out came a wonderful crunchy-crusted loaf of artisan bread. I have to admit to making one tiny change to the baking instructions. According to the directions, after baking at 475 degrees for 30 minutes, you are to take the lid off of the Dutch oven and bake for another 15 minutes. At that point, my bread loaf was quite toasty brown and I was concerned that it might burn if it baked at 475 degrees for the last 15 minutes. So, I elected to turn the oven off and leave the uncovered bread in the oven for the 15 minutes. The loaf was perfect!
I think the next time I bake this bread in my oven, I will set the temperature to 450 degrees.